March 22, 2018

A Road Trip To Envy + Insight Into U.S. Public Libraries

Photographer Robert Dawson is approaching the tail end of a journey anyone bit by the library bug would envy. With his son, Walker, he’s driving across the country, just slowly enough to stop and document many public libraries along the way (with a kickstarter campaign to help pay the way).

This trip is the culmination of a long affection for public libraries that he’s explored through photography since 1994. As he goes he’s blogging extensively at Library Road Trip, with video entries by Nick Neumann, a friend who rode along for part of the trip.

If you want to see how libraries look now, look at his work. It’s not always pretty. Though many of the libraries shine with the pride of the communities they serve, others are clearly overcrowded and some are closed. Walker’s Flickr photostream from the trip provides added perspective.

Yesterday Dawson was in Pittsburgh, and he is heading North for the last leg. I’m going to keep following him every step of the way.

Here’s just a small taste of what Dawson has gathered from his trip so far:

Rebecca T. Miller About Rebecca T. Miller

Rebecca T. Miller ( is Editorial Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal.

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