August 18, 2016 Wayne Wiegand Appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar at John W. Kluge Center

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jason Steinhauer (202) 707-0213

Wayne A. Wiegand, a leading scholar of American public libraries and American book history, has been appointed a distinguished visiting scholar at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. His appointment begins in January 2017 and will conclude in early May.

Wiegand is the F. William Summers Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Studies and American Studies at Florida State University.

At the Kluge Center, Wiegand will research his current book project—a history of the American public-school library. The project incorporates five perspectives: the history of public-school education; the history of American librarianship; the social history of reading (including the history of print culture); the history of childhood; and the history of cultural institutions as places. While in residence, he will use the vast array of database services, particularly newspaper databases to which the Library of Congress subscribes, in order to unearth the voices of tens of thousands of public-school library users over the generations.

Wiegand was co-founding director of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and co-founder and former director of the Florida Book Awards, now the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. He taught in library schools at the University of Kentucky (1976-86), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987-2002) and Florida State University (2003-2010).

In addition to over one hundred scholarly articles, Wiegand is author of “Politics of an Emerging Profession: The American Library Association, 1876-1917” (1986), “‘An Active Instrument for Propaganda:’ American Public Libraries During World War I” (1989), “Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey” (1996) and “Main Street Public Library: Reading Spaces and Community Places in America’s Heartland, 1876-1956” (2011). For the academic year 2008-2009, he was on a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to write “‘Part of Our Lives:’ A People’s History of the American Public Library” (2015). He is the co-editor with Donald G. Davis Jr. of the “Encyclopedia of Library History” (1994).

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center visit

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PR 16-137
ISSN 0731-3527