Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

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2018 Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame Inductees

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Three individuals have been selected by the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) Steering Committee to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2018.  They are:  Lucy E. Smith Morris (1850-1935) who advocated for the development of public libraries in Wisconsin beginning in the late 19th century; Helen Adams a retired school library media specialist who advocated for school library media service at the state and national levels for more than 50 years; and Robert (Bob) Bocher, retired Department of Public Instruction Library Technology Consultant, who promoted  the use of technology to improve library service to the public, emerging as a state and national leader in this field. Their formal induction will take place at the WLA Annual Conference in La Crosse, WI on October 25. They will join 60 other individuals who have been previously inducted into the Library Hall of Fame.  The Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame is a project of the WLHC, a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation (WLAF).  Induction into the Hall of Fame is granted to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the improvement of library service in Wisconsin and/or nationally.   
 
More about these individuals can be found by clicking on the following links:
 
 
 
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Robert (Bob) Bocher, 2018 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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bob bocherRobert (Bob) Bocher dedicated his career to the use of technology to improve library service to the public, emerging as a state and national leader in this field.  He worked for decades to improve resource sharing throughout the state and saw the proliferation of library system and multi-system shared integrated library systems which helped make Wisconsin number one nationally in public library resource sharing per capita.
Bocher championed the development of library systems’ wide area networks through his tireless work with BadgerNet, WiscNet, TEACH and the federal e-rate programs to help bring fast and affordable advanced telecommunications to Wisconsin schools and libraries, including those in small and rural communities. Through this work, Bocher became both a state and national e-rate expert.
   
During his career with Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and continuing on into retirement, Bocher lent his expertise to libraries nationally through his work with many information technology committees and as an ALA Fellow. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) which administers the federal E-rate program and the Universal Service Fund (USF).
Locally and statewide he was always available to answer questions and provide consultation with both library system and public library information technology projects. He always provided assistance with never ending patience and a smile. Bob Bocher actually gave a true and sincere meaning to the old cynical, bureaucratic line, “I’m from the State and I’m here to help.”

Helen Adams, 2018 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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adamsheadshot kq file-100An exceptional library media specialist and role model for more than 50 years, Helen Adams distinguished herself as a powerful intellectual freedom advocate, particularly for children and youth.  Her career began as a school district reading instructor and by 1973, she was a school librarian, retiring in 2004 from Rosholt School District (Wisconsin) as District Library Media Director and Technology Coordinator.
During those years, Helen’s Wisconsin leadership was evident.  She served on the Wisconsin Library Association Executive Board, 1984-85, and in 1985 she served as president of the Wisconsin School Library Media Association, a division of WLA. Helen received the Special Service award from the Wisconsin Educational Media Association (WEMA) in 1986 as well as its Award of Excellence in 1993.  She also served as WEMA president 1996–1998. 
Under her leadership, the library media program in Rosholt was recognized to be among the best, and Helen gladly shared her expertise in Wisconsin and beyond.  Helen participated in Department of Public Instruction (DPI) library division activities including conference presentations, long range planning development, and WISCAT (statewide union catalog of library holdings) contributions.  She provided in-service programs for CESAs (Cooperative Educational Service Agencies) serving numerous school districts as well as workshops/presentations for Wisconsin Public Library Systems. She also taught adjunct graduate courses in automation, technology, and policy development at UW Stevens Point and UW Stout.  After retiring, Helen continued to teach online graduate courses focusing on legal and ethical school library issues for Drexel University (2005), Mansfield (PA) University (2005-2015) and continues to teach one course per year for Antioch University-Seattle (2016-).
In addition to conference presentations at state and national levels, Helen published books and journal articles.  She co-authored Privacy in the 21st Century: Issues for Public, School, and Academic Libraries (Libraries Unlimited, 2005) with (fellow Hall of Fame inductee) Bob Bocher, Carol Gordon and Elizabeth Barry-Kessler. She also wrote three books including School Media Policy Development: A Practical Process for Small Districts (Libraries Unlimited, 1986), Ensuring Intellectual Freedom and Access to Information in the School Library Media Program (Libraries Unlimited, 2008) and Protecting Intellectual Freedom and Privacy in Your School Library (Libraries Unlimited, 2013).
 Helen distinguished herself at the national level as well.  She served on the Board of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) at various times between 1990 – 2003, and was AASL President 2001 – 2002.   In addition to volunteer work in AASL, she served as a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation (2011-2015) and multiple terms on the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, most recently serving as chairperson in 2017-2018.
Writing, teaching, and volunteering continue to be a large part of Helen's life.
Helen was born and raised in Wisconsin.  She received a bachelor’s degree in English/Art from UW – Oshkosh in 1966.  She received a master’s degree in Library Science from Western Michigan University in 1971, and a master’s degree in media technology from UW – Stout in 1981.  Post-graduate work was completed at UW – Stout, UW – Eau Claire, and UW – Stevens Point.  Helen was inducted into Beta Phi Mu, the international library science honor society, in 1971.
Helen is an outstanding role model and mentor.  She has been a dedicated intellectual freedom and privacy advocate throughout her distinguished career.  Helen has fulfilled the promise of Beta Phi Mu, which, by inducting her nearly 50 years ago, recognized her scholastic achievements and leadership potential.   

Lucy E. Smith Morris, 2018 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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lucy smith morris2-reducedLucy E. Smith Morris (1850-1935) was a native of Berlin, Wisconsin. She was a contemporary and colleague of charter Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame member Lutie Stearns. Lucy Morris advocated for the development of public libraries beginning in the late 19th century.  She worked to unite local women's clubs under the umbrella of the Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs.  At the group's first meeting in 1896, the group determined that the establishment of public libraries would be their top priority.  Within a year, over 100 free public libraries were established throughout Wisconsin.
Lucy Morris's efforts in promoting the expansion of public libraries resulted in her appointment as one of the founding members of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission.  Working closely with Lutie Stearns from 1897 to 1917, she supplemented the work of the Commission by recruiting volunteers from women's clubs throughout the state. She was active in the initiative to develop traveling libraries throughout the state and served as president of the Wisconsin Library Association for the 1899-1900 term of office.
Lucy Morris's contributions to libraries were recognized after her death by the Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs with the Lucy Morris Memorial Membership to the American Library Association. This honor was presented on May 15, 1936, during the Friends of the Library luncheon.

Lowell W. Wilson, 2017 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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Lowell W. Wilson was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells on October 19, 2017.  
l wilson-trustee-blog-72Lowell W. Wilson (1916-2015) contributed to advancing library service in Wisconsin as a library professional and library trustee for nearly 70 years. He was instrumental in forming statewide professional organizations for audio-visual professionals and served as president of the Wisconsin Audio-Visual Association from 1973-1976. In 1975, Lowell became active in WLA as a member of the division for trustees, chairing the group in 1991.  He remained an active member of WLA and other organizations until the end of his life.  He also served as a trustee of the Lakeshores Library System for nearly 30 years.   Wilson was selected as the 2007 WLA Library Trustee of the Year.  Around the same time, the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA) established the Lowell Wilson Scholarship for individuals wishing to pursue certification as a Library Media or Instructional Technology Specialist.
As a library trustee, Wilson was constantly learning and encouraging other trustees to participate in library association conferences and leadership opportunities. He has attended most, if not all, Library Legislative Days in Madison, and took his advocacy responsibilities very seriously. He was a consistent protector of intellectual freedom, adamantly opposed censorship and Internet filtering, while defending a library patron’s right to privacy and freedom of access to information.  He was described as a man in motion, always going forward.
  
Wilson retired in 1980 from the Janesville School District where he had taught Physics and was the Library Media Coordinator. In addition to his membership in professional organizations, Wilson was a pilot and member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He was born in Union Grove on Nov. 11, 1916, and died at his home in Whitewater on June 30, 2015 at the age of 98.

Sandra (Sandy) Friedman Dolnick, 2017 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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Sandy Dolnick was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells on October 19, 2017.  
dolnick-blog-72Sandra (Sandy) Friedman Dolnick (1936-2016), a Milwaukee native, became an extraordinarily effective advocate for libraries during the last quarter of the 20th century.  Her efforts started out unassumingly as a member of the Friends of the Whitefish Bay Public Library. She was actively involved in the Friends of Wisconsin Libraries (FOWL) which was founded on April 21, 1963. FOWL was dedicated to promoting the formation of local chapters in support of local libraries and to working on the state level to improve statewide library services.  FOWL later merged with the Wisconsin Library Association Trustees Division to form the Library Trustees & Friends Division.  Building on the friends of libraries experience in Wisconsin Dolnick proposed in 1975 the idea of uniting library friends groups throughout the United States with the publication of a newsletter to share best practices. At that time, she served on a Friends Committee within the Library Leadership and Management Association of the American Library Association (ALA).  With the assistance of ALA, she subsequently surveyed all known library friends groups in the U.S.  Her newsletter became so successful that it led to the founding of Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA) in 1979. Dolnick served as the executive director of FOLUSA for 23 years, during which time she established strong partnerships with publishers and corporate sponsors.  She retired as executive director in 2002.  In 2009 FOLUSA merged with the American Library Association and became United for Libraries: Association of Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. Dolnick was also a member of the Milwaukee Booksellers, now the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library, and served as its president.  
Sandra Friedman Dolnick was born Nov. 26, 1936 in Milwaukee. A first generation American, she was brought up with a strong work ethic and sense of community service. She attended Campus School, Riverside High School and the University of Wisconsin. In 1957 she married Lee Dolnick, a young media executive, and raised four daughters while volunteering for school and local library functions. She later remarried and relocated to Philadelphia, PA. She died on Dec. 11, 2016 at the age of 80.
This Hall of Fame entry has been adapted from an article in “The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle” dated Dec. 23, 2016.

Ruby Roeder, 2017 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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Ruby Roeder was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells on October 19, 2017.
ruby roeder-blog-72Ruby Roeder (1913-2017) was a highly respected member of the Wisconsin library community. A dedicated Library Director of the Williams Free Library in Beaver Dam, she always thought in terms of library cooperation and extending library service to the unserved.  She worked diligently for countywide service in Dodge County, and then for County membership in the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System.  She served on numerous District and Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) committees.  Roeder was twice elected an Officer on the WLA Board, serving a one-year term as Secretary in 1956-57, and a two-year term as Treasurer in 1976-77.
Roeder received a Bachelor of Education degree from Oshkosh State Teachers College in 1936, worked in Chicago, and taught at Thorp High School before assuming her library career.  She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Library Science from the University of Illinois School of Library Science in June 1947.  Roeder began work as Assistant Librarian at the Williams Free Library in Beaver Dam on July 14, 1947, and as Director on September 1, 1947.  She retired as Library Director in January 1979, and resided in Beaver Dam until her death in August 2017.
Her work toward extending library service began at the same time as her library career.  County librarians and trustees organized a Dodge County Library Association in September 1947 for the purpose of promoting better library service.  Upon the recommendation of a Library Study Committee, the Dodge County Library Service was established and began operation on July 1, 1964, with the Williams Free Library serving as headquarters and Ruby Roeder, Williams Free Library Director, serving as Administrator.  Roeder remained Administrator of the Dodge County Library Service until September 1970 when a full-time position of Dodge County Library Director was established.  Roeder continued to strive for improved library service for the people of Beaver Dam and Dodge County, and she championed membership in Wisconsin’s state funded public library systems. On January 1, 1975 Dodge County joined with the Fond du Lac County Library System to form the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System.
During Roeder’s working years, District Library Associations held Spring meetings around the state to keep librarians informed about modern library practices, the work of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, later the Division for Library Services, and the Wisconsin Library Association.  Ruby served as Chairman of the Second Congressional District Library Association in 1956.  The Second Congressional District Library Association evolved into the Capitol District Library Association, and Roeder served as Chairman in 1966 and 1973.  
Shortly after beginning her library career, Roeder became an active member of the Wisconsin Library Association.  She began her commitment to the Association as a member of the 1950 Membership Committee.  She went on to serve additional terms on the Membership Committee, as well as the Nominating Committee (member and chairman), Awards and Honors Committee, Committee on Work with Senior Citizens (member and chairman), Scholarship Committee, Adult Services Section (Vice-Chairman/Chairman-Elect and Chairman), National Library Week Committee, and Wisconsin Association of Public Librarians (Secretary-Treasurer).  Roeder was twice elected to a position on the Wisconsin Library Association Board, serving one year as Secretary and two years as Treasurer.  In 1956 total membership of WLA reached the 500 mark.  Roeder’s roll as Secretary in 1956-57 and the work of the Membership Committee were credited with helping to reach this mark. The 1959-60 WLA Committee on Work with Senior Citizens was chaired by Roeder and played a statewide role.  The Committee sent out a questionnaire to libraries called “How Do the Public Libraries of Wisconsin Serve the Aging?”  The results were tabulated and presented at the Third Governor’s Conference on Aging. The Conference was in preparation for a 1961 White House Conference on Aging.
Roeder’s unflagging leadership responsibilities in the Wisconsin Library Association span nearly three decades make her a welcome member of the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame.
This Hall of Fame entry in adapted from content provided by Pat Pawl.

John (Joe) J. Jax, 2017 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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John (Joe) J. Jax was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells on October 19, 2017.  
Joe JaxJohn (Joe) J. Jax made major contributions to academic librarianship in Wisconsin and to the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA).  As Director of the Library Learning Center and Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin – Stout for 32 years he was a leader on campus, in the academic community, and in WLA. He put the library at UW-Stout at the forefront of new technology, was a strong voice for the UW System, and a major player in the development of library cooperation and resource sharing both within the academic world and across all types of libraries.
 
During Jax’s tenure as director at the UW-Stout Library the first online catalog in the UW System was installed at the library amid opposition from those who wanted to retain the card catalog.  Jax was the lead planner for a new library building at UW-Stout, and became an ALA Registered, Certified Library Building Consultant. UW- Stout pioneered new technology for users with disabilities.  In addition to writing articles on the topic, Joe served as a reviewer of publications covering Adaptive Technologies for users (“Library Services for Students with Disabilities at the University of Wisconsin-Stout,” Journal of Academic Librarianship, July 1993).  He was well-known for nurturing his staff and supporting their involvement in WLA and other professional associations. The library was designated as WLA Library of the Year in 1983.
Jax served in leadership positions at every level of WLA including President (1982), WAAL Chairperson (1980), WLA Annual Conference Chairperson, and WLA Committee on Organization Chairperson. He served on the WLA Board during one of the most challenging periods – when school librarians split from WLA to form WEMA.  Jax was named WLA Librarian of the Year in 1986.
 
Other library leadership positions included serving as: Chairperson of the Council of Wisconsin Libraries (COWL); Chairperson of the Council of UW Libraries (CUWL); Wisconsin Delegate to the OCLC Users Council; and Wisconsin delegate to the White House Conference for Libraries in 1979.
Besides his work with libraries, Joe was an eleven year member of the UW-Stout men's basketball coaching staff and was inducted into the UW Stout Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.  He also served on the Menomonie City Council, including a stint as president.
Jax was born on June 17, 1935 in Cazenovia, WI. He received a B. A. degree from UW-LaCrosse in 1958, and a MS in Library Science at UW-Madison in 1959.  He is a life member of both WLA and ALA. 
This Hall of Fame entry was adapted from content provided by Kathy Schneider Michaelis.

Louise S. Robbins, 2017 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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Louise S. Robbins was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells on October 19, 2017.
 
louise-robbins-blog-72Louise S. Robbins has been a force in and for Wisconsin libraries since she became Assistant Professor and Faculty Administrator at the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies in 1991.  She joined SLIS after being a reading specialist, teacher, and librarian in Oklahoma where she also served as Ada, Oklahoma’s first woman council member and then mayor.  Her work in Oklahoma resulted in being named an Oklahoma “Library Legend” in 2007. In her initial capacity at SLIS she was director of the School’s Laboratory Library.  While at SLIS she built a distinguished record of teaching, service, and research along her way to becoming a full professor and serving as director of the School from 1997 to 2009.  Robbins’ record of activity made an exceptional contribution to Wisconsin libraries that did not stop with her retirement in 2011.  She remains active in the Wisconsin library community through her work with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and their effort to rebuild a community library as well as her work with the wider Tribal Libraries, Archives and Museums project and the IMLS funded “Convening Great Lake Culture Keepers,” projects she was instrumental in getting going.  
 
Louise Robbins has had an impact on library service at the state, national, and international level. As a library and information studies (LIS) educator as well as practitioner she has mentored many librarians in Wisconsin and beyond. At various times Robbins’ teaching load included the required field-practice, or practicum, course as well as the introductory course, meaning virtually every student who came through SLIS for many years had the opportunity to study with her. Besides her teaching/mentoring, Robbins was a force for the profession in Wisconsin by among other things: raising the profile of the School at the University; working on Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) committees; advocating for libraries at the local and state levels; contributing to a report in 2004 on Wisconsin library system organization; and was co-lead for an IMLS grant which provided scholarships and other support to increase diversity among students and the profession. Notably, WLA recognized Louise Robbins’ many contributions in 2001 with their Wisconsin Librarian of the Year award. 
 
Louise Robbins’ influence on library service goes well beyond the state.  She was actively involved with the Association for Library and Information Science Education, including being president in 2003 and 2004.  She was active in the American Library Association (ALA) and a member of the Committee on Accreditation, meaning she provided feedback to LIS programs in other places.  She was the external reviewer for numerous LIS faculty at other universities. And she was a member of the National Board for Beta Pi Mu, the librarian honor society which raises scholarship money and published a scholarly monograph series (for which she served as a member of the editorial board from 1996-2003). On the international level, she has consulted with librarians in Kazahkstan to help develop the Nazarbayev University Library and in China through her work with the Evergreen Education Foundation.    
 
Louise Robbins has made important and lasting contributions to the profession through her scholarship.  Robbins’ main research stream investigated the development of Intellectual Freedom as it contributes to the understanding of librarianship as a profession and the library as an institution. Her best known work is The Dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown: Civil Rights, Censorship, and the American Library, published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2000.  The book won several awards including the Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award of the Library History Round Table of ALA and a WILLA Award (named for Willa Cather).  She is author of several other books including Censorship and the American Library: The American Library Association’s response to Threats to Intellectual Freedom, 1939-1969, which was published by Greenwood Press in 1996.  In 1994 she published one of many articles in library publications titled “Loyalty Investigations in the Library of Congress: 1947-1956 : No ‘Communists or Cocksuckers’” in Library Quarterly.  The article helped launch the ALA conference program, “Hidden from History: Lesbigays in Libraryland” which led to a book edited by James Carmichael, Daring to Find Our Name: The Search for Lesbigay Library History that came out from Greenwood in 1998.  Robbins’ work was timely and part of the work which helped create a professional tide improving climate for GLBT users and employees.  Robbins’ research also contributed to LIS pedagogy through her “action research” on the laboratory library.  Along with her work with ALISE, she has contributed to the profession by influencing the notion of LIS education itself. 
 
Robbins received a B.A. with honors at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA in 1965; a M.Ed. from East Central University in Ada, OK in 1973; a M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX in 1984; and a Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX in 1991.
 
Robbins professional positions prior to coming to Wisconsin included serving as Assistant Professor and Librarian at Linscheid Library, East Central University, Ada, OK and Elementary School Library Media Specialist, Byng School, Ada, OK.
 
This Hall of Fame entry was adapted from content provided by Michele Besant.

Libraries and World War I

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April 6 marks the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I.  The American Library Association through its Library War Service was actively involved in providing books and magazines to the armed forces during the war.  Library service was provided through 41 camp library buildings and many more library stations.  Library service was also provided at military hospitals and in France and Germany. Wisconsin libraries actively cooperated with the American Library Association in its efforts to provide books for soldiers and sailors during World War I. This included participation in nationwide fundraising efforts. Matthew S. Dudgeon, Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission and a member of the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame, took a leave of absence to serve in the Library War Service. He was in charge of all camp libraries in the U. S., and later served in France. For the month of April the Middleton Public Library has an exhibit on display about ALA’s Library War Service (see photo above). Many organizations will be commemorating the U.S. involvement in WWI in the months ahead. The American Library Association Archives which has an outstanding collection of archival materials related to the Library War Service will be doing a number of things to commemorate ALA’s involvement in the war.  The Archives has already posted several outstanding articles on its blog. I have also written a number of articles about the Library War Service on The Library History Buff Blog. If you would be interested in hosting an exhibit at your library, contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

WLA Celebrates 125th in Milwaukee

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The Wisconsin Library Association will be celebrating its 125th anniversary when it holds its Annual Conference this week (Oct. 25-28) at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.  In addition to a full slate of regular programs there will be some special activities related to the 125th anniversary.
 
On Wednesday, October 26 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. there will be a 125th Anniversary Reception and WLA/WLAF membership meeting.
 
On Thursday, October 27 from 8:45 to 10:00 a.m. there will be a keynote address titled Free for All: Inside the Public Library by Dawn Logsdon and Lucie Faulknor of Serendipty Films on their film project of the same title. 
 
Also on Thursday from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. there will be a reception at the historic Central Library of the Milwaukee Public Library.  On display at the library will be a special exhibit of Wisconsin Library History Memorabilia. The exhibit continues through October 31st.
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Larry T. Nix, 2016 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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Larry T. Nix was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016.
 
 
larry-uu-2016b-72Larry T. Nix joined the Bureau of Public and Cooperative Library Services in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in 1980 as a public library administration and buildings consultant.  He became director of the bureau which later became the Public Library Development Team in 1983. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 2003.  In 1996-1997, he also served as the Assistant State Superintendent  for the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning in DPI.  As director of the Public Library Development Team he oversaw the administration of the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, the state public library system aid program, and the public library certification program.  He was involved in every aspect state level public library policy development in Wisconsin during this period. This included providing leadership for the development of Wisconsin public library standards and for significant improvements in Wisconsin public library law.  During his tenure on the Public Library Development Team he was a strong advocate for public library funding, library service to children, library services to special needs populations, and multi-type library cooperation.
 
Nix, a well respected and internationally known library history buff, conceived the idea for the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) and the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame. He chaired the steering committee that recommended the establishment of the WLHC under the auspices of the WLA Foundation in 2007.  He continued to chair the steering committee for the first six years of the Center’s existence.  Nix continues to be responsible for the content of the website and blog of the WLHC. He also originated the Library History Buff website and the Library History Buff Blog which has received national level recognition. 
 
After his retirement from DPI in 2003, Nix continued to work as a part-time independent library consultant and served for several months as acting director of the Southwest Wisconsin Library System. He served as WLA’s Legislative Advocate and as a member of the Library Development and Legislation Committee in 2004.  He served on the Board of the WLA Foundation from 2005 to 2007 when the Foundation successfully implemented the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries.  Nix is a member of the WLA 125th Anniversary Committee.  He has been a member of WLA since 1980 and is now a Life Member of WLA.
 
Nix was born in Maury County, Tennessee on November 7, 1943.  He received his B.A. degree from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN in 1965.  He received an M.S. in Library Science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1967.  He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1968-1969.  He was Director of the Clinch-Powell Library System in Clinton, TN; Associate Director of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County; and Director of the Greenville Public Library in Greenville, SC before coming to Wisconsin in 1980.   Nix has been a member of the American Library Association since l969 and a Continuing Member (honorary life member) since 2011. He served on numerous committees and boards of ALA including the boards of the Public Library Association and the Library Administration and Management Association. Nix is a Fellow of the Molesworth Institute, an organization that promotes library humor. He received the Edmund Lester Pearson Library Humor Award for 2009 from the Institute. Nix, a dedicated philatelist and collector of postal librariana, served as a Trustee of the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellfonte, PA from 2007-2013, and is a life member and Patron of the APRL. 
 
According to Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame member Peter Hamon, Nix “has always simply worked quietly and effectively, largely under the radar, to bring about important advancements in the library community.”

Irene W. Newman (1895 -2005), 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

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Irene W. Newman was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016
Irene Newman served the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for 43 years, first as the assistant supervisor of school libraries, and, after her appointment in 1937, as Wisconsin supervisor of school libraries, a position Irene held until her retirement in 1965. Under her leadership, libraries were established in the smaller high schools and at the elementary level. During this period, the place of libraries in a school was legalized and certified teacher librarians became compulsory. As supervisor, Newman served as secretary of the Wisconsin Reading Circle Board which directed the supplementary reading in the grades and professional reading for teachers. She served as president of the Wisconsin Library Association (1935-1936), a past treasurer of the Wisconsin Library School Association, and served on numerous committees on education and book selection, including the original committee for the Cooperative Children's Book Center.  Newman was a member of Sigma Kappa Social Sorority, from which she received a diamond anniversary certificate, and also the Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary International Educational Society, for many decades. Other memberships included the American Library Association, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and its Half Century Club, the State Historical Society, Dane County Red Cross, St. Martins Guild, St. Anne's Altar Society of Holy Redeemer Church, the Madison Catholic Woman's Club, the Catholic Daughters of America, and the Madison Area Retired Education Association. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1917 with a B.A. degree, and from the U.W. Library School (now the School of Library and Information Studies) in 1918. She was the oldest living U.W. alumna for several years prior to her death. After receiving her library degree she worked with the Minneapolis Public Library system, and then returned to Madison to join the Wisconsin Library Commission. A large donation was made to the WLA Foundation from her estate in 2005. 

Dianne McAfee Hopkins, 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

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Dianne McAfee Hopkins was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016.
hopkins-new-72Hopkins, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), has influenced the practice of librarianship, especially school librarianship, not only in Wisconsin, but nationally and even internationally. Following positions in Houston, Texas, and in Michigan, Hopkins began her contributions to Wisconsin libraries when she became the director of the Bureau for Instructional Media and Technology at the Department of Public Instruction in 1977, a position she held until she joined the faculty of SLIS in 1987 as its first African-American faculty member. While at SLIS she taught chiefly in the areas of school library media administration and intellectual freedom, influencing large numbers of librarians in Wisconsin and across the United States. 
Her highly cited research focuses on challenges to materials in school library media centers, including factors that influence the outcomes of those challenges. Regarded as an expert on intellectual freedom, she garnered a number of grants and awards for her research, was invited to present at many prestigious venues and served on numerous committees. Notable among those were ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and the President-elect’s advisory committee.  She assisted in the revision of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual. For the American Association of School Librarians her service was both broad and deep: She served on the Vision Committee for School Library Media Standards; chaired the Educators of School Library Media Specialists Section; and chaired the AASL White House Conference on Library and Information Services Implementation Committee, to name just a few. She was a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation and a member of the executive committee of its board of directors. Prof. Hopkins has also been a member of WLA’s School Libraries Division; Children and Young Adult Services and Education Sections; and its Intellectual Freedom Round Table.
In addition to her teaching and mentoring of masters and doctoral students, Prof. Hopkins had many service responsibilities.  From 1989 until her retirement, she represented the SLIS faculty on the board of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Among her other contributions, the most notable are those that promoted the diversity of the library profession. She was a member of the SLIS Diversity Task Force, the University Library System Diversity Committee, the faculty minority liaison to the College of Letters and Science, and SLIS’s Access and Accommodation coordinator. After her retirement in 2002 the School honored Prof. Hopkins for her exceptional leadership by establishing the Dianne McAfee Hopkins Diversity Award. This award is intended to recognize a student whose SLIS and extra-curricular activities carry on Prof. Hopkins commitment to a more diverse profession. 
Both Professor Hopkins’s work in school library media services—in which she had played a major role in setting standards and evaluating impact—and in intellectual freedom—in which she has provided effective methods for handling challenges and served as an expert consultant for the ACLU in such cases as the Olathe, KS, Annie on My Mind case—has had a major influence on the practice not only of school librarianship, on the ability of librarians in many situations to uphold their intellectual freedom values. Her articles remain important sources for students in LIS programs across the U.S. 
Hopkins was born in Houston, Texas on December 30, 1944. She earned her B.A. in elementary education from Fisk University, Nashville, in 1966; her M.S.L.S. in Library Service from Atlanta University in 1967; an Ed. S. in Librarianship at Western Michigan University in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison in 1981. 
Louise Robbins was the compiler of this Hall of Fame entry.
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  • Linda Braunschweig says #
    Dianne, It was a pleasure to see the award being presented to you at WLA. Your leadership in Wisconsin Public School libraries...
  • Sandra Martin Parham '76 says #
    Professor Hopkins, Congratulations! There are many of us who graduated from Fisk in various programs and went on to earn degrees i...
  • Mike Fletcher says #
    Well deserved Congratulations! Mike Fletcher

Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels (1934-2009) 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

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Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016.
Jerome (Jerry) DanielsDaniels was an outstanding academic librarian, providing leadership in the development of academic library service in Wisconsin.  From 1965 until his retirement in 1996, he worked at the Karrmann Library at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, serving as Director from 1970 until his retirement in 1996. At the Karrmann Library, he was especially interested in the application of computer technology to library services, and he was generous in sharing his experiences with his colleagues across the state.  The Wisconsin Library Association recognized the excellence of library service at the Karrmann Library in 1982 by naming it Library of the Year.  Daniels served on the UW System Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries for many years.
He had a solid record of leadership in WLA, contributing especially to the effective operation of the Association.  From 1970-1973, he served as Treasurer, working effectively to put WLA’s financial and membership records and processes on a businesslike basis.  In 1976, he chaired a special WLA committee to study the role of the Administrative Secretary.  In 1977, he was Chair of the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians.  Other WLA committee assignments included the Appointments Committee, Intellectual Freedom Committee, and Public Relations Committee.
Throughout his career, Daniels provided leadership in cooperation and resource sharing among libraries of all types.  In Southwest Wisconsin, he worked with the Southwest Wisconsin Association of Libraries, the Southwest Library System, and staff in CESA3 to develop programs for interlibrary cooperation and networking.  He was also a leader in library cooperation at the state level, serving as Chair of the Council of Wisconsin Libraries in 1974-75 and as a member of the Wisconsin Library Network Planning Steering Committee in 1981.
Daniels had important impact on library development in Wisconsin through his legislative activities.  Throughout his career, he was an active member of WLA’s legislative networks and action groups and could be counted on to contact legislators on issues for all types of libraries. At the time of the merger of the Wisconsin State Universities into the University of Wisconsin System in the early 1970s, he worked tirelessly, along with WLA’s Legislative Liaison, Wayne Bassett, to obtain statutory language that would protect the tenure-track faculty status of librarians at the former State Universities.  In 1977-78, he served on the Wisconsin Legislative Council Special Committee on Library Laws.
The community of Platteville benefited greatly from Daniels’ leadership and community service.  In 1974, he helped galvanize support for a new public library building.  A lasting tribute to his community service is the Rollo Jamison Museum.  Over many years, Mr. Jamison collected artifacts of southwest Wisconsin history.  When Mr. Jamison was no longer able to care for his collection, Daniels worked tirelessly to convince him to establish a formal museum and to convince the City of Platteville to accept the museum.  Daniels was a leader in forming the Jamison Museum Association, which is an important support group for the museum’s continuing activities.
Daniels was born on March 12, 1934, in Greensburg, PA, and died on January 2, 2009 in Platteville, WI.  He received his bachelor’s degree in radio and television production in 1957 and his master’s degree in library science in 1965, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
 
This Hall of Fame entry was written by Charles Bunge.
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  • Jim Ward says #
    In 1966, I was director of the computer center at Platteville State University. It was my privilege to work with Jerry and Paul M...

Jane K. Billings ((1916-2004) 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

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jane  bob billings-2-72Jane K. Billings was born in Watertown, Wisconsin, June 10, 1916 and died in Clintonville June 26, 2004.  She received a bachelor’s degree in library science in 1939 and an M.A. in library science in 1962 from the University of Wisconsin Library School.  She served as Librarian of the Clintonville Public Library from 1939 to 1949.  From 1949 until her retirement in 1982, she was high school librarian and later coordinator of library media services for Clintonville Public Schools.
Billings had an outstanding record of leadership in the Wisconsin Library Association, for which her colleagues in WLA recognized her by naming her Wisconsin Librarian of the Year in 1963.  She was President in 1947-49, after serving as Secretary in 1946-47.  She had a particular interest in library personnel issues, reflected in her service on the WLA Certification and Civil Service Committee in the 1940s, when WLA worked closely with the Free Library Commission on the certification of public librarians.  In 1958-60, she served on the WLA Professional and Personnel Problems Committee.  Billings contributed to WLA’s legislative program throughout her career, always to be counted on to contact legislators on behalf of library legislation.  In 1948, she represented WLA on the Joint Extension Committee with the Wisconsin Library Free Library Commission, which produced The Wisconsin-Wide Library Idea, an important basis for subsequent WLA legislative efforts.  In 1970 and 1971, she had influential roles in WLA’s work toward Wisconsin’s first public library systems law. In 1972-74, Jane served on the Library Development and Legislation Committee.  Other WLA committee work included the 1960-61 Special Committee on School Librarians’ Participation in WLA, which resulted in the establishment of the School Library Section of WLA.
The impact of Billings on the improvement of library service in Wisconsin was great, especially through her work on state-wide library development and interlibrary cooperation.  Starting with her work on the WLA/WFLC Joint Extension Committee in 1948, mentioned above, which promulgated foundational ideas that were implemented through public library systems in later decades, her work in this area continued into the 1970s with service on the Wisconsin Task Force on Interlibrary Cooperation and Resource Sharing.  In between, she served on the Division for Library Services Advisory Council on Library Development from 1965 to 1971 (chairing it in 1969-70) and was a member of the Wisconsin Legislative Council Advisory Committee on Library Laws Revision that wrote Wisconsin’s first public library systems law in 1970.  She was an active part of the legislative network that worked to get this law enacted.
Billings was an outstanding school librarian, and she was generous in sharing her knowledge with others.  She was a frequent presenter in conferences, workshops, and panels on school media center administration, standards, and materials selection.  She was a popular teacher in courses on services and materials for young adults at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library School in the 1960s and 1970s.
This Hall of Fame biography written by Charles Bunge.
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2016 Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame Selections

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The Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) has selected five individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2016.  They are Jane K. Billings, Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels, Dianne McAfee Hopkins, Irene W. Newman, and Larry T. Nix. These individuals will join fifty other members of the Hall of Fame. The inductions will take place on October 27, 2016 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Milwaukee.  The WLHC was established as a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation in 2007. The Hall of Fame, a part of the WLHC, inducted its first members in 2008. 
 
Jane K. Billings (1916-2004) served as Librarian of the Clintonville Public Library from 1939 to 1949, and from 1949 until her retirement in 1982 she was high school librarian and later coordinator of library media services for Clintonville Public Schools. She had an outstanding record of leadership in the Wisconsin Library Association, for which her colleagues in WLA recognized her by naming her Wisconsin Librarian of the Year in 1963.  She was President in 1947-49, after serving as Secretary in 1946-47.  
 
Jerry Daniels (1934-2009) worked at the Karrmann Library at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from 1965 to 1996, serving as Director from 1970 until his retirement in 1996. He was an outstanding academic librarian, providing leadership in the development of academic library service in Wisconsin.  He had a solid record of leadership in WLA, contributing especially to the effective operation of the Association.  From 1970-1973, he served as Treasurer and in 1976, he chaired a special WLA committee to study the role of the Administrative Secretary.  In 1977, he was Chair of the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians.
  
Dianne McAfee Hopkins, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), has influenced the practice of librarianship, especially school librarianship, not only in Wisconsin, but nationally and even internationally. Hopkins began her contributions to Wisconsin libraries when she became the director of the Bureau for Instructional Media and Technology at the Department of Public Instruction in 1977, a position she held until she joined the faculty of SLIS in 1987. She retired from SLIS in 2002 and in 2004 SLIS honored her for her exceptional leadership by establishing the Dianne McAfee Hopkins Diversity Award.
 
Irene Newman (1895-2005) served the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for 43 years, first as the assistant supervisor of school libraries, and, after her appointment in 1937, as Wisconsin supervisor of school libraries, a position she held until her retirement in 1965. Under her leadership, libraries were established in the smaller high schools and at the elementary level in Wisconsin. During this period, the place of libraries in a school was legalized and certified teacher librarians became compulsory.
 
Larry T. Nix joined the Bureau of Public and Cooperative Library Services in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in 1980 as a public library administration and buildings consultant.  He became director of the bureau which later became the Public Library Development Team in 1983. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 2003. After retirement he served as Legislative Advocate for WLA and on the Board of the WLA Foundation. He conceived the idea for the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) which was established under the auspices of the WLA Foundation in 2007. 
 
More information about these inductees will be forthcoming in later blog posts.
 
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  • Michele Farrell says #
    Congratulations to all!

WLA Pinback Buttons

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Pinback buttons have been used by libraries, library organizations, and library vendors for many years to promote a variety of library related events, programs, services and products. These buttons are great souvenirs and most librarians have at least a small collection. The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) has been among the organizations creating pinback buttons to promote its conferences and programs.  Below is a selection of these. More library button examples can be found HERE and HERE.
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The First Books-By-Mail Program in Wisconsin

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stamp-us-parcel-72Parcel post, the delivery of packages through the mail, began in the United States on January 1, 1913.  Libraries had long lobbied for a special rate for library materials sent through the mail, and in 1914 the postmaster general authorized the shipment of books at the parcel post rate. This decision opened up significant possibilities for library service to geographically remote populations.  One of the first librarians to realize the potential of parcel post and library service was Matthew S. Dudgeon, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC). Under Dudgeon's leadership the WFLC began implementing a system in which any resident of the state could request a book from the major libraries in Madison including the University of Wisconsin Library and the State Historical Society Library. There was little red tape involved. All that was required was a letter requesting a book along with the postage. Under the new postal rates a book could be sent anywhere within a 150 mile radius of Madison for an average of six cents and for greater distances for eight cents. Implementation of this system was facilitated by the fact that the President of the University of Wisconsin and the Secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society served on the WFLC board. An article about Dudgeon's parcel post system appeared in the December, 1915 issue of American Review of Reviews.
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The 1979 White House Conference on Library and Information Services

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The first White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIS) took place in Washington, D. C. on November 15-19, 1979.  Preceding WHCLIS each state in the nation held a pre-conference.  In September, 1978 148 delegates representing communities and institutions from around Wisconsin gathered in Madison for the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Library and Information Services.  The Governor’s Conference had been preceded by meetings of hundreds of citizens in ten areas of the state in June-July, 1978 to discuss their concerns and needs for library and information services. Four delegates selected at the Governor’s Conference represented Wisconsin at WHCLIS.  They were James White, La Crosse; Jenelle Elder, Milwaukee; Jan Coombs, Marshfield; and John J. Jax, Menomenee Falls. The delegates at WHCLIS passed 64 resolutions to improve the quality and access to library and information services.  A second WHCLIS took place in 1991.  It too was pre-ceded by state level conferences including one in Wisconsin that took place in Madison in February, 1991. 
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