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.

Louise S. Robbins, 2017 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 in Hall of Fame
Louise S. Robbins was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Wisconsin Dells on October 19, 2017.
louise-robbins-blog-72Louise S. Robbins has been a force in and for Wisconsin libraries since she became Assistant Professor and Faculty Administrator at the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies in 1991.  She joined SLIS after being a reading specialist, teacher, and librarian in Oklahoma where she also served as Ada, Oklahoma’s first woman council member and then mayor.  Her work in Oklahoma resulted in being named an Oklahoma “Library Legend” in 2007. In her initial capacity at SLIS she was director of the School’s Laboratory Library.  While at SLIS she built a distinguished record of teaching, service, and research along her way to becoming a full professor and serving as director of the School from 1997 to 2009.  Robbins’ record of activity made an exceptional contribution to Wisconsin libraries that did not stop with her retirement in 2011.  She remains active in the Wisconsin library community through her work with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and their effort to rebuild a community library as well as her work with the wider Tribal Libraries, Archives and Museums project and the IMLS funded “Convening Great Lake Culture Keepers,” projects she was instrumental in getting going.  
Louise Robbins has had an impact on library service at the state, national, and international level. As a library and information studies (LIS) educator as well as practitioner she has mentored many librarians in Wisconsin and beyond. At various times Robbins’ teaching load included the required field-practice, or practicum, course as well as the introductory course, meaning virtually every student who came through SLIS for many years had the opportunity to study with her. Besides her teaching/mentoring, Robbins was a force for the profession in Wisconsin by among other things: raising the profile of the School at the University; working on Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) committees; advocating for libraries at the local and state levels; contributing to a report in 2004 on Wisconsin library system organization; and was co-lead for an IMLS grant which provided scholarships and other support to increase diversity among students and the profession. Notably, WLA recognized Louise Robbins’ many contributions in 2001 with their Wisconsin Librarian of the Year award. 
Louise Robbins’ influence on library service goes well beyond the state.  She was actively involved with the Association for Library and Information Science Education, including being president in 2003 and 2004.  She was active in the American Library Association (ALA) and a member of the Committee on Accreditation, meaning she provided feedback to LIS programs in other places.  She was the external reviewer for numerous LIS faculty at other universities. And she was a member of the National Board for Beta Pi Mu, the librarian honor society which raises scholarship money and published a scholarly monograph series (for which she served as a member of the editorial board from 1996-2003). On the international level, she has consulted with librarians in Kazahkstan to help develop the Nazarbayev University Library and in China through her work with the Evergreen Education Foundation.    
Louise Robbins has made important and lasting contributions to the profession through her scholarship.  Robbins’ main research stream investigated the development of Intellectual Freedom as it contributes to the understanding of librarianship as a profession and the library as an institution. Her best known work is The Dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown: Civil Rights, Censorship, and the American Library, published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2000.  The book won several awards including the Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award of the Library History Round Table of ALA and a WILLA Award (named for Willa Cather).  She is author of several other books including Censorship and the American Library: The American Library Association’s response to Threats to Intellectual Freedom, 1939-1969, which was published by Greenwood Press in 1996.  In 1994 she published one of many articles in library publications titled “Loyalty Investigations in the Library of Congress: 1947-1956 : No ‘Communists or Cocksuckers’” in Library Quarterly.  The article helped launch the ALA conference program, “Hidden from History: Lesbigays in Libraryland” which led to a book edited by James Carmichael, Daring to Find Our Name: The Search for Lesbigay Library History that came out from Greenwood in 1998.  Robbins’ work was timely and part of the work which helped create a professional tide improving climate for GLBT users and employees.  Robbins’ research also contributed to LIS pedagogy through her “action research” on the laboratory library.  Along with her work with ALISE, she has contributed to the profession by influencing the notion of LIS education itself. 
Robbins received a B.A. with honors at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA in 1965; a M.Ed. from East Central University in Ada, OK in 1973; a M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX in 1984; and a Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX in 1991.
Robbins professional positions prior to coming to Wisconsin included serving as Assistant Professor and Librarian at Linscheid Library, East Central University, Ada, OK and Elementary School Library Media Specialist, Byng School, Ada, OK.
This Hall of Fame entry was adapted from content provided by Michele Besant.


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Sunday, August 18, 2019


Popular Tags

Wisconsin State Law Library Hall of Fame 2009 campaign Bookmobiles Hall of Fame 2018 membership libraries WAAL Campaign Hall of Fame 2016 buil Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library John Miller Chancellor Lucy E. Smith Morris Library e Matthew S. Dudgeon Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Lowell W. Wilson bookworm People Cam 28 Pewaukee Public Library Centennial Black River Falls Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Special libraries ca Hall of Fame 2015 World War I Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs books-by-mail Hall of Fame 2015 cam Hall of Fame 2015 Wayne A. Wiegand Gerald A. Somers Academic Librarians Gilbert H. Doane Richard E. Krug Campaign Inform Wisconsin Peter G. Hamon School of Library and Information Studies Library Artifacts Cooperative Children's Book Center Hall of Fame 2011 Ruby Roeder state historical society UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies UW-Milwaukee Libraries Wisconsin Historical Society library memorabilia Charles Bunge Black River Falls Public Library 23 Middleton Public Library Louise S. Robbins campaign WLA 125 John J. Jax Library Buidlings National Bookmobile Day 21 Hall of Fame 2010 Pinback buttons 14 Library History DeForest Area Public Library Orrilla Blackshear Library Buildings American Library Association Library War Service James Duane Doty Dorothea M. Krause Klaus Linderfelt Carnegie libraries Carl Spitzweg Uncategorized Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Events & Meetings Hall of Fame 2013 Robert Bocher Library celebrations Hall of Fame 2012 State Law Library library education McMillan Memorial Library WLA 125 Wisconsin Library Association Woman's Congress Meter mail slogans Campaign Appleton Public Library COLAND caly film William J. Wilson Amer Beloit Public Library campa Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee hall of Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Soughton Public Library WLA 125 Brown County Library Council on Library and Network Development Delia Ovitz Hall of Fame 2017 anniversaries Edward Asahel Birge Capitol Fire 1904 Sarah Janice Kee archives Katharine MacDonald Jones Library people Nolan I. Neds Lutie Stearns Portage Public Library Anniversaries J. D. Witter Public libraries Events Library Trustees Academic Libraries Zona Gale Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Hall of Fame 2012 bed and breakfast Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends campaign 11 Publications Hartford Public Library Hall of Fame 2012 Hall of Fame 2015 Milwaukee Public Library library exhibit Eager Free Public Library Evansville Wisconsin Increase A. Lapham Exhibits Rusk County Community Library Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Anniversaries background Bernard Schwab Dianne McAfee Hopkins Beaver Dam Public Library T. B. Scott Free Public Library Clinton Public Library Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Sandra Friedman Dolnick Tower Hill Wisconsin Milwaukee Art Museum Eratus Swift Wilcox WWI Library War Service Parcel post Wisconsin Rapids Marketing-Publicity Helen Adams Public libraries Hall of Fame 2015 Library Systems WHCLIS Superior Carnegie Libraries Digital Collections Wisconsin Free Library Commission Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends White House Conference on Library and Information Services Hall of Fame 2008 Hall fo Fame 2012 Larry T. Nix UW-Madison school of library and information studies Hall Library People trav caly film 24 traveling libraries American Library Association Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries Bob Bochfer Ruth Ann Montgomery caly film Wilbur Lyle Eberhart Historical Register WLA 125 Wisconsin Free Library Commission S. Janice Kee Madison Public Library 27 20 Hall of Fame 2018 Ice Storm Manitowoc Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Jane K. Billings Hall of Fame 2014 Postcards 22 Elroy Public Library Oshkosh Public Library presentations Library people Postcards Buttons National Library Week Lutie Eugenia Stearns Postcards Wisconsin Library Bulletin I Love Libraries School libraries James Huff Stout Frank Avery Hutchins Ripon Public Library Postcards Clarence Brown Lester Suring Area Public Library Brown Deer Public Library library legislation Brown Deer Public Library Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services 10 Irene W. Newman Cornelia Marving Pierce Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Jerome P. Daniels Gertrude Thurow CCBC Events & Meetings Public library systems

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo