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.

Error
  • JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with id: 52

Wisconsin’s Early Public Libraries

Posted by
has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 in WLA 125
pc-wi-sparta-72
Later this week the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries, a division of the Wisconsin Library Association, will be meeting in Oshkosh for its spring conference. The legal authority for the establishment of public libraries in Wisconsin was the public library law of 1872.  The first public library established under this law in Wisconsin was the Black River Falls Public Library.  The second public library established under the law was the Sparta Public Library which was established in 1874 (see postcard above). Public libraries that followed soon after were the Eau Claire Public Library (1875), the Madison Public Library (1875), the Fond du Lac Public Library (1876), the Marinette Public Library (1878), and the Milwaukee Public Library (1878).  Other early public libraries were the Janesville Public Library (1883), the Neenah Public Library (1884), the Beaver Dam Public Library (1885), the Bayfield Public Library (1886), the Hayward Public Library (1887), the Green Bay Public Library (1888), the Wisconsin Rapids Public Library (1890), and the Chippewa Falls Public Library (1891), the Merrill Public Library (1891), and the Washburn Public Library (1891). The dates of establishment for these public libraries are based on the Fifth Biennial Report of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission. It should be pointed out that there are some questions about the exact dates of establishment of early Wisconsin public libraries. An excellent research paper titled Public Library Development in Wisconsin: 1872-1900 by Karla Fingerson (unpublished, December 12, 1971) explores those questions. It should also be noted that free public libraries established under the law of 1872 were preceded by fee based membership libraries in many Wisconsin communities. Also, some early public libraries operated under privately appointed library boards and were not established under the 1872 law. 
wla125logo-small

Comments

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

Leave your comment

Guest Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo