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The Public Library as an Agency for General Education


by Ralph A. Beals 1943

The organic acts under which our public libraries have been founded seldom formally identify them as a part of the public educational system of a state. The history of the American public library is nevertheless inseparably linked with the history of the American public school, and in recent years the two institutions have tended to become more, rather than less, alike. Beginning as agencies for the. common supply of books that literate adults of a community could not or would not buy for themselves, public libraries opened their doors first to youth and then to children; and they have broadened their services to include a wide range of interpretive activities, including instruction.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 42, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 44 Number 10, 1943, p. 99-112
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 20436, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 1:06:14 AM

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About the Author
  • Ralph Beals
    University of Chicago
    E-mail Author
    RALPH A. BEALS is the Director of Libraries at the University of Chicago.
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