Education: Needed: a System

It is nearly 300 years since a crotchety Boston artillery captain named Robert Keayne died and left his city money for a fine new building with "a convenient roome for a Library & a gallery or some other handsome roome for the Elders to meete in and conferr." That, in 1658, gave Boston the first public library in the U.S. Since then, U.S. communities have kept right on building, now have 7,408 of them. How well do they serve?

To find out, a special Public Library Inquiry, headed by onetime Bennington College President Robert D. Leigh, went to work three years ago...

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