"The Public Library is absolutely wonderful in its entirety, at once an ode to the glory of our most democratic institutions and a culturally necessary prompt to defend them like we would defend our freedom to live, learn, and be-a freedom to which the library is our highest celebration." - Brain Pickings
"This collection of photographs and texts of and about libraries--grand or dead, faded or sumptuous--make up a narrative that combines the public sphere with private memory. Robert Dawson's work is an irrefutable argument for the preservation of public libraries. His book is profound and heartbreakingly beautiful." -- Toni Morrison
"This beautifully crafted book celebrates public libraries across the U.S. in both color and black and white images captured by photographer Dawson over an 18-year period. Artfully arranged in such chapters as 'Civic Memory and Identity' and 'Literature and Learning,' the book includes a foreword by Bill Moyers and an afterword by Ann Patchett.. Dawson goes beyond the physical structures and touches on how viscerally and nostalgically Americans feel about public libraries, and suggests that, as a culture, we depend on them more than we know." - Publishers Weekly
"A book for anyone with a deep and abiding love of libraries. Dawson's latest project is a powerful argument for the continued relevance of our public libraries as information and community centers, even as libraries adapt to changing technological and budgetary landscapes." - Library Journal
"Rich imagery of libraries across the national and cultural map, from cherished landmarks of the heartland to a Death Valley trailer parked in shade to lessen the heat. Add thoughtful text from the likes of Barbara Kingsolver to Amy Tan, and Dawson's subject goes beyond buildings to celebrate the civic realm." - San Francisco Chronicle
"If you think all public libraries look pretty much the same, well, you need to take a look at this book. Oh, sure, there are plenty of grand ones, such as Philadelphia's own Central Library on the Parkway. But we also have the Fishtown Community Branch, featured in this volume, which used to be a firehouse and, before that, a stable. There's also the log cabin library in Cable, Wis. And many, many more, both grand and humble." - Philadelphia Inquirer
"For book lovers, library denizens, and fans of architecture or Americana, The Public Library is a delight." - The Christian Science Monitor
"Dawson's project makes a powerful case for how public libraries serve communities in every corner of the country." - The New Yorker's Page Turner blog
A photo-essay is a set or series of photographs that are made to create series of emotions in the viewer. A photo essay will often show pictures in deep emotional stages. Photo essays range from purely photographic works to photographs with captions or small comments to full text essays illustrated with photographs.
Examples of photo essays include:
- An article in a publication, sometimes a full page or a two-page spread
- A book or other complete publication.
- A web page or portion of a web site.
- A single montage or collage of photographic images, with text or other additions, intended to be viewed both as a whole and as individual photographs. Such a work may also fall in the category of mixed media.
- An art show which is staged at a particular time and location. Some such shows also fall into other categories category.
- In fashion publishing especially, a photo-editorial – an editorial-style article dominated by or entirely consisting of a series of thematic photographs
Photographers known for their photo-essays include:
Photo-essays moved from printed press to the net.