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.

  • JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with id: 52

Margie Malmberg and WLA's Finest Hour

Posted by
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.


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

Leave your comment

Guest Wednesday, June 19, 2019


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo