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.

2011 Library Hall of Fame Selections

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The Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center, a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation, has selected seven individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame (WLHF) in 2011. They are Norman D. Bassett (1891-1980), Orilla Thompson Blackshear (1904-1994), Daniel Steele Durrie (1819-1892), Gilson G. Glasier (1873-1972), Ginny Moore Kruse (1934- ), Walter Mcmynn Smith (1869 – 1938), and Ella T. Veslak (1897-1996). Their induction into the WLHF will take place during the Awards & Honors Banquet at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Milwaukee on November 3. These seven inductees will join twenty-two other individuals who have previously been inducted into the WLHF.


Norman Bassett became the owner and first president of Demco Library Supplies, Inc. (now DEMCO) in 1931. He served in that capacity until 1959. A hallmark of Bassett’s leadership of one of the nation’s premier library supply companies was his close relationship with the library community and his commitment to helping libraries carry out their mission more effectively. Bassett was an active member of both the Wisconsin Library Association and the American Library Association. He was Chair of WLA’s Scholarship Committee.


Orrilla Blackshear was a public library leader and a major promoter of Wisconsin’s literary heritage. She served as President of the Wisconsin Library Association in 1960-61 and was designated as WLA Librarian of the Year in 1962. She held important administrative positions at the Wisconsin Free Library Commission and the Madison Public Library. She was the compiler of Wisconsin Authors and Their Books 1836-1975 published in 1976 which was a landmark literary publication.


Daniel Durrie served as librarian of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (now the Wisconsin Historical Society) from 1856 until his death in 1892. Durrie is considered one of the founders of the Historical Society. He along with the first Secretary of the Historical Society, Lyman C. Draper (Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame inductee), established the foundation of one of America's great historical libraries. Durrie played a major role in indexing and organizing the Society's collection.


Gilson G. Glasier served as Wisconsin’s state law librarian from 1906 to 1956.  During this period the Wisconsin State Law Library (formerly the Wisconsin State Library) grew from 30,000 volumes to 125,000 volumes and was ranked as one of the best law libraries in the country. Glasier was one of the founders of the American Association of Law Libraries and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2010.


Ginny Moore Kruse, Director Emerita of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, served as director of the CCBC from 1976 to 2002. In that capacity she was a state and national champion of quality library literature for children and of intellectual freedom. While Director she founded the CCBC Intellectual Freedom Information Services.  She is an advocate for children’s literature that reflects the multi-cultural nature of our society.


Walter Smith became the first full time head librarian of the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1891and served in that capacity until 1937. During his tenure the library grew from a staff of one to a staff of 35 and the library increased its holdings from 18,000 to 475,000 volumes. He oversaw the move of the library from Library Hall to the new building of the Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1900 where it shared space with the Society’s library.


Ella Veslak was a leader in the development of county library service in Wisconsin. She began serving as Director of the Shawano Public Library in 1926 and served as Director of the Shawano County Library starting in 1934. She was a proponent of bookmobile service and participated in the first demonstration of bookmobile service in Wisconsin. She served as a citizen member of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission in 1946-1948, and joined the WFLC staff in 1948. She received the Citation of Merit from the Wisconsin Library Association in 1960.


More extensive coverage of the accomplishments of these seven individuals will be forthcoming in later posts to the WLHC website.


Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame 2011 Nominations

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The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee is accepting nominations for individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2011. Nominations must be submitted by August 15, 2011. Procedures and a nomination form are located HERE. Both the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center and the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame are programs of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation. Induction into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame is granted to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the statewide improvement of library service in Wisconsin over a sustained period of time.  Individuals who have worked in and/or advocated for Wisconsin libraries will be considered.  Both living and deceased individuals will be considered. Final selection of inductees into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame will be made by the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee. Nominations should be submitted to Larry T. Nix (Chair of the WLHC Steering Committee) as email attachments at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by August 15.  For additonal information please feel free to contact Larry T. Nix.

Awards and Honors Banquet 2010

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potter-hof-acceptance-72.jpgThe Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee appreciates the opportunity to induct new people into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame as part of the Awards and Honors Banquet at the WLA Annual Conference. This year in Wisconsin Dells on November 4 was the third time that the WLHC has inducted multiple individuals into the Hall of Fame during the Awards and Honors Banquet.  The Wisconsin Library Association Board and the WLA Awards and Honors Committee have been extremely gracious in allowing the inductions to take place at this important event at the WLA Conference. The Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame is a logical extension of the recognition which is given annually to those who have made an important contribution to the improvement of library services in Wisconsin. Both the Awards and Honors Banquet and the Library Hall of Fame are made possible by the support of the WLA Foundation which is a major reason for supporting the Foundation with a contribution. Cal Potter is shown here giving his acceptance speech for his induction into the Library Hall of Fame.  Wayne Bassett, H. Vail Deale, Leah Gruber, and Julia Wright Merrill were all inducted posthumously. Information about all five inductees can be found HERE. I find the Awards and Honors Banquet to be one of the most uplifting events of the year. It always makes me proud to be a part of the Wisconsin library community. Information about this year's recipients and previous award winners can be found HERE.

Calvin (Cal) Potter (1945- )

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potter-recent-72.jpgCalvin (Cal) Potter was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on November 4 at the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) Conference in Wisconsin Dells. Potter was a consistent and effective legislative supporter for Wisconsin libraries of all types during his 23 year career as a member of the State legislature and during his almost five years of service as Assistant State Superintendent, Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning (DLTCL). Potter was a member of the Wisconsin Assembly from 1975-90 and a member of the Senate from January 1991 to May 1998. He served on the Assembly Education Committee and the Senate Education Committee and served as Chair of both committees. He served as Chair of the 1977 Legislative Council Committee on Library Laws which resulted in major revision to state legislation on libraries. He also served as Chair of the Legislative Council Committee on Public Libraries (1997) which resulted in favorable changes to library public library legislation. Potter was a delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Science. Potter served as Assistant State Superintendent and administrator of DLTCL from May, 1998 to January, 2003. During this period extensive technology planning and implementation took place for both public and school libraries. The transition from federal to state funding for BadgerLink also took place during this period. He chaired the State Superintendent's Task Force on Public Library Funding and Legislation. For his advocacy for libraries, Potter received WLA’s Citation of Merit in 1981 and again in 1985. Based on nominations from WLA and the Wisconsin Educational Media Association, Potter was selected in 2000 for the American Library Association's National Advocacy Honor Roll which included those individuals and organizations who had most actively advocated for libraries in the United States over the last 100 years. Potter is currently a member of the Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND). 
 
Potter was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Lakeland College and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. He taught Social Studies at Plymouth High School (1968-1975) before his legislative career. In May 1998, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Lakeland College in "recognition of his many contributions to quality education as a State Senator and State Representative". He has received more than 50 other awards for his legislative efforts in behalf of education, libraries, and environmental protection. He is listed in the Dictionary of Wisconsin History
 
Potter and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Potter, a former instructor at Silver Lake College, currently reside in the Town of Sheboygan Falls.

Julia Wright Merrill (1881-1961)

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merrill2-72.jpgJulia Wright Merrill was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on November 4 at the WLA Conference in Wisconsin Dells. Merrill worked for the Wisconsin Free Library Commission on two occasions. From 1903 to 1906 she taught in the WFLC’s library school during the summer and served as a field agent the rest of the year.  She also served as a field agent and instructed part time at the library school from 1917 to 1922.  From 1925 to 1946 she worked at the American Library Association serving in a variety of capacities. She was the first Executive Secretary of the Public Library Association of ALA.  She was a national leader in the extension of public library service. She is included in the Dictionary of American Library Biography, a highly selective compilation of those who have made the greatest contribution to library development in the United States.  Merrill has also been inducted into the Ohio Library Hall of Fame (1975).  Joyce Latham, Assistant Professor, UW-Milwaukee will be presented a program at the WLA Conference in Wisconsin Dells on November 5 entitled “’Circuit Rider’: Julia Wright Merrill and Public Library Extensi0n, 1926 -1944”.  Latham writes about Merrill: “She had a reputation as a quiet but committed advocate for libraries, was well-liked and well respected, but was consistently overshadowed by Carl Milam, the executive secretary of the association.  Given the financial limitations on the ALA during this time, she often functioned as his number two, serving as the Acting Executive Secretary while he was away. However, the lists of great women in librarianship fail to include her and her listing in the Dictionary of American Library Biography is minimal. Hopefully, induction into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame will provide greater exposure to the contributions to this public library extension pioneer.

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  • Kathleen McCook says #
    Yes, "Hopefully, induction into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame will provide greater exposure to the contributions to this publ...
  • Larry Nix says #
    Thanks Kathleen.

Leah D. Gruber (1906-1996)

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Leah GruberLeah D. Gruber was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on November 4, 2010 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Wisconsin Dells. Gruber made a significant contribution to public library service in Wisconsin as a library trustee. She served on the Prairie du Sac Public Library Board from 1940 to 1988 during which she served several terms as President of the Board. She also served on the Sauk County Library Board from 1975 until 1983. As President of the Sauk County Library Board, she was instrumental in organizing the South Central Library System  and was a member of the SCLS Board from its founding in 1975 until 1983. Gruber served as President of the Wisconsin Library Trustee Association in 1973 and 1974. She was honored as WLA’s trustee of the year in 1968 and was again selected for this honor in 1976. Gruber was on the Board of the Wisconsin Library Trustee Association when it became a division of the Wisconsin Library Association. Gruber was born in 1906 in Fort Monroe, Virginia.  She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1927 with a bachelor's degree in English and Library Science.  She worked at the Fond du Lac Public Library and at the Legislative Reference Library in Madison. After marriage and a move to Prairie du Sac in 1939 she served as a volunteer cataloging books at several libraries in the area. Gruber received a special commendation from the University of Wisconsin System in 1974.

 

H. Vail Deale (1915-2004)

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H. Vail DealeH. Vail Deale was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on November 4, 2010 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Wisconsin Dells.  Deale served as Director of Libraries and Chair, Department of Library Science at Beloit College from to 1953 to 1980. A highlight of his career at Beloit was the planning and completion of the Colonel Robert H. Morse Library in 1962 which resulted in the library being designated as WLA’s 1962 Library of the Year, the first academic library to receive this honor.  Deale was a member of the 1954-55 Steering Committee that helped establish the Wisconsin Association of Academic Libraries in the Wisconsin Library Association and served as its first chair in 1955-56.  Deale served as President of the Wisconsin Library Association in 1960-61.  He served a six year term on the Governor's Council on Library Development.  He was a life member of the American Library Association and served as chair of the ALA International Relations Committee (1957-77); chair of the ACRL College Section (1961-62); chair of the ACRL Grants Committee (1967-70); and a member of the ACRL Standards Committee.

 

Wayne Bassett (1915-1988)

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Wayne Bassett was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on November 4, 2010 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Wisconsin Dells. He served as Director of the Wausau Public Library from 1965 to 1974.  When the Wausau Public Library merged with the Marathon County Library in 1974 to become the Marathon County Public Library, he served as Director of the merged library until his retirement in 1983. Concurrently (1965-1983), he served as the Director of what is now the Wisconsin Valley Library Service. Serving as the Wisconsin Library Association’s first Legislative Advocate from 1971 to 1979 he played an important role in the enactment of Wisconsin’s public library system law. Bassett received WLA’s Special Service Award in 1971 and served as President of WLA in 1976. He was named WLA’s Librarian of the Year in 1979.  His life and service to the Wisconsin library community were recognized with a WLA Special Memorial Citation in 1988.


Under his leadership, the Wausau Public Library was named as WLA’s Library of the year in 1965. Bassett was instrumental in the establishment of the System and Resource Library Administrators’ Association of Wisconsin. He served as leader and/or member of numerous WLA and other statewide committees including the Library Development and Legislation Committee; the Library Services and Construction Act Review Committee; and the Legislative Council’s Special Committee on Library Laws.  He was a member of the American Library Association.


Prior to coming to Wausau, Bassett graduated from the University of Minnesota (UM) with degrees in Political Science and Public Administration. He served in the U.S. Army in France during WWII.  Returning home, he earned a library science degree from UM. After beginning his library career at the Fond du Lac (WI) Public Library, he served as the Director of the Worthington (MN) City Library, later the Nobles County Library, from 1949 to 1965. From 1954 to 1962 Bassett served in the Minnesota House of Representatives.  


2010 Library Hall of Fame Selections

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The Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center, a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation, has selected five individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2010.  They are Wayne Bassett (1915-1988), H. Vail Deale (1915-2004), Leah Gruber (1907-1996), Julia Wright Merrill (1881-1961), and Calvin Potter (1945- ).  The inductions will take place on November 4, 2010 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Wisconsin Dells.  Wayne Bassett served as Director of the Wausau Public Library, later merged into the Marathon County Public Library, and the Wisconsin Valley Library Service.  He served as the Legislative Advocate for WLA and as its President in 1976. H. Vail Deale was the former Director of Libraries at Beloit College.  He was a member of the 1954-55 Steering Committee that helped establish the Wisconsin Association of Academic Libraries (WAAL) in WLA and served as its first chair in 1955-56.  Deale served as President of the WLA in 1960-61.  Leah Gruber served as a trustee on the Prairie du Sac Library Board for 48 years. She also served on the boards of the Sauk County Library and the South Central Library System.  Leah served as President of the Wisconsin Library Trustee Association in 1973 and 1974.  She was honored as WLA’s trustee of the year in 1968 and was again selected for this honor in 1976.  Julia Wright Merrill worked for the Wisconsin Free Library Commission on two occasions, from 1903 to 1906 and again from 1917 to 1922. She taught in the WFLC’s library school and served as a field agent promoting public library service throughout the state. She was a national leader in public library extension and served as the first Executive Secretary of the Public Library Association of the American Library Association.  Calvin (Cal) Potter’s was a consistent and effective legislative supporter for Wisconsin libraries of all types during his 23 year career as a member of the State legislature and during his four and a half years service as Assistant State Superintendent, Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning.  For his advocacy for libraries, Potter received WLA’s Citation of Merit in 1981 and again in 1985.  More extensive coverage of the accomplishments of these five individuals will be forthcoming in later posts to the WLHC website.


 


Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame 2010 Nominations

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The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee is accepting nominations for individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2010. Nominations must be submitted by August 9, 2010. Procedures and a nomination form are located HERE. Both the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center and the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame are programs of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation. Induction into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame is granted to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the statewide improvement of library service in Wisconsin over a sustained period of time.  Individuals who have worked in and/or advocated for Wisconsin libraries will be considered.  Both living and deceased individuals will be considered. Final selection of inductees into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame will be made by the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee. Nominations should be submitted to Larry T. Nix (Chair of the WLHC Steering Committee) as email attachments at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by August 9.  For additonal information please feel free to contact Larry T. Nix.

Klas August Linderfelt (1847-1900)

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Klas LinderfeltKlas August Linderfelt was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Appleton on October 22, 2009. Linderfelt served as the Director of the Milwaukee Public Library from 1880 to 1892. The construction of the new public library and museum building in Milwaukee in 1897 was due largely to Linderfelt’s initial planning efforts. He was one of the founders of the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and was elected its first president in 1891. Linderfelt was an authority on library charging/circulation systems and he implemented an innovative charging system at the Milwaukee Public Library.  He was also an authority on library cataloging and was the author of Eclectic Card Catalog Rules which was published in 1890. Linderfelt was active in the American Library Association (ALA) and served as a councilor from 1883 to 1891. He played a major role in the local arrangements for the ALA Conference which took place in Milwaukee in 1886. In 1890 he was elected vice-president of ALA and in 1891 he was elected president.

In 1892 Linderfelt was arrested in Milwaukee for embezzlement. At his trial he was found guilty, but his sentence was suspended. Under the threat of additional charges, he fled to Europe where he spent the rest of his life. As a result of Linderfelt’s conviction for embezzlement, ALA expunged his election from their official records. Linderfelt resigned as President of the Wisconsin Library Association leaving the Association leaderless. As a result WLA held no annual conferences in either 1892 or 1893. Linderfelt was born in Sweden in 1847.  He received a doctorate from Upsala University in Sweden.  In 1870 he immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He died in 1900.  He is listed in the Dictionary of American Library Biography.

There is an informal group of the past presidents of the Wisconsin Library Association that holds a breakfast meeting on the Wednesday morning of the Association's annual conference. An urn with ashes (not human) was created to represent Klas in absentia. The newest past president takes custody of the urn after the meeting and keeps it until the next meeting.

 

Margaret Ellen Monroe (1914-2004)

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monroe2.jpgMargaret E. Monroe was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Appleton on October 22, 2009. Monroe served as Professor and Director of the Library School (now the School of Library and Information Studies) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison from 1963 until 1970. In 1970 she returned to full time teaching at the library school. She retired as Professor Emeritus in 1981. Monroe was a national leader in adult services in libraries and in 1985 the American Library Association (ALA) created the Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to library adult services. While Monroe was Director of the UW Library School, it initiated the Ph. D degree and an Advanced Studies Certificate. Major outside funding was received by the Library School for research on library services to adults. She was active in the Wisconsin Library Association and served as chair of the Wisconsin Public Library Association and the Intellectual Freedom Committee. She served on the Council of ALA and was a president of the Adult Services Division of ALA. She served as president of the Association of American Library Schools and was chair of the Committee on Accreditation of ALA. In 1972 she received the Award for Distinguished Service to Education for Librarianship.
 
Monroe was born in New York City. She received a bachelor’s degree in English and a bachelor’s degree in librarianship from New York State College in Albany. She received a master’s degree in English and a doctorate from Columbia University. She served in various capacities at the New York Public Library for thirteen years. She was on the faculty of the Graduate School of Library Science at Rutgers University before coming to Madison, Wisconsin. She died in Madison on May 21, 2004.

Matthew Simpson Dudgeon (1871-1949)

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dudgeon.jpgMatthew S. Dudgeon was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Appleton on October 22, 2009. Dudgeon served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC) from 1909 until 1920. He implemented an innovative books by mail program in 1914 under new parcel post regulations of the Post Office Department. Dudgeon played an active role in the Library War Service of the American Library Association in World War I. He took a leave of absence from the WFLC to serve as director of domestic camp libraries for the Library War Service. In 1920 he was appointed director of the Milwaukee Public Library, a position he held for 21 years. Dudgeon served as President of the Wisconsin Library Association in 1921-1922. Prior to his library career he was an attorney and was elected to the office of district attorney for Dane County in 1898 and re-elected in 1900. He was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1902. Dudgeon was born on June 15, 1871 in Madison, Wisconsin. He is included in the Dictionary of American Library Biography and the Wisconsin Dictionary of History.

Sarah Janice Kee (1908 -1998)

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kee-72.jpgS. Janice Kee was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Appleton on October 22, 2009. Kee served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission 1956-1965. She provided the leadership for significant statewide planning during this period and for the implementation of the federal Library Services Act. This planning served as the foundation for Wisconsin’s public library systems. She received WLA's Special Service Award in 1965. Previously she was Executive Director of the Public Library Association of the American Library Association (1952-1956) and held a number of posts at the Missouri State Library including Acting State Librarian and Assistant State Librarian (1947-1950). She was an Army librarian during World War II. After her work in Wisconsin she taught at the Library School Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia and then became a Library Services Program Officer for the U.S. Dept. of Education in Dallas, Texas where she retired. She was included in the National Advocacy Honor Roll by the American Library Association in 2000 for her contribution as an advocate for library services in the 20th century.
 

Charles A. Bunge (1936 - )

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bunge.jpgCharles A. Bunge was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Appleton on October 22, 2009. Bunge is Professor Emeritus in the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He became part of the SLIS faculty in 1967 after receiving his Ph.D at the University of Illinois. He served as director of the library school from 1971 to 1981. He returned to full-time teaching in 1981 and continued teaching until his retirement in 1997. Bunge has contributed significantly to the improvement of reference service in libraries Wisconsin and the nation through teaching and writing. Bunge was active and played a leadership role in the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA). He served as Chair of WLA’s Library Development and Legislation Committee in 1969-70 which made a significant contribution to advancing library legislation which resulted in the creation of public library systems in 1971. Bunge served as president of WLA in 1972-73. He was selected as WLA Librarian of the Year in 1983. Bunge was also active in the American Library Association (ALA). He chaired the Committee on Accreditation from 1990 and 1992. He was nominated as a candidate for the presidency of ALA in 1990 and 1993. Bunge was awarded ALA’s Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award in 1983 for distinguished contributions to reference librarianship. Bunge served as president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) in 1980-1981. ALISE presented Bunge with its Professional Contributions to Library and Information Science Education award in 1982. He also received the UMI Excellence in Writing award in 1982. Bunge was born in Kimball, Nebraska on March 18, 1936. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1959, a master’s degree in library science from the University of Illinois in 1960, and a Ph.D from the University of Illinois in 1967. He worked as a reference librarian at the Daniel Boone Regional Library System in Columbia, Missouri and at Ball State Teachers College Library in Indiana.
 

 

2009 Hall of Fame Inductees

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The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee has selected seven individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2009. The induction ceremony will take place at the Awards Banquet on October 22 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Appleton. The seven inductees are Charles A. Bunge (1936- ), Matthew Simpson Dudgeon (1871-1949), Sarah Janice Kee (1908 -1998), Henry Eduard Legler (1861-1917), Klas August Linderfelt (1847-1900), Charles R. McCarthy (1873-1921), and Margaret Ellen Monroe (1914-2004).  Bunge will be the first living individual to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Brief biographical information about the 2009 inductees is located on the Hall of Fame page of this website. Lengthier biographies can be seen by clicking on the names of the inductees above. The first ten individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008. The Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame is a project of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center which is in turn a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation.

Henry Eduard Legler 1861-1917

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legler-ideals-72.jpgHenry E. Legler was inducted into the Wisconsin Library of Fame on October 22, 2009. He served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC) from 1904 to 1909. During his  tenure in that capacity he left an important legacy to the state's libraries. He established the Wisconsin Library Bulletin in 1905 which played a major role in conveying information and knowledge to the Wisconsin library community. Under his leadership the library school which later became the School of Library and Information Studies of the University of Wisconsin - Madison was founded as part of the WFLC. He continued the  public library development of his predecessor Frank A. Hutchins and the expansion of the traveling library system. While Secretary of the WFLC he also served without salary as the first secretary of the University of Wisconsin Extension Division. He became actively involved in the national library activities and was elected as the first chair of the League of Library Commissions in 1905. Building on booklists established by the WFLC, he founded the Booklist of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1904 and served as its editor until 1916. He was a member and chair of the ALA Publishing Board. He served as ALA President in 1912-13. After leaving Wisconsin in 1909 he became Director of the Chicago Public Library, a post he served in until his death in 1917. Legler was instrumental in the relocation of the headquarters of the American Library Association from Boston to Chicago in 1909.  Legler was born in Palermo, Sicily on February 22, 1861. His family immigrated to the United States where they settled in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 1873. After completing his education in La Crosse, he worked as a newspaper reporter in both La Crosse and Milwaukee. He served for one term as a member of the Wisconsin Assembly in 1888-1890. He became Secretary of the Milwaukee Board of Education (superintendent of schools) in 1890. Legler wrote several books including Library Ideals which was edited by his son and published in 1918 after his death.

A report of Legler's resignation from the WLHC is included in the Wisconsin Library Bulletin issue of Sept.-Oct. 1909. A report of his death appears in the October 1917 issue of the Wisconsin Library Bulletin. Legler is included in the Dictionary of American Library Biography and the Wisconsin Dictionary of History.  He was also one of eighteen library leaders included in the publication Pioneering Leaders in Librarianship (ALA, 1953). He is also included in Wisconsin Authors and Their Works by Charles Rounds (1918).

 

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  • Eric novotny says #
    great to see Legler inducted into the Wisconsin library of Fame - I've been looking at his contributions to the Chicago Public Lib...
  • Larry Nix says #
    Eric, thanks for your comments. I have corrected the date typo.

Hall of Fame Nominations Sought

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The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee invites your nominations for the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame for 2009. Nominations are due by August 10, 2009. In 2008 the first group of individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame. They are indicative of the kind of individuals which the WLHC Steering Committee feels should be included in the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame.

This will be the first year that living individuals will be considered for the Hall of Fame. In lieu of multiple testimonials, the WLHC Steering Committee seeks documentation and supporting information of :
1) An individual's record of leadership in the Wisconsin Library Association and/or other statewide library organizations/institutions.
2) The overall importance and impact of an individual's contribution to the improvement of library service in Wisconsin.
3) An individual's contributions to the improvement of library service at the national level.
Once an individual has been nominated, he or she will continue to be considered in future years even if not selected for induction in 2009.

Induction of those individuals selected for 2009 will take place at the WLA Awards Banquet at the WLA Conference on October 22.

Please send your completed nomination forms (or questions about the process) to Larry T. Nix, Chair, Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee, 608-836-5616, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Muriel Laura Fuller (1912-1978)

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fuller-72-b.jpgMuriel Laura Fuller was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2008.  Fuller served as Assistant Librarian at the La Crosse Public Library from 1943 to 1947 after receiving her B.L.S from the University of Wisconsin Library School. She became Librarian in 1947 and continued in that position until 1953. She was active in statewide library planning and legislative matters within the Wisconsin Library Association serving as Chair of the WLA’s Statewide Committee for a number of years.  In 1952 she took a leave of absence from the La Crosse Public Library to direct WLA’s legislative campaign.  Fuller was a leader in continuing education for librarianship.  After working for the State Library of Michigan from 1953 to 1962, she joined the faculty of the UW-Madison Library School in 1962 moving from lecturer to the rank of full professor in the next 15 years. In 1963 and continuing until her retirement in 1977 she held a joint appointment as Chairperson of the Department of Library Science in University of Wisconsin Extension. She served as President of WLA in 1968-1969. She received WLA's Citation of Merit award in 1972.  Fuller drowned on June 17, 1978 in a freak boating accident on Lake Pomona in Kansas while teaching at summer school at Emporia State University’s Library School.  The Muriel Fuller award was established by WLA in her honor in 1991. She was selected for inclusion on the National Advocacy Honor Roll  by the American Library Association in 2000 for her contribution as an advocate for library services in the 20th century. The image is used with permission of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies.

Elizabeth Burr, 1908-1996

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Monday, April 06, 2009
in Hall of Fame

photo-wi-burr-72.jpgElizabeth Burr was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2008. Burr retired in 1973 after 27 years as Public Library Consultant for Children's Services for the Wisconsin Division for Library Services and its predecessor the Wisconsin Free Library Commission.  She was a founder of the Cooperative Children's Book Center in 1963 and its director until her retirement.  She was the first recipient of the Wisconsin's Library Association's "Librarian of the Year" award.  In 1992, WLA established the annual Elizabeth Burr Award to be given to the Wisconsin author or illustrator of a distinguished book for children. She was selected for the National Advocacy Honor Roll by the American Library Association in 2000 for her contribution as an advocate for library services in the 20th century.


 

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