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.

Wisconsin's Traveling Libraries

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, June 23, 2016 in WLA 125

traveling-libraries-wi-1897-72Under the leadership of Melvil Dewey, the State of New York initiated a state funded traveling library system in 1892.  Traveling libraries were small rotating collections that provided a method for extending library service to rural areas.  These small libraries usually from 30 to a hundred books were located in a post office or store with a volunteer acting as the caretaker of the collection.  In New York the collections stayed in one location for six months before they were rotated.  Michigan initiated a similar system in 1895 and Iowa in 1896.   

Traveling libraries began in Wisconsin in 1896, when Senator James Huff Stout of Menomonie, Wisconsin privately funded a system of these libraries for Dunn County.  He provided 500 books divided into collections of 30 volumes each.  He was assisted in the selection of titles to be included by the Wisconsin Free Library Commission which began in 1895.  Senator Stout along with Lutie Stearns and Frank Hutchins had been instrumental in starting the Commission.  More about Wisconsin's traveling libraries can be found HERE.  The image below shows a Stout Traveling Library bookcase at the Dunn County Historical Society



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

Leave your comment

Guest Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo