Not Your Mother’s Library: How America’s Public
Libraries are Reinventing
Themselves for the 21st Century
A journey of three years by small plane,
covering nearly 60,000 miles with visits to
dozens of towns suggests an America that
is energized, innovative, collaborative, and
determined to reinvent itself for the 21st
century. Deborah Fallows, with her husband,
the writer James Fallows, have been
reporting on the findings of this journey for The Atlantic magazine and
TheAtlantic.com. As part of their work, Dr. Fallows has visited the public
library in nearly every town where they spent time. She learned that
the libraries – and the librarians who run them – are vital to the civic,
educational, technological, and even economic life of the communities.
Deborah Fallows is a writer and a linguist. She has written extensively on language, education, families and work, China, and travel for The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, The LA Times, and The Washington Monthly. Her latest book, Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin lessons in Life, Love, and Language, is based on her recent three-year experience living and working in China. Dr. Fallows grew up outside Cleveland, in Vermilion, Ohio. She graduated from Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin. She and her husband, James Fallows, live in Washington, D.C. They have two married sons and four grandchildren.