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.

Library System Anniversaries 2009

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
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on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 in Public libraries

Significant anniversaries are opportunities for libraries and library organizations to acknowledge their heritage and at the same time put the spotlight on their library or organization. I generally encourage the idea of celebrating anniversaries as often as every five years and definitely every ten years. This year a number of Wisconsin public library systems have significant anniversaries.  The Southwest Wisconsin Library System is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Library Services Act multi-county library cooperation project that evolved into the Southwest Wisconsin Library System. The April 7, 2009 SWLS blog entry reviews some of the history leading up to the formal formation of the system in 1974. Thus the system is also celebrating the 35th anniversary of the creation of the system. SWLS will have a celebration and awards dinner on June 19 to celebrate. The Eastern Shores Library System was formally created in 1979 and will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. This will also be the 30th anniversary for the ESLS bookmobile and the 25th anniversary of the ESLS delivery service.  A variety of events to celebrate these anniversaries are described in the May issue of "The Connection", the ESLS newsletter. Other library systems are having significant anniversaries but I am as yet unaware of any events acknowledging these anniversaries. A Library Services Act multi-county cooperative project was also initiated in 1959 in Northwest Wisconsin which eventually led to the creation of what is now the Northern Waters Library System in 1973. Library systems created in 1974 and celebrating their 35th anniversaries also include the Arrowhead Library System, the Manitowoc-Calumet Library System, and the Mid-Wisconsin Library System. The Lakeshores Library System was  created in 1979 and is celebrating its 30th anniversary.  The November-December 2001 issue of Channel contained extensive coverage of the history of Wisconsin's public library systems to highlight the 30th anniversary of the passage of the public library system law in December 1971. Congratulations to all of these library systems on these significant anniversaries.


Jean Célibataire Endurci Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You did not mention in your post if celebrating anniversaries every 5 or 10 years will bring in more readers, how many and for how long. I would be curious to see a statistic of how many readers have entered the public libraries in Wisconsin over the past 50 years.

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