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Through the ages, humanity has created, destroyed, rescued, neglected, discovered, stolen, and cherished librariesand no other institution so perfectly mirrors the human condition in any period of history. The Library tells the story of libraries and of the changing form and function of the book from era to era, whether clay tablets, parchment sheets, papyrus scrolls, glossy paper, recording tape, or silicone chips. At the heart of the story of libraries and books is the story of the reader, who also has changed from era to era. Profusely illustrated, Stuart Murrays comprehensive and fascinating study discusses the libraries of ancient Babylon, Greece, and Rome; the libraries of early China; medieval Islamic libraries; the Renaissance; the history of libraries in America from colonial times to the present; the effect of libraries in todays developing world; the modern cyberspace li-brary; and more. Published in cooperation with the American Library Association, with a foreword by noted bibliophile Nicholas Basbanes, The Library is a book to educate and fascinate, and there could be no better gift for a professional librarian or a serious book lover.

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