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 T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
Larry T. 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 Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Categories

Popular Tags

Lutie Eugenia Stearns Postcards Elroy Public Library Hall of Fame 2012 Edward Asahel Birge Sarah Janice Kee Matthew S. Dudgeon Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends Appleton Public Library Brown Deer Public Library hall of Academic Libraries Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries 24 caly film Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services Black River Falls Public Library library memorabilia Gilbert H. Doane 14 Council on Library and Network Development Campaign Library Buidlings Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries archives Milwaukee Public Library I Love Libraries Cooperative Children's Book Center Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends traveling libraries World War I Pinback buttons Charles Bunge Hall of Fame 2019 Brown Deer Public Library Hall of Fame 2015 Library Buildings Gerald A. Somers Academic Librarians Library History Hall of Fame 2013 Public libraries Anniversaries UW-Madison school of library and information studies John Miller Chancellor Campaign Publications Louise S. Robbins WLA 125 20 membership libraries books-by-mail Buttons Parcel post anniversaries UW-Milwaukee Libraries Library Artifacts caly film Hall Middleton Public Library Clarence Brown Lester Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Events State Law Library Historical Register 23 William J. Wilson School libraries Anniversaries Clinton Public Library J. D. Witter Jane K. Billings Hall of Fame 2017 ca Peter G. Hamon Larry T. Nix caly film Evansville Wisconsin Hall of Fame 2012 Hall of Fame 2008 trav Delia Ovitz Oshkosh Public Library Ripon Public Library Hall of Fame 2018 Hartford Public Library Library Systems Capitol Fire 1904 Hall of Fame 2012 Hall of Fame 2016 Cornelia Marving Pierce Milwaukee Public Library Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee Library e Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians American Library Association Library War Service Hall of Fame 2015 S. Janice Kee Bernard Schwab Bob Bochfer Soughton Public Library Richard J. Sorensen Dianne McAfee Hopkins Increase A. Lapham 27 Robert Bocher Cam Hall of Fame 2009 WHCLIS WLA 125 Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Wisconsin Free Library Commission buil presentations Library People Wisconsin Library Bulletin Wisconsin Free Library Commission Campaign Lowell W. Wilson state historical society Wisconsin Historical Society 11 Helen Adams Events & Meetings WLA 125 10 Amer Eager Free Public Library Orrilla Blackshear Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries McMillan Memorial Library library education Meter mail slogans Dick Sorensen Dorothea M. Krause National Bookmobile Day Ice Storm Marketing-Publicity Hall of Fame 2015 James Huff Stout School of Library and Information Studies library legislation cam Carl Spitzweg Wisconsin Rapids Lucy E. Smith Morris Pewaukee Public Library Madison Public Library Wilbur Lyle Eberhart COLAND Inform Wisconsin Special libraries background 22 Hall of Fame 2015 Lutie Stearns Portage Public Library Carnegie libraries People bed and breakfast campaign Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library Nolan I. Neds Hall of Fame 2010 Black River Falls Nancy Marshall Gertrude Thurow Tower Hill Wisconsin Zona Gale Uncategorized Events & Meetings CCBC Dick Sorensen bookworm Hall fo Fame 2012 21 Library celebrations Eratus Swift Wilcox Irene W. Newman Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Public library systems Suring Area Public Library WWI Library War Service Ruby Roeder Library people Centennial Sandra Friedman Dolnick James Duane Doty campaign Exhibits John J. Jax Klaus Linderfelt Bookmobiles White House Conference on Library and Information Services Hall of Fame 2018 Woman's Congress Public libraries Frank Avery Hutchins Hall of Fame 2015 WLA 125 Manitowoc Public Library Postcards American Library Association Brown County Library DeForest Area Public Library Wisconsin State Law Library Beaver Dam Public Library UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Hall of Fame 2014 Postcards Katharine MacDonald Jones Hall of Fame 2011 Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Library people Postcards campaign library exhibit Ruth Ann Montgomery T. B. Scott Free Public Library Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Digital Collections 28 Superior Carnegie Libraries Beloit Public Library campa Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs WAAL National Library Week Wayne A. Wiegand Rusk County Community Library Jerome P. Daniels Library Trustees Milwaukee Art Museum Richard E. Krug Wisconsin Library Association

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo