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.

Margie Malmberg and WLA's Finest Hour

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Saturday, February 06, 2010 in Library artifacts
malmberg-72.jpgOn February 16 the Wisconsin Library Association will hold its annual Library Legislative Day. For a little historical inspiration for this event, there is nothing as appropriate as the story of Margie Sornson Malmberg and the legislative battle for a bill to provide state aid for a bookmobile demonstration project during the 1949 Wisconsin legislative session. This story is well told in Benton H. Wilcox's The Wisconsin Library Association 1891-1966 (WLA, 1966).  Malmberg who was director of the Appleton Public Library from 1946 to 1949 took a leave of absence from her Appleton job to serve as WLA's executive secretary and legislative representative at the meager salary of $150 per month. According to Wilcox, "... Mrs. Malmberg, without any previous experience, almost by her own efforts ... secured passage of the bill through both houses of the legislature ... ." The bill, however, was vetoed by the Governor. Wilcox continues, "No one gave even an outside chance to the veto being overridden.  But Mrs. Malmberg would not give up. She worked tirelessly, buttonholing assemblymen and senators. ... When the legislature reconvened in September the day of decision came, the veto was overridden, and the Demonstration Bill became law. That, in the minds of many, was the Wisconsin Library Association's finest hour." The significance of this event was that it was the first time the State had appropriated direct support for community public library service.  The result of the legislation was the Door-Kewaunee Bookmobile Project which has been well documented by Christine Pawley. Prior to her service in Appleton, Malmberg (then Margie Sornson) served as librarian of the Chippewa Falls Public Library and the Viroqua Public Library. After her service to the Wisconsin Library Association she and her husband moved to Big Island, Virginia. In 1950, probably because of her legislative experience in Wisconsin, she was appointed Director of the Washington Office of the American Library Association. The Malmbergs moved to Toledo, Ohio in 1960 where Margie went to work for the Public Library of Toledo and Lucas County. She retired there in 1976. The picture of Margie Malmberg above is from the Toledo library's Images in Time digital collection (Object ID: 22342). Take some inspiration from Margie and attend WLA Library Legislative Day. It's not too late.

Comments

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

Leave your comment

Guest Sunday, April 22, 2018

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo