Publishers Weekly, 2011-03-21 For 15 years the ALA's Kniffel (A Polish Son in the Motherland) edited American Libraries, the source for this pleasing compilation of speeches, essays, and interviews illustrating the importance of reading. The 14 contributors include Barack Obama, Laura Bush, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julie Andrews, Ken Burns, and Garrison Keillor. Oprah Winfrey recalls, "Getting my library card was like... American citizenship." Laura Bush discusses how her Foundation for America's Libraries helped Gulf Coast schools rebuild libraries destroyed by Katrina. Bill Gates says his $180 million investment in computerizing libraries has created synergy, "The people who came for the computers use the books. The people who came for the books use the computers." Recalling a government plan to use bookstore records to see who was reading what, David Mamet describes how a Vermont bookstore owner burned his files. "This, to me, was a profound and courageous statement, for when and if the government controls what we can read, America, as we have known it, is finished." Contributors offer lists of book recommendations for adults and children. 14 color photos. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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