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 T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
Larry T. 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 Sunday, July 21, 2019


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo