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 First Books-By-Mail Program in Wisconsin

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, September 01, 2016 in WLA 125
stamp-us-parcel-72Parcel post, the delivery of packages through the mail, began in the United States on January 1, 1913.  Libraries had long lobbied for a special rate for library materials sent through the mail, and in 1914 the postmaster general authorized the shipment of books at the parcel post rate. This decision opened up significant possibilities for library service to geographically remote populations.  One of the first librarians to realize the potential of parcel post and library service was Matthew S. Dudgeon, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC). Under Dudgeon's leadership the WFLC began implementing a system in which any resident of the state could request a book from the major libraries in Madison including the University of Wisconsin Library and the State Historical Society Library. There was little red tape involved. All that was required was a letter requesting a book along with the postage. Under the new postal rates a book could be sent anywhere within a 150 mile radius of Madison for an average of six cents and for greater distances for eight cents. Implementation of this system was facilitated by the fact that the President of the University of Wisconsin and the Secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society served on the WFLC board. An article about Dudgeon's parcel post system appeared in the December, 1915 issue of American Review of Reviews.
wla125logo-small

Comments

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

Leave your comment

Guest Monday, March 18, 2019

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo