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.

Book Wagons and Crazy Socialists

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 in Marketing-Publicity
The Machinists' Monthly Journal for July, 1904 wrote:"These crazy Socialists in Wisconsin are going too far. A book wagon, the first public library on wheels to be sent out in the United States, is contemplated in a plan just completed by the Wisconsin Free Library Commission. It will invade the State next October. As the wagon passes through the counties the farmers will be invited to select their winter's reading. There will be books for the old and young, and each family will be allowed to make as large a selection as is desired. The following Spring the wagon will make another trip through the same territory to gather up the books and return them to the central library." The proposed book wagon was the idea of Lutie Stearns, and as far as I can determine it was never implemented. Stearns first discussed the concept of a book wagon at the American Library Association conference at Niagra Falls in 1903. The idea was more fully explained in a letter reprinted in the July, 1904 issue of Public Libraries (p. 331). Stearns a major supporter of rotating or traveling libraries felt book wagons could provide more current material. The first book wagon to actually go forth in the United States was from the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, Maryland in April, 1905. Whether Mary Titcomb, the Librarian in Hagerstown in 1905, got her inspiration from Lutie Stearns is unknown. The first Hagerstown book wagon was destroyed in 1910 while crossing a railroad track. It was hit by a freight train leaving only fragments of the wagon.

Note: This entry was also posted on the Library History Buff Blog on Feb. 10, 2009. More on bookmobiles in Wisconsin can be found here.

Comments

Ian Hunter Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It should read: Niagara Falls

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Categories

Popular Tags

Inform Wisconsin Hall of Fame 2016 S. Janice Kee Hall of Fame 2012 buil Dianne McAfee Hopkins Suring Area Public Library Academic Libraries Milwaukee Public Library WAAL Council on Library and Network Development Hall of Fame 2009 Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Hall of Fame 2014 Parcel post Louise S. Robbins Sarah Janice Kee Manitowoc Public Library Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs Meter mail slogans William J. Wilson library exhibit COLAND Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries School libraries Lucy E. Smith Morris 21 campa Wisconsin Historical Society Soughton Public Library Hartford Public Library Edward Asahel Birge Hall of Fame 2017 Ice Storm School of Library and Information Studies CCBC Postcards presentations Robert Bocher Bob Bochfer 10 McMillan Memorial Library campaign Helen Adams Buttons Digital Collections Ripon Public Library Anniversaries Hall of Fame 2015 ca UW-Milwaukee Libraries Public library systems UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Clinton Public Library Jane K. Billings Hall of Fame 2012 Library Artifacts Eager Free Public Library Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library Larry T. Nix Appleton Public Library Wisconsin Rapids Ruth Ann Montgomery Ruby Roeder WWI Library War Service 23 Madison Public Library Hall of Fame 2008 American Library Association Library War Service WLA 125 Dorothea M. Krause Matthew S. Dudgeon campaign Postcards Public libraries Capitol Fire 1904 Peter G. Hamon Publications 24 WHCLIS Library e 27 Amer James Huff Stout hall of Portage Public Library Hall of Fame 2015 Wisconsin Free Library Commission Library people Uncategorized T. B. Scott Free Public Library background traveling libraries Pinback buttons Clarence Brown Lester caly film Bookmobiles Eratus Swift Wilcox Events Sandra Friedman Dolnick Wisconsin Library Association WLA 125 J. D. Witter Special libraries Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Events & Meetings Wilbur Lyle Eberhart Library Buildings Hall of Fame 2013 Cam Charles Bunge membership libraries Woman's Congress Postcards campaign Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services UW-Madison school of library and information studies Hall of Fame 2015 Orrilla Blackshear Cooperative Children's Book Center Nolan I. Neds Brown Deer Public Library Jerome P. Daniels Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee 20 Delia Ovitz Marketing-Publicity Wayne A. Wiegand Frank Avery Hutchins Bernard Schwab Hall of Fame 2011 American Library Association Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Library celebrations Increase A. Lapham 22 Hall Hall of Fame 2015 Beloit Public Library Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries Library Buidlings Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Library People Anniversaries Lutie Stearns Library Trustees Hall of Fame 2018 Hall of Fame 2012 Academic Librarians Carnegie libraries Historical Register 28 People Exhibits Tower Hill Wisconsin Gilbert H. Doane Campaign White House Conference on Library and Information Services National Library Week Events & Meetings Beaver Dam Public Library Gerald A. Somers Irene W. Newman Klaus Linderfelt Milwaukee Public Library Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries World War I Katharine MacDonald Jones Gertrude Thurow Hall of Fame 2010 library memorabilia John J. Jax Cornelia Marving Pierce Lowell W. Wilson Centennial library legislation bookworm Campaign Pewaukee Public Library state historical society anniversaries Black River Falls Wisconsin State Law Library trav Wisconsin Free Library Commission Middleton Public Library library education bed and breakfast Hall of Fame 2018 Oshkosh Public Library James Duane Doty Hall of Fame 2015 Campaign Rusk County Community Library books-by-mail Brown Deer Public Library Wisconsin Library Bulletin Library History archives John Miller Chancellor Library Systems Superior Carnegie Libraries Milwaukee Art Museum Evansville Wisconsin WLA 125 State Law Library Black River Falls Public Library Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Lutie Eugenia Stearns WLA 125 Carl Spitzweg Hall fo Fame 2012 Brown County Library National Bookmobile Day Zona Gale Elroy Public Library Library people Postcards DeForest Area Public Library caly film cam 11 Public libraries Richard E. Krug 14 I Love Libraries Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries caly film

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo