Today marks the second anniversary of the founding of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC). The WLHC is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation (WLAF). The WLHC was established on March 19, 2008 by action of the WLAF Board based on a report [heritage-center-report-3-19-08.pdf] submitted by the WLHC Steering Committee. This action led to the creation of this website and the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame. The WLHC Steering Committee is looking forward to another successful year.
This will be the first year that living individuals will be considered for the Hall of Fame. In lieu of multiple testimonials, the WLHC Steering Committee seeks documentation and supporting information of :
1) An individual's record of leadership in the Wisconsin Library Association and/or other statewide library organizations/institutions.
2) The overall importance and impact of an individual's contribution to the improvement of library service in Wisconsin.
3) An individual's contributions to the improvement of library service at the national level.
Once an individual has been nominated, he or she will continue to be considered in future years even if not selected for induction in 2009.
Induction of those individuals selected for 2009 will take place at the WLA Awards Banquet at the WLA Conference on October 22.
This is the last day of National Library Week 2009 and it could be Wisconsin Library Heritage Day. At the meeting of the Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center on February 19th, I floated the idea of establishing a Wisconsin Library Heritage Day to be celebrated on the Saturday of National Library Week each year. My rationale was that in addition to promoting a better understanding and appreciation for Wisconsin’s library heritage, Wisconsin Library Heritage Day would provide an additional avenue for marketing Wisconsin’s libraries at the local and state levels. It would tie in well with the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries and the National Library Week campaign. It could initiate a buildup to the 120th anniversary of WLA in 2011.
Some ideas for celebrating National Library Day at the local level include:
- Hold a birthday party for the library.
- Host a display of historical artifacts related to library history at the local, state, or national level.
- Work with the local post office to create a pictorial postmark related to the library's anniversary. Create a souvenir envelope to go with the postmark and include an insert with the history of the library.
- Create or expand a section of the library's website devoted to the history of the library.
- Cooperate with local library historical societies to promote activities and events.
- Invite an impersonator of a national, state, or local library figure in the past to perform a skit. Possibilities: Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Melvil Dewey, or Lutie Stearns.
- Get local actors to reenact a pivotal meeting in the formation or early history of the library.
The WLHC Steering Committee didn't receive the idea of a Wisconsin Library Heritage Day with open arms but they didn't turn it down outright. We will continue to explore the idea for 2010. What are your thoughts on such a day and let us know if you have other ideas for celebrating Library Heritage Day.
This month marks the one year anniversary of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center. A lot has been accomplished in the first year, and the WLHC Steering Committee has an active agenda for the second year of the WLHC. We are appreciative of the support of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Board and staff. The WLHC website has a good start. We are grateful to the Outagamie Waupaca Library System for hosting the website, and for the assistance of Beth Carpenter in designing the site. Ten individuals were inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2008 and plans are underway for more inductees in 2009. The Wisconsin Library Memorabilia exhibit is now being sponsored by the WLHC. It was on display at four libraries in the last year, and it will be on display at the Milwaukee Public Library in April. The WLHC Steering Committee hopes to explore the possibility of establishing a Wisconsin library oral history project in 2009. The Steering Committee is appreciatiave of the financial support of the Founding Contributors of the WLHC. By the way, you still have a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a Founding Contributor. WLHC Steering Committee members are listed here.