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 Package Libraries

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, August 17, 2009 in WLA 125
Package libraries were an innovation conceived by Frank A. Hutchins while serving as Secretary of the Department of Debating and Public Discussion in the newly created Extension Division of the University of Wisconsin. Hutchins resigned as Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC) in 1904 because of ill health. After his health recovered he joined the University's Extension Division in 1906. Interestingly, Henry Legler, Hutchins successor at the WFLC, was serving in an unpaid capacity as the first Secretary of the Extension Division in addition to his duties at the WFLC.

Package libraries were collections of pamphlets, pictures, magazine articles, and newspaper clippings on topics of current interest. These were mailed out upon request to individuals, women's clubs, debating groups, business people, rural schools, and libraries.  Borrowers paid the return express charge for the package libraries. In 1913-1914, the Department of Debating and Public Discussion mailed 3,741 package libraries, consisting of almost 150,000 articles on 1,460 subjects to over 450 communities in Wisconsin. Package libraries, like Wisconsin's traveling libraries, were intended to supplement public libraries and to serve rural areas which were not convenient to public libraries. Package libraries were also one component of "The Wisconsin Idea" which was to make the boundaries of the state the boundaries of the University of Wisconsin.

Hutchins health continued to decline and he died in 1914. His work at the Extension Division was taken up by his able assistant Almere Scott who served as Secretary of the Department of Debating and Public Discussion from 1914 to 1946. The concept of package libraries was implemented in other states including Indiana
Tags: Untagged

Comments

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

Leave your comment

Guest Saturday, July 20, 2019

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo