New history book ”Good book, good library, good reading”

”Good book, good library, good reading”

Today at Memornetin and Association for Information Studies joint seminar Ilkka Mäkinen gave me a copy of a new book he, together with Aušra Navickienė, Magnus Torstensson, Martin Dyrbye and Tiiu Reimo have edited. It’s called Good book, good library, good reading–Studies in the history of the book, libraries and reading from the network HIBOLIRE and it’s friends (Tampere University Press, 2013, ISBN 978-951-44-9142-9).

The book is produced by HIBOLIRE, Nordic-Baltic Research Network on the History of the Book, Libraries and Reading. Here’s the table of contents:

  • Preface
  • Magnus Torstensson: Introduction
  • Good Book
    • Elisabeth S. Eide: The Nobleman, the VIcar and a Farmer Audience–Norwegian book history around 1800
    • Lis Byberg: What were cnsidered to be good books in the time of popular enlightenment? The View of philantropists compared to the view of a farmer
    • Auštra Navickienė: The development of the lithuanian book in the first half of the nineteenth century–A real development?
    • AIle Möldre: Good books at a reasonable cost–Mission of a good publisher: the case of Eesti Päeväleht book series
  • Good Library
    • Stefania Júliusdóttir: Reading societies in Iceland: Their foundation, role, and the destiny of their book collections
    • Martin Dyrbye: Early discussion on how to use film in the service of library promotion and the fist danish library film of 1922
    • Nan Dahlkild: The spirit of the place: Landmarks of scandinavian library architecture and design
    • Alistair Black: Buildings of hope: The design of public library buildings in the UK in the 1960s, with a case study of the scandinavian-inspired Holborn Central Library
  • Good Reading
    • Ilkka Mäkinen: Leselust, goût de la lecture, love of reading: Patterns in the discourse on reading in Europe  from 17th until the 19th century
    • Arvydas Pacevičius: Bad readers of a good library over 100 years ago in Vilnius: Vilnius Public Library diary in the context of public library movement in Lithuania

Of these, i’ve so far read the last one, about the Vilnius public library diary… since i’ve been there, and happen to have a special connection with VIlnius and Lithuania through our Cycling for libraries -unconference. The article tells about a diary of the public library of Vilnius from winter 1910-1911 that was discovered. It is not certain who was the author, but Aleksandr Yakovlevich Sergeyev is speculated. The diary is a 3-month commentary on the daily life in the library, as experienced by that librarian.

Fascinating stuff, and Arvydas interestingly brings the historical, political and sociological context together with the diary. The book Good book, good library, good reading includes several entries from the diary as well for us to see.

The author of the diary comments on numbers of visitors each day, what impact the weather has on their activity, what they do in the library, and what he/she thinks of the activities of the users. Makes me think of the Library day in the life -project, in which i’ve participated as well (thru this blog, and on Twitter). Having a diary is an absolutely awesome tool for reflection, that’s why we do them here at the University as part of our studies, and i’ve done it at work. A diary is documentation for the future, for oneself and for others.

Arvydas Pacevičius:

Arvydas Pacevičius: ”Bad Readers of a Good Library over 100 Years Ago in Vilnius: Vilnius Public Library Diary in the Context of Public Library Movement in Lithuania