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 Public Library in Eau Claire 1860-2009

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
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on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 in Public libraries



I just received a complimentary copy of The Public Library In Eau Claire 1860-2009, a history of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library (also available on the web). The primary authors of the book are L.E. Phillips staff members Katherine Sullivan and Larry Nickel. Editing and layout assistance was provided by Bess Arneson and Josh Stearns. Library director John Stoneberg assisted with the research for the publication.  Congratulations to all who were involved in this excellent publication.  I would recommend it as a model for any library that is contemplating the writing of a library history.  There are a number of things I like about this attractive, well laid out publication. Throughout the book there are framed blocks of text that highlight complimentary material that relates to broader historical events and to special information about the library's history. In regard to the library's history, I noted that Ione Nelson was one of their library directors before becoming a longtime library consultant at the Wisconsin Free Library Commission/Division for Library Services. I also noted that in 1985, "A representative from the state Department of Public Instruction came to help mediate the dispute in Eau Claire [involving the level of County reimbursements to L.E. Phillips]. I wonder who that was.


I would also like to commend the folks at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library for the treatment of their library's history on their website.  They use my recommended "two click" approach to website library histories - one click on "About Us" and a second click on "Library History" after reaching the library's home page.  The Library History page at L.E. Phillips includes links to the new publication  and a variety of other library history resources that have been digitized.


I have a previous post about the early public library buildings in Eau Claire.



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