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.

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WLA Celebrates 125th in Milwaukee

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The Wisconsin Library Association will be celebrating its 125th anniversary when it holds its Annual Conference this week (Oct. 25-28) at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.  In addition to a full slate of regular programs there will be some special activities related to the 125th anniversary.
 
On Wednesday, October 26 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. there will be a 125th Anniversary Reception and WLA/WLAF membership meeting.
 
On Thursday, October 27 from 8:45 to 10:00 a.m. there will be a keynote address titled Free for All: Inside the Public Library by Dawn Logsdon and Lucie Faulknor of Serendipty Films on their film project of the same title. 
 
Also on Thursday from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. there will be a reception at the historic Central Library of the Milwaukee Public Library.  On display at the library will be a special exhibit of Wisconsin Library History Memorabilia. The exhibit continues through October 31st.
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Larry T. Nix, 2016 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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Larry T. Nix  will be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016.
 
 
larry-uu-2016b-72Larry T. Nix joined the Bureau of Public and Cooperative Library Services in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in 1980 as a public library administration and buildings consultant.  He became director of the bureau which later became the Public Library Development Team in 1983. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 2003.  In 1996-1997, he also served as the Assistant State Superintendent  for the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning in DPI.  As director of the Public Library Development Team he oversaw the administration of the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, the state public library system aid program, and the public library certification program.  He was involved in every aspect state level public library policy development in Wisconsin during this period. This included providing leadership for the development of Wisconsin public library standards and for significant improvements in Wisconsin public library law.  During his tenure on the Public Library Development Team he was a strong advocate for public library funding, library service to children, library services to special needs populations, and multi-type library cooperation.
 
Nix, a well respected and internationally known library history buff, conceived the idea for the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) and the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame. He chaired the steering committee that recommended the establishment of the WLHC under the auspices of the WLA Foundation in 2007.  He continued to chair the steering committee for the first six years of the Center’s existence.  Nix continues to be responsible for the content of the website and blog of the WLHC. He also originated the Library History Buff website and the Library History Buff Blog which has received national level recognition. 
 
After his retirement from DPI in 2003, Nix continued to work as a part-time independent library consultant and served for several months as acting director of the Southwest Wisconsin Library System. He served as WLA’s Legislative Advocate and as a member of the Library Development and Legislation Committee in 2004.  He served on the Board of the WLA Foundation from 2005 to 2007 when the Foundation successfully implemented the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries.  Nix is a member of the WLA 125th Anniversary Committee.  He has been a member of WLA since 1980 and is now a Life Member of WLA.
 
Nix was born in Maury County, Tennessee on November 7, 1943.  He received his B.A. degree from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN in 1965.  He received an M.S. in Library Science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1967.  He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1968-1969.  He was Director of the Clinch-Powell Library System in Clinton, TN; Associate Director of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County; and Director of the Greenville Public Library in Greenville, SC before coming to Wisconsin in 1980.   Nix has been a member of the American Library Association since l969 and a Continuing Member (honorary life member) since 2011. He served on numerous committees and boards of ALA including the boards of the Public Library Association and the Library Administration and Management Association. Nix is a Fellow of the Molesworth Institute, an organization that promotes library humor. He received the Edmund Lester Pearson Library Humor Award for 2009 from the Institute. Nix, a dedicated philatelist and collector of postal librariana, served as a Trustee of the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellfonte, PA from 2007-2013, and is a life member and Patron of the APRL. 
 
According to Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame member Peter Hamon, Nix “has always simply worked quietly and effectively, largely under the radar, to bring about important advancements in the library community.”

Irene W. Newman (1895 -2005), 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

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Irene W. Newman will be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016
Irene Newman served the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for 43 years, first as the assistant supervisor of school libraries, and, after her appointment in 1937, as Wisconsin supervisor of school libraries, a position Irene held until her retirement in 1965. Under her leadership, libraries were established in the smaller high schools and at the elementary level. During this period, the place of libraries in a school was legalized and certified teacher librarians became compulsory. As supervisor, Newman served as secretary of the Wisconsin Reading Circle Board which directed the supplementary reading in the grades and professional reading for teachers. She served as president of the Wisconsin Library Association (1935-1936), a past treasurer of the Wisconsin Library School Association, and served on numerous committees on education and book selection, including the original committee for the Cooperative Children's Book Center.  Newman was a member of Sigma Kappa Social Sorority, from which she received a diamond anniversary certificate, and also the Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary International Educational Society, for many decades. Other memberships included the American Library Association, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and its Half Century Club, the State Historical Society, Dane County Red Cross, St. Martins Guild, St. Anne's Altar Society of Holy Redeemer Church, the Madison Catholic Woman's Club, the Catholic Daughters of America, and the Madison Area Retired Education Association. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1917 with a B.A. degree, and from the U.W. Library School (now the School of Library and Information Studies) in 1918. She was the oldest living U.W. alumna for several years prior to her death. After receiving her library degree she worked with the Minneapolis Public Library system, and then returned to Madison to join the Wisconsin Library Commission. A large donation was made to the WLA Foundation from her estate in 2005. 

Dianne McAfee Hopkins, 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

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Dianne McAfee Hopkins will be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016.
hopkins-new-72Hopkins, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), has influenced the practice of librarianship, especially school librarianship, not only in Wisconsin, but nationally and even internationally. Following positions in Houston, Texas, and in Michigan, Hopkins began her contributions to Wisconsin libraries when she became the director of the Bureau for Instructional Media and Technology at the Department of Public Instruction in 1977, a position she held until she joined the faculty of SLIS in 1987 as its first African-American faculty member. While at SLIS she taught chiefly in the areas of school library media administration and intellectual freedom, influencing large numbers of librarians in Wisconsin and across the United States. 
Her highly cited research focuses on challenges to materials in school library media centers, including factors that influence the outcomes of those challenges. Regarded as an expert on intellectual freedom, she garnered a number of grants and awards for her research, was invited to present at many prestigious venues and served on numerous committees. Notable among those were ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and the President-elect’s advisory committee.  She assisted in the revision of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual. For the American Association of School Librarians her service was both broad and deep: She served on the Vision Committee for School Library Media Standards; chaired the Educators of School Library Media Specialists Section; and chaired the AASL White House Conference on Library and Information Services Implementation Committee, to name just a few. She was a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation and a member of the executive committee of its board of directors. Prof. Hopkins has also been a member of WLA’s School Libraries Division; Children and Young Adult Services and Education Sections; and its Intellectual Freedom Round Table.
In addition to her teaching and mentoring of masters and doctoral students, Prof. Hopkins had many service responsibilities.  From 1989 until her retirement, she represented the SLIS faculty on the board of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Among her other contributions, the most notable are those that promoted the diversity of the library profession. She was a member of the SLIS Diversity Task Force, the University Library System Diversity Committee, the faculty minority liaison to the College of Letters and Science, and SLIS’s Access and Accommodation coordinator. After her retirement in 2002 the School honored Prof. Hopkins for her exceptional leadership by establishing the Dianne McAfee Hopkins Diversity Award. This award is intended to recognize a student whose SLIS and extra-curricular activities carry on Prof. Hopkins commitment to a more diverse profession. 
Both Professor Hopkins’s work in school library media services—in which she had played a major role in setting standards and evaluating impact—and in intellectual freedom—in which she has provided effective methods for handling challenges and served as an expert consultant for the ACLU in such cases as the Olathe, KS, Annie on My Mind case—has had a major influence on the practice not only of school librarianship, on the ability of librarians in many situations to uphold their intellectual freedom values. Her articles remain important sources for students in LIS programs across the U.S. 
Hopkins was born in Houston, Texas on December 30, 1944. She earned her B.A. in elementary education from Fisk University, Nashville, in 1966; her M.S.L.S. in Library Service from Atlanta University in 1967; an Ed. S. in Librarianship at Western Michigan University in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison in 1981. 
Louise Robbins was the compiler of this Hall of Fame entry.
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  • Becky Butler says #
    Congratulations, Dianne! This is wonderful news!

Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels (1934-2009) 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

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Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels will be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016.
Jerome (Jerry) DanielsDaniels was an outstanding academic librarian, providing leadership in the development of academic library service in Wisconsin.  From 1965 until his retirement in 1996, he worked at the Karrmann Library at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, serving as Director from 1970 until his retirement in 1996. At the Karrmann Library, he was especially interested in the application of computer technology to library services, and he was generous in sharing his experiences with his colleagues across the state.  The Wisconsin Library Association recognized the excellence of library service at the Karrmann Library in 1982 by naming it Library of the Year.  Daniels served on the UW System Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries for many years.
He had a solid record of leadership in WLA, contributing especially to the effective operation of the Association.  From 1970-1973, he served as Treasurer, working effectively to put WLA’s financial and membership records and processes on a businesslike basis.  In 1976, he chaired a special WLA committee to study the role of the Administrative Secretary.  In 1977, he was Chair of the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians.  Other WLA committee assignments included the Appointments Committee, Intellectual Freedom Committee, and Public Relations Committee.
Throughout his career, Daniels provided leadership in cooperation and resource sharing among libraries of all types.  In Southwest Wisconsin, he worked with the Southwest Wisconsin Association of Libraries, the Southwest Library System, and staff in CESA3 to develop programs for interlibrary cooperation and networking.  He was also a leader in library cooperation at the state level, serving as Chair of the Council of Wisconsin Libraries in 1974-75 and as a member of the Wisconsin Library Network Planning Steering Committee in 1981.
Daniels had important impact on library development in Wisconsin through his legislative activities.  Throughout his career, he was an active member of WLA’s legislative networks and action groups and could be counted on to contact legislators on issues for all types of libraries. At the time of the merger of the Wisconsin State Universities into the University of Wisconsin System in the early 1970s, he worked tirelessly, along with WLA’s Legislative Liaison, Wayne Bassett, to obtain statutory language that would protect the tenure-track faculty status of librarians at the former State Universities.  In 1977-78, he served on the Wisconsin Legislative Council Special Committee on Library Laws.
The community of Platteville benefited greatly from Daniels’ leadership and community service.  In 1974, he helped galvanize support for a new public library building.  A lasting tribute to his community service is the Rollo Jamison Museum.  Over many years, Mr. Jamison collected artifacts of southwest Wisconsin history.  When Mr. Jamison was no longer able to care for his collection, Daniels worked tirelessly to convince him to establish a formal museum and to convince the City of Platteville to accept the museum.  Daniels was a leader in forming the Jamison Museum Association, which is an important support group for the museum’s continuing activities.
Daniels was born on March 12, 1934, in Greensburg, PA, and died on January 2, 2009 in Platteville, WI.  He received his bachelor’s degree in radio and television production in 1957 and his master’s degree in library science in 1965, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
 
This Hall of Fame entry was written by Charles Bunge.
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  • Jim Ward says #
    In 1966, I was director of the computer center at Platteville State University. It was my privilege to work with Jerry and Paul M...

Jane K. Billings ((1916-2004) 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

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jane  bob billings-2-72Jane K. Billings was born in Watertown, Wisconsin, June 10, 1916 and died in Clintonville June 26, 2004.  She received a bachelor’s degree in library science in 1939 and an M.A. in library science in 1962 from the University of Wisconsin Library School.  She served as Librarian of the Clintonville Public Library from 1939 to 1949.  From 1949 until her retirement in 1982, she was high school librarian and later coordinator of library media services for Clintonville Public Schools.
Billings had an outstanding record of leadership in the Wisconsin Library Association, for which her colleagues in WLA recognized her by naming her Wisconsin Librarian of the Year in 1963.  She was President in 1947-49, after serving as Secretary in 1946-47.  She had a particular interest in library personnel issues, reflected in her service on the WLA Certification and Civil Service Committee in the 1940s, when WLA worked closely with the Free Library Commission on the certification of public librarians.  In 1958-60, she served on the WLA Professional and Personnel Problems Committee.  Billings contributed to WLA’s legislative program throughout her career, always to be counted on to contact legislators on behalf of library legislation.  In 1948, she represented WLA on the Joint Extension Committee with the Wisconsin Library Free Library Commission, which produced The Wisconsin-Wide Library Idea, an important basis for subsequent WLA legislative efforts.  In 1970 and 1971, she had influential roles in WLA’s work toward Wisconsin’s first public library systems law. In 1972-74, Jane served on the Library Development and Legislation Committee.  Other WLA committee work included the 1960-61 Special Committee on School Librarians’ Participation in WLA, which resulted in the establishment of the School Library Section of WLA.
The impact of Billings on the improvement of library service in Wisconsin was great, especially through her work on state-wide library development and interlibrary cooperation.  Starting with her work on the WLA/WFLC Joint Extension Committee in 1948, mentioned above, which promulgated foundational ideas that were implemented through public library systems in later decades, her work in this area continued into the 1970s with service on the Wisconsin Task Force on Interlibrary Cooperation and Resource Sharing.  In between, she served on the Division for Library Services Advisory Council on Library Development from 1965 to 1971 (chairing it in 1969-70) and was a member of the Wisconsin Legislative Council Advisory Committee on Library Laws Revision that wrote Wisconsin’s first public library systems law in 1970.  She was an active part of the legislative network that worked to get this law enacted.
Billings was an outstanding school librarian, and she was generous in sharing her knowledge with others.  She was a frequent presenter in conferences, workshops, and panels on school media center administration, standards, and materials selection.  She was a popular teacher in courses on services and materials for young adults at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library School in the 1960s and 1970s.
This Hall of Fame biography written by Charles Bunge.
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2016 Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame Selections

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The Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) has selected five individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2016.  They are Jane K. Billings, Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels, Dianne McAfee Hopkins, Irene W. Newman, and Larry T. Nix. These individuals will join fifty other members of the Hall of Fame. The inductions will take place on October 27, 2016 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Milwaukee.  The WLHC was established as a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation in 2007. The Hall of Fame, a part of the WLHC, inducted its first members in 2008. 
 
Jane K. Billings (1916-2004) served as Librarian of the Clintonville Public Library from 1939 to 1949, and from 1949 until her retirement in 1982 she was high school librarian and later coordinator of library media services for Clintonville Public Schools. She had an outstanding record of leadership in the Wisconsin Library Association, for which her colleagues in WLA recognized her by naming her Wisconsin Librarian of the Year in 1963.  She was President in 1947-49, after serving as Secretary in 1946-47.  
 
Jerry Daniels (1934-2009) worked at the Karrmann Library at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from 1965 to 1996, serving as Director from 1970 until his retirement in 1996. He was an outstanding academic librarian, providing leadership in the development of academic library service in Wisconsin.  He had a solid record of leadership in WLA, contributing especially to the effective operation of the Association.  From 1970-1973, he served as Treasurer and in 1976, he chaired a special WLA committee to study the role of the Administrative Secretary.  In 1977, he was Chair of the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians.
  
Dianne McAfee Hopkins, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), has influenced the practice of librarianship, especially school librarianship, not only in Wisconsin, but nationally and even internationally. Hopkins began her contributions to Wisconsin libraries when she became the director of the Bureau for Instructional Media and Technology at the Department of Public Instruction in 1977, a position she held until she joined the faculty of SLIS in 1987. She retired from SLIS in 2002 and in 2004 SLIS honored her for her exceptional leadership by establishing the Dianne McAfee Hopkins Diversity Award.
 
Irene Newman (1895-2005) served the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for 43 years, first as the assistant supervisor of school libraries, and, after her appointment in 1937, as Wisconsin supervisor of school libraries, a position she held until her retirement in 1965. Under her leadership, libraries were established in the smaller high schools and at the elementary level in Wisconsin. During this period, the place of libraries in a school was legalized and certified teacher librarians became compulsory.
 
Larry T. Nix joined the Bureau of Public and Cooperative Library Services in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in 1980 as a public library administration and buildings consultant.  He became director of the bureau which later became the Public Library Development Team in 1983. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 2003. After retirement he served as Legislative Advocate for WLA and on the Board of the WLA Foundation. He conceived the idea for the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) which was established under the auspices of the WLA Foundation in 2007. 
 
More information about these inductees will be forthcoming in later blog posts.
 
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  • Michele Farrell says #
    Congratulations to all!

WLA Pinback Buttons

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Pinback buttons have been used by libraries, library organizations, and library vendors for many years to promote a variety of library related events, programs, services and products. These buttons are great souvenirs and most librarians have at least a small collection. The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) has been among the organizations creating pinback buttons to promote its conferences and programs.  Below is a selection of these. More library button examples can be found HERE and HERE.
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The First Books-By-Mail Program in Wisconsin

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stamp-us-parcel-72Parcel post, the delivery of packages through the mail, began in the United States on January 1, 1913.  Libraries had long lobbied for a special rate for library materials sent through the mail, and in 1914 the postmaster general authorized the shipment of books at the parcel post rate. This decision opened up significant possibilities for library service to geographically remote populations.  One of the first librarians to realize the potential of parcel post and library service was Matthew S. Dudgeon, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC). Under Dudgeon's leadership the WFLC began implementing a system in which any resident of the state could request a book from the major libraries in Madison including the University of Wisconsin Library and the State Historical Society Library. There was little red tape involved. All that was required was a letter requesting a book along with the postage. Under the new postal rates a book could be sent anywhere within a 150 mile radius of Madison for an average of six cents and for greater distances for eight cents. Implementation of this system was facilitated by the fact that the President of the University of Wisconsin and the Secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society served on the WFLC board. An article about Dudgeon's parcel post system appeared in the December, 1915 issue of American Review of Reviews.
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The 1979 White House Conference on Library and Information Services

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The first White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIS) took place in Washington, D. C. on November 15-19, 1979.  Preceding WHCLIS each state in the nation held a pre-conference.  In September, 1978 148 delegates representing communities and institutions from around Wisconsin gathered in Madison for the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Library and Information Services.  The Governor’s Conference had been preceded by meetings of hundreds of citizens in ten areas of the state in June-July, 1978 to discuss their concerns and needs for library and information services. Four delegates selected at the Governor’s Conference represented Wisconsin at WHCLIS.  They were James White, La Crosse; Jenelle Elder, Milwaukee; Jan Coombs, Marshfield; and John J. Jax, Menomenee Falls. The delegates at WHCLIS passed 64 resolutions to improve the quality and access to library and information services.  A second WHCLIS took place in 1991.  It too was pre-ceded by state level conferences including one in Wisconsin that took place in Madison in February, 1991. 
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WLA’s Centennial Celebration

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The Wisconsin Library Association celebrated its centennial in 1991. As with this year’s 125th anniversary celebration, WLA’s annual conference took place in Milwaukee. The conference theme was “Celebrating Ourselves”.  In the introduction to the conference program, WLA President Peter Hamon wrote : “The choice for our theme became obvious. We serve our various publics every day, year in and year out.  All that service is dedicated to them.  This conference, however, is not.  Instead it honors you, those who came before you, and those who will come after.  You and yours have served Wisconsin for a century.  For these few days, let us celebrate ourselves.” It was at this conference that a resolution was passed welcoming back into the WLA community WLA’s disgraced first president Klas Linderfelt.

Inform Wisconsin: A public library legislation and funding proposal

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Seeking increased funding and legislation in support of libraries has been a long standing priority for the Wisconsin Library Association.  One of the most ambitious such efforts occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  The effort was titled “Inform Wisconsin” and was the result of the Final Report of the Task Force on Public Library Legislation and Funding to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction which was submitted in October, 1988.  Although the report addressed a large number of issues faced by Wisconsin public libraries and public library systems, the lack of adequate funding for public libraries was the most significant issue. To deal with this issue the Task Force recommended a “Public Library Foundation Program” which would ensure that every resident of the state had access to a basic level of public library service. The level of funding needed to accomplish this was deemed to be $12 per capita for a total of $73,000,000 with the funding coming from state aid.  However, up to $62,000,000 of that amount could have been used for property tax relief by local communities already funding libraries at $12 per capita.  The Inform Wisconsin report was widely discussed in the library community and endorsed by the Wisconsin Library Association.  Although a number of its legislative recommendations were accepted by the State Superintendent and ultimately enacted, the Foundation Program was never advanced as a budget proposal by the Department of Public Instruction. 

Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide

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The Wisconsin Library Association published the Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide in 1989. The guide highlights Wisconsin’s literary contributions and connections.  It connects Wisconsin writers with the places in Wisconsin where they lived and wrote about. It is arranged alphabetically by community.  The source for much of the material were the Wisconsin Notable Authors list and the Banta Award recipients.  The guide was dedicated to Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame member Orrilla Blackshear.  In 2012 WLA put the contents of the guide on the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries website.  
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Wisconsin Libraries and World War I

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ala-hey-fellows-72When World War I broke out in Europe in 1914 the United States was officially neutral.  However, it proved impossible for the United States to maintain its neutrality and on April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed a declaration of war against Germany. The American Library Association saw an opportunity to provide library service to the men in the armed forces, and in June of 1917 it established a War Service Committee. During and after WWI the ALA Library War Service provided millions of books and magazines to soldiers, sailors, marines, and merchant mariners in the U.S. and in Europe. Wisconsin libraries actively cooperated with the American Library Association in its efforts to provide books for soldiers and sailors during World War I. This included participation in nationwide fundraising efforts. Matthew S. Dudgeon, Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, took a leave of absence to serve in the Library War Service. He was in charge of all camp libraries in the U. S., and later served in France.  A Wisconsin Library War Council was established to help raise funds “To Buy Good Books for the Soldiers” (see receipt above). The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center sponsors library history related exhibits in libraries. One of those exhibits was about the role libraries played in World War I.
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Education for Librarianship in Wisconsin

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Education for librarianship in Wisconsin dates back to 1895 when the newly created Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC) sponsored the first Summer School of Library Economy.  The summer school was the idea of Frank Hutchins, the Commission's first Secretary.  The school was personally financed by library legislative champion Senator James H. Stout and was directed by Katharine Sharp, director of the Library School of the Armour Institute in Chicago. A full time Wisconsin Library School, still under the auspices of the WFLC, was founded in 1906 and housed on the second floor of the Madison Public Library. Mary Emogene Hazeltine was its first Perceptor or Principal. She served in this capacity until 1938. In 1938 administrative control of the library school was moved from the WFLC to the University of Wisconsin. It is now the School of Library and Information Studies at UW-Madison and it is fully accredited by the American Library Association.  More on its history can be found HERE. A second library school was established at UW-Milwaukee in 1976. It is now the School of Information Studies and is accredited by the American Library Association. It is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. 
 
The postcard above shows the second floor atrium of the Madison Public Library when it was located in the building financed by Andrew Carnegie, now razed.  It was here that the Wisconsin Library School was located from 1906 to 1938.  Carnegie gave additional funding to enable the library school to be located in the public library building. The message on the back of the postcard which was mailed in 1925 is from library school faculty member Winifred Davis to Mrs. N. A. Cushman, Librarian of the Reedsburg Public Library.  Davis invites Cushman to visit a library school exhibit at the University Exposition.
 
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Wisconsin’s Carnegie Libraries

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Andrew Carnegie was often referred to as the “Patron Saint of Libraries”.  He donated $56,162,622 for the construction of 2509 library buildings throughout the English-speaking parts of the world.  He donated $40,000,000 for the construction of 1679 public library buildings in the United States.  Sixty Wisconsin communities were the recipients of 63 public library grants from Andrew Carnegie.  In addition, two academic institutions also received Carnegie library grants.  Fifteen of these Carnegie buildings have been razed, thirty have been repurposed or are no longer used as libraries, but 20 are still being used as public libraries.  Most of the Carnegie buildings that continue to be used as libraries have received various expansions and modifications. In some cases the expansion is larger than the original Carnegie building. Years in which Carnegie library grants were received (not including the 3 branch libraries) along with the number of libraries: 1901(7); 1902 (9); 1903 (12); 1904 (3); 1905 (8); 1907 (3); 1908 (1); 1911 (2); 1912 (2); 1913 (5); 1914 (3); 1915 (3).  Only six other states received more Carnegie grants than Wisconsin.  The first Carnegie building completed in Wisconsin was the Central Library of the Superior Public Library.  More information about Wisconsin’s Carnegie libraries can be found on Wikipedia.  Judy Aulik’s Library Postcards site has images of Wisconsin Carnegie libraries on postcards.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Andrew Carnegie's birth, the Carnegie Corporation distributed Carnegie's framed portrait to all Carnegie libraries in America in 1935 including those in Wisconsin. One of those portraits is shown above.
 
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Creation of the Council on Library & Network Development

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In 1979 the Wisconsin Legislature created a Council on Library and Network Development (COLAND) within the Department of Public Instruction.  The 19 member advisory council advises the State Superintendent of Public Instruction on issues relating to library and information services in Wisconsin.  Members of the Council are appointed by the Governor for three year terms and include a combination of professional and public members.  COLAND emerged from a study conducted by a Special Committee of the Wisconsin Legislative Council in 1977-1979 which was chaired by Calvin Potter.  The Special Committee was charged with developing recommendations relating to: 1) the state aid formula for public library system aids; 2) the future role and function of the Division for Library Services in DPI; and 3) the role of the State Reference and Loan Library in DPI.  The Wisconsin Library Association actively monitored the work of the Special Committee.  The most controversial aspect of the work of the Committee concerned the issue of governance and administration of the Division for Library Services (DLS).  DLS had been created in 1965 when the former Wisconsin Free Library Commission was eliminated and this function was transferred to the DPI. The Secretary position of the former Commission became a Division Administrator position in DPI and was a non-political civil service appointment.  The Wisconsin library community and members of WLA split on how DLS should be governed and administered in the future. One faction wanted to create a new independent board to oversee state level library development and cooperation efforts and another faction wanted to preserve the Division for Library Services as a unit in DPI. The Special Committee of the Legislative Council recommended the creation of COLAND as compromise and it was incorporated into AB 20, the bill introduced by the Legislative Council as a result of the study and enacted by the Legislature.  As part of AB20, the Administrator position for the Division for Library Services was removed from civil service and the appointment was to be made in the future at the pleasure of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  
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Wisconsin's Traveling Libraries

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Thursday, June 23, 2016
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traveling-libraries-wi-1897-72Under the leadership of Melvil Dewey, the State of New York initiated a state funded traveling library system in 1892.  Traveling libraries were small rotating collections that provided a method for extending library service to rural areas.  These small libraries usually from 30 to a hundred books were located in a post office or store with a volunteer acting as the caretaker of the collection.  In New York the collections stayed in one location for six months before they were rotated.  Michigan initiated a similar system in 1895 and Iowa in 1896.   

Traveling libraries began in Wisconsin in 1896, when Senator James Huff Stout of Menomonie, Wisconsin privately funded a system of these libraries for Dunn County.  He provided 500 books divided into collections of 30 volumes each.  He was assisted in the selection of titles to be included by the Wisconsin Free Library Commission which began in 1895.  Senator Stout along with Lutie Stearns and Frank Hutchins had been instrumental in starting the Commission.  More about Wisconsin's traveling libraries can be found HERE.  The image below shows a Stout Traveling Library bookcase at the Dunn County Historical Society

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Wisconsin Libraries Keep Us All in a Better State

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Sunday, June 12, 2016
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wisconsin libraries group shot oct 17 2007 1-72
bookmark-if-knowledge-72On January 31, 2006 the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation (WLAF) launched the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries in the State Capitol to promote a better understanding of how libraries contribute to the state’s economic growth, education and lifelong learning, and the quality of life in Wisconsin.  With the theme “Support Wisconsin Libraries: Keep Us All in a Better State” the aggressive public relations and fund raising campaign included a variety of promotional materials, radio spot announcements, and a website WisconsinLibraries.org.  The Campaign included an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 a year to promote libraries of all types.  The photo above is a group shot of attendees at the 2007 WLA conference in Green Bay wearing a tee shirt promoting the campaign. It was taken by Steven Platetter.  Promotional materials included posters, bookmarks, and buttons with a variety of catchy slogans including “If knowledge is power, libraries are power plants.”  The Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries has gradually faded from its original enthusiasm and is no longer active.
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  • Ginny Moore Kruse says #
    I still have my red tee-shirt. Whenever ! wear it, at least one good conversation about libraries is certain to take place with so...

Capitol Fire of 1904

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Tuesday, June 07, 2016
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Two of Wisconsin's most significant libraries were dramatically impacted by the fire that began in the late evening of February 26, 1904 and destroyed most of the State Capitol in Madison. Stanley H. Cravens article "Capitals and Capitols in Early Wisconsin" in the Wisconsin Blue Book for 1983-1984 contains an excellent account of the 1904 fire. A pdf version of that article is located HERE. The first library impacted was the Wisconsin State Library (now the Wisconsin State Law Library). Through quick action the library's collection was mostly saved.  Cravens describes the rescue as follows:
 
"University students continued to arrive to aid in the rescue and fire-fighting efforts. Because of thick smoke filling the building, they were unable to use the stairways and several ladders were secured and raised to the windows in the north wing, which contained the State Law Library. Once inside, they began throwing volumes out the windows to snow banks below; others below began stacking the books haphazardly until State Supreme Court Justice R. D. Marshall arrived and organized the students into lines to pass the books hand-to-hand to nearby stores and later, to waiting wagons. According to Solon J. Buck (who later became archivist of the United States), then a senior attending the University of Wisconsin, this effort grew to five to six hundred people 'and it began to get too crowded to work'."
 
The second library impacted, the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, did not fare nearly as well. Henry E. Legler, Secretary of the Commission, described the impact in the Fifth Biennial Report of the Commission. Legler wrote:"The Commission sustained a severe loss by reason of this fire, not only as regards the records, but in the books and material then on hand, and manuscript copies of important publications contemplated.... The Document department [later the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau] which had acquired an exceedingly valuable collection of pamphlets and books, was entirely destroyed.  Much of the destroyed material cannot be replaced, inasmuch as, prior to the fire, most of the state departments had transferred to the Document department the accumulated files gathered for years past.... During the eight years of the Commission's existence, large and useful collections had been made of plans, photographs, and half-tone engravings of library buildings throughout the country, bibliographies, books on library economy, bulletins, reports, blanks, collections of children's books, sample bindings, library devices, and technical tools of every sort.  All of these collections, many of which were thought to be the best extant, were consumed. Of the traveling libraries, 28 were destroyed." Legler continues:  "Libraries throughout the country responded most generously to the request for material.  To the Carnegie library of Pittsburgh, the Commission is indebted for a set of printed cards for 1,000 children's books.  The New York state library sent complete files of its own publications and other library literature.  The public libraries of Cleveland, Providence, Cincinnati, and many older cities supplied valuable publications.  The library of the University of Wisconsin made large contributions of library literature."
 
About the postcard shown above, Cravens writes:"One of the first Madisonians to awake to the sight was 15 year-old Joseph Livermore, who had the presence of mind to use his vest-pocket Kodak to take a most spectacular, if not the only, night photograph of the Capitol fire. Livermore later made copies of the photograph to sell for 10 cents apiece to earn enough money to purchase a bicycle; his father, however, felt the price too exorbitant and made Joseph reduce the price to 5 cents. One of Livermore’s customers was a postcard printer, who ran off and sold hundreds of the postcards, without sharing any of the profits with the boy."
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  • Ginny Moore Kruse says #
    I've never known about this fire. Thank you for such a comprehensive and yet brief report.

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