The Emphasis is on organizations in the United States, where recently there has been renewed interest in educational reform, in literacy, and in the future of publishing. The assumption underlining this unusual directory is that a "com-munity of the book" does exist and that it can be mobilized to keep books and reading central in the life of Democratic societies.
The listings provide a richly detailed account of 89 major resource centers, providing names of directors, addresses, telephone numbers, and founding dates. In addition, each listing discusses the purposes of the organization, exam-ples of its activities, publications sponsored, and sources of fiscal support. In short, the volume is intended to serve as a national catalyst for stimulating public interest in books in particular and reading in general.
Cole provides a pellucid opening essay on the subject: "Is There a Community of the Book?" What is surprising is not his clear affirmative answer, so much as the closely argued historical and analytical study of how this community has been deepened through the conscious activities of The Library of Congress. The work concludes with a brief but valuable guide to other resources, ranging from publishing, broadcasting, bookselling, libraries, and book collecting and culture.