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.

WLA and the American Library Association 1886

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Sunday, January 31, 2016 in WLA 125
The American Library Association was founded in 1876, fifteen years before the Wisconsin Library Association was established. In 1882 Theresa West (later Theresa West Elmendorf), assistant librarian of the Milwaukee Public Library, became the first member of ALA from Wisconsin. In July, 1886 the American Library Association held its annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  There were 131 men and women in attendance making it the largest meeting of the association up to that date.  The site of the conference was Milwaukee’s Plankinton House hotel (see postcard above). Over twenty presentations were made on a wide variety of topics at the meeting by the most prominent librarians in America at that time. A major topic under discussion at the meeting was cooperative cataloging.  Although the meeting was substantive from a professional point of view, it was the post-conference excursion that was the most interesting aspect of the meeting.  Melvil Dewey described the excursion at length in the October, 1886 issue of his publication Library Notes (pages 95-99.  The eight day train excursion was arranged by Klas Linderfelt, Librarian of the Milwaukee Public Librarian. The excursion traveled almost 1,500 miles from Milwaukee to Madison to Kilbourn City (now Wisconsin Dells) to La Crosse to Minneapolis to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands to Oshkosh and back to Milwaukee and Chicago.  The stop at Kilbourn City included a trip through the Upper Dells (before it was dammed) by steamboat and a float trip back down by row boats.  
In appreciation of the efforts of Klas Linderfelt in arranging the excursion, those who participated gave him a small gold plated book inscribed “From the A.L.A. to K.A. Linderfelt In grateful recognition. Milwaukee, 1886”.  Linderfelt became the first president of WLA in 1891 and was also elected president of ALA. However, six years later ALA accepted Linderfelt’s resignation in disgrace as President of the ALA.  Linderfelt is a member of the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame.


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

Leave your comment

Guest Sunday, May 27, 2018


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo