Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > "It could have been bigger, but its residents like it as is": A Study of Small Town Libraries in Moore County, North Carolina

Large, urban institutions are well represented in American public library history, but the stories of libraries in small towns or in rural areas are not as well represented. During the twentieth century, local citizens in six small Moore County, North Carolina towns ("small" here defined as towns having less than five thousand residents) established and maintained local public libraries. Some of the libraries failed over time, some succeeded, but all of them went through a process of finding their place in their community and governmental environments, environments that were themselves changing with the times. Using newspaper articles, augmented with interviews and direct observation, this is a study of those libraries and the people who created them - in the context of their times and circumstances, and in the context of how they were and are viewed by the profession of librarianship.