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 Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo