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.

Henry Eduard Legler 1861-1917

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Saturday, July 25, 2009 in Hall of Fame

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).



Larry Nix Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Eric, thanks for your comments. I have corrected the date typo.

Eric novotny Tuesday, December 08, 2009

great to see Legler inducted into the Wisconsin library of Fame - I've been looking at his contributions to the Chicago Public Library.
Just FYI - there's a typo in the birth date.
"Legler was born in Palermo, Sicily on February 22, 1961". Should be 1861.

Leave your comment

Guest Friday, February 23, 2018


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo