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Events Archive: 2016-17

Open These Hallowed Doors: The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the American South


Although civil rights historians have evolved a rich literature that addresses the politics of racial discrimination in education, public accommodations, housing and labor, they have a shallow understanding of racial discrimination in public libraries. Wayne Wiegand, Ph.D., professor of library and information studies emeritus at Florida State University, follows court records and newspapers of young black resilience, energy and determination to desegregate Jim Crow–era public libraries. Open These Hallowed Doors, his latest book, documents their activities and brings to the present generation the largely untold story of their courage and resolve.

This event is free and open to all, but please register. Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad Street, West Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks. If special accommodations are needed, please contact the VCU Libraries Events Office, at (804) 828-0593.

About the Speaker

Wayne A. Wiegand, Ph.D., is a professor of library and information studies emeritus at Florida State University, co-founder and former director of the Florida Book Awards (2006–2013), the most comprehensive state book awards program in the United States. As author and editor of many books and over one hundred scholarly articles, he is often referred to as the "Dean of American library historians." In 2008–2009 he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow to support research on his book Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public Library. Open These Hallowed Doors, co-authored with Shirley A.Wiegand, Marquette University professor of law emerita, is forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press.

Image: Open These Hallowed Doors book cover, courtesy of Louisiana State University Press