For 44 years, Bill Wilson has worked in and administered public libraries and public library systems. His distinguished resume includes Institutional Consultant, Buffalo and Erie County (New York) Public Library; Assistant Administrator, Winding Rivers Library System, La Crosse; Director, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids; Director, Milwaukee County Federated Library System; Adjunct Faculty, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee School of Information and Library Science; and Administrator (State Librarian), Wisconsin Division for Libraries and Community Learning in Madison. He currently works as a partner in his own firm, Himmel & Wilson Library Consultants. Wilson served president of the Wisconsin Center for the Book and is a past President of the Wisconsin Library Association. He currently serves as President of the board of trustees of the Milton Public Library and as Vice President of the Arrowhead Library System board of trustees He was the recipient of the Wisconsin Library Association’s Special Service Award in 1990 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1996.
Wayne A. Wiegand, a native of Manitowoc, WI, is called the “dean of American library historians.” He is the F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies and Professor of American Studies emeritus at Florida State University. While in Wisconsin Wiegand served as a professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 2002. Wiegand is an outstanding teacher who influenced numerous Wisconsin librarians and an innovative researcher who utilizes qualitative and flexible strategies from the broader fields of the social sciences and humanities in his research. At UW-SLIS Wiegand was a co-founder and director of the Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America (now the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture), a nationally respected print history research institution. He is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles about the history of libraries and librarianship, a number of which have included significant aspects of the history of Wisconsin libraries. His latest book, published in October 2015, is Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library.
Oakley served as Librarian of the Madison Public Library from 1884 to 1889 before going to work for the State Historical Society Library. Oakley was one of the founders of the Wisconsin Library Association in 1891. She was one of two librarians from Wisconsin who joined the American Library Association in 1886 (only the second and third to do so) when ALA met in Milwaukee. Oakley became Cataloger and Assistant Librarian at the State Historical Society where she worked for 19 years. She served as Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of State Libraries. She later became Cataloger for the Seattle Public Library and Supervisor of Branches for the Los Angeles Public Libraries.
Marjorie Sornson Malmberg was the first official legislative advocate and paid employee for the Wisconsin Library Association. Taking a leave of absence from her job as Director of the Appleton Public Library, she served as WLA's executive secretary and legislative representative at a salary of $150 per month. She played a pivotal role in the legislative battle for a bill to provide state aid for a bookmobile demonstration project during the 1949 Wisconsin legislative session. According to Benton H. Wilcox in his 1966 history of the Wisconsin Library Association, "... Mrs. Malmberg, without any previous experience, almost by her own efforts ... secured passage of the bill through both houses of the legislature ... ." She later became one of the early directors of the Washington Office of the American Library Association (1950), where she again played a major role in securing funding for libraries. Prior to her work for WLA, she served as director of the Chippewa Falls and Viroqua public libraries.
Dorothea Krause served as director of the Wausau Public Library from 1943 until 1965 and then as head of technical processes and acquisitions until her retirement in 1973. The reason for the change? "I wanted to be back with people and books," she explained to a Merrill Daily Herald reporter on the occasion of her retirement. In 1960, more than a decade before the passage of public library system legislation, she was instrumental in setting up a prototype of the Wisconsin Valley Library Service. Krause served as President of the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) in 1949-1950 and was selected as the Librarian of the Year in 1957, the second honoree and first public librarian to receive the award. In addition, the Wausau Public Library was selected as the 1965 WLA Library of the Year. In her later years at the Wausau Public Library, she coordinated services to older adults and the visually impaired. She actively participated in a wide variety of community activities and was among the founding members of the Marathon County Historical Society and the Inter Agency Council, a group that coordinated programs among community groups. Prior to her move to Wausau, she worked at West Allis Public Library and was the director of the Blue Island (Illinois) Public Library.
An exhibit of Wisconsin Library Memorabilia will be on display at the Brown Deer Public Library in Milwaukee County for the month of March. The Wisconsin Library Memorabilia exhibit is sponsored by the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center and has been displayed at libraries around the state. The exhibit includes souvenir items for many of Wisconsin's Carnegie libraries, the Milwaukee Public Library, other public libraries, and the Wisconsin Historical Society Library. A variety of souvenir items including china, spoons, paperweights, and picture postcards are part of the exhibit. More about the exhibit and how to schedule one for your library can be found HERE.
Larry T. Nix who has served as Chair of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) Steering Committee since its establishment in 2008 is leaving the committee. Committee member Paul Nelson will take over as Chair. Also leaving the committee after completing three terms on the committee are Peter Gilbert and Lori Belongia. Continuing members on the committee in addition to Nelson are Ruth Ann Montgomery, James Gollata, and Louise Robbins. New members joining the committee are Janis Berg, Mary Clark, and Steve Platteter. The WLHC is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation. Activities of the WLHC include maintaining a website and blog [http://heritage.wisconsinlibraries.org/], sponsoring exhibits, and administering the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame.