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.

Happy 160th Birthday Frank Hutchins

Posted by Larry T. Nix
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on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 in Events

hutchins-72.jpgToday is the 160th anniversary of the birth of Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame member
Frank Avery Hutchins (1851-1914). Hutchins was a leader in the free public library movement in Wisconsin and the United States. Hutchins' entry in the Dictionary of American Library Biography (Libraries Unlimited, 1978) written by Helen Huguenor Lyman has this to say about him: "Frank Hutchins, a brilliant man of rare vision and modesty, a pioneer librarian and active leader in the library world of Wisconsin, was born on March 8, 1851, in Norfolk, Ohio.  During his lifetime he was teacher, bookseller, newspaper man, library trustee, and librarian.  Again and again his friends described him as a humanitarian, public servant, scholar, and practical idealist.  he helped to gain legislative, financial, and professional support for both the educational work of school and public libraries and the extension of library services throughout the state of Wisconsin.  An initiator who would take no credit for the events he helped to set in motion, he recognized the abilities of others and encouraged them to carry out new ideas." Hutchins was a founder of the Wisconsin Library Association in 1891and the first paid secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission. Hutchins close partner in the development of public library service in Wisconsin was fellow Hall of Fame member Lutie Stearns.
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