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.

Miriam Downing Tompkins (1892-1954)

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on Tuesday, October 08, 2013 in Hall of Fame

Miriam TompkinsMiriam Downing Tompkins was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on October 23, 2013 at the annual conference of the Wisconsin Library Association in Green Bay, WI. Tomkins was a national leader in advancing the role of the public library in adult education. She was a pioneer in library work with labor unions. She served as Director of the Training Class of the Milwaukee Public Library 1919-1921 and Chief of Adult Education 1923-1929. Under her leadership the adult education department of the Milwaukee Public Library provided a national model for adult education in public libraries that included information service, group service, and readers’ advisory service. She later served on the faculties of the library schools at Emory University and Columbia University. She was a delegate to the International Conference on Adult Education in Cambridge, England in 1929. She was born in Kalispell, MT, and received B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is included in the Dictionary of American Library Biography


The Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame is a project of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center which is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation.


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