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.

Bookmobiles in Wisconsin Library History

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in WLA 125
bkm-wi-sw-72
Today is National Bookmobile Day and the focus of this blog post is bookmobiles in Wisconsin library history. Although there were some earlier uses of motor vehicles to deliver library service, bookmobile service as we know it today was first demonstrated in Wisconsin in 1940 using federal funding from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Three bookmobiles were purchased by the Wisconsin Free Library Commission using WPA funds. One of the three bookmobiles was used for a demonstration in Shawano County. In March, 1942, following a successful demonstration, the first autonomous bookmobile service in the state was established in Shawano County. Bookmobile service in Shawano County continues today through the Shawno City-County Library. One of the three bookmobiles served Grant, Iowa, Crawford, and Rock counties. Operational funding for this demonstration which only served children was provided through contributions from 26 American Legion posts. The image above shows children using this bookmobile.  The first state funding for public library service in Wisconsin funded a bookmobile demonstration in Door and Kewaunee Counties in 1950-52. Although the demonstration was a success in terms of use by the residents of those counties, a referendum to continue the service failed in Kewaunee County. Although a similar referendum passed in Door County, both referendums were required to pass in order to continue the service.  In 1956 federal funding was made available to extend public library service to rural areas through the Library Services Act. The Wisconsin Free Library Commission developed a state plan for using this funding. It included the development of regional library systems, and bookmobiles were one component of that plan.  By 1993 there were 21 bookmobiles operating in Wisconsin.  Since then the number of bookmobiles has been reduced to eight. More about Wisconsin bookmobile history can be found HERE.
wla125logo-small

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Friday, November 24, 2017

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo