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.

The 1979 White House Conference on Library and Information Services

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on Thursday, August 18, 2016 in WLA 125
The first White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIS) took place in Washington, D. C. on November 15-19, 1979.  Preceding WHCLIS each state in the nation held a pre-conference.  In September, 1978 148 delegates representing communities and institutions from around Wisconsin gathered in Madison for the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Library and Information Services.  The Governor’s Conference had been preceded by meetings of hundreds of citizens in ten areas of the state in June-July, 1978 to discuss their concerns and needs for library and information services. Four delegates selected at the Governor’s Conference represented Wisconsin at WHCLIS.  They were James White, La Crosse; Jenelle Elder, Milwaukee; Jan Coombs, Marshfield; and John J. Jax, Menomenee Falls. The delegates at WHCLIS passed 64 resolutions to improve the quality and access to library and information services.  A second WHCLIS took place in 1991.  It too was pre-ceded by state level conferences including one in Wisconsin that took place in Madison in February, 1991. 


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