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


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo