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 Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo