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, May 25, 2018


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo