A History of Books and Libraries

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: BL 112

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A book is a piece of physical memory; a library organizes the books. When humans started writing things down, they used many different materials to capture facts and ideas. Religion and business drove the need to create books as did a desire to make lovely things. From the shinbone of a wolf to beaten gold sheets to recycled rags to streaming electrons, books and libraries have been shaped by the cultures that created them.


  • Introduction: A Quiz About Books And Libraries
  • The Key Idea: Books and Libraries Parallel The History Of Humans, Their Tools, And Their Societies
  • What Defines A Book: Carrying Information Beyond One Voice
  • What Defines A Library: Organization
  • How Books and Libraries Impacted Civilization, And Vice Versa
  • The Gutenberg Book
  • The Virtual Book: A Return To The Campfire


  • Better appreciate the evolution of books and libraries.
  • Know how books and libraries helped promote changes in society.
  • Understand how the Internet and e-books fit into the history of libraries.

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