Wilbur Lyle Eberhart (1922-2010), 2014 WI Library Hall of Fame Inductee
Lyle Eberhart was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on November 6, 2014 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Wisconsin Dells. Eberhart was the first administrator of the Division for Library Services in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction after the Wisconsin Free Library Commission was abolished. He served in this capacity from 1965 to 1981 which included the period when Wisconsin’s public library system legislation was passed and implemented.He was a founding member of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), and served as its President (1980-81). He served as President of the Midwest Regional Library Network (1966-67). He was an active contributor to the professional literature of librarianship.
Eberhart was born on May 30, 1922, in Topeka, Kansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree with a joint major in history and English from Washburn College (Topeka) in 1945, followed by graduate study in American history at the University of Wisconsin from 1945 to 1949. He received a master’s degree in library science at the University of Wisconsin in 1951. From 1951 to 1959, he was a librarian at the Detroit Public Library, and was a branch library chief there until 1962. In 1962 he became a public library consultant in the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, a post he held until 1965 when he became administrator of the newly created Division for Library Services, Wisconsin's state library agency.