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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Bernard Schwab (1920-1990)

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Tuesday, October 08, 2013
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Bernard SchwabBernard (Bernie) Schwab 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. Schwab served as Director of the Madison Public Library from 1957 to 1981. Under his leadership the library built a new central library and five branch libraries were added. He established the Dane County Historical Records Center, the Municipal Reference Service, and the Madison Area Library Council. He helped to create the first Friends of the Library group in Wisconsin. The Madison Public Library was named Library of the Year in 1966. He served as President of the Wisconsin Library Association in 1966-67 and was named Librarian of the Year in 1970. Schwab was chair of the Wisconsin Council for Library Development in 1973-74. Schwab was WLA’s representative to the American Library Association (ALA) and served on ALA’s joint committee on library service to labor. Schwab was born in Brooklyn, NY. He received a Bachelor’s degree from the College of the City of New York in 1943 and a Library Science degree from the Pratt Institute. Prior to coming to Madison he held several positions at the District of Columbia Public Library in Washington, DC. Before becoming Director he served as Assistant Director of the Madison Public Library from 1954 to 1957. After his death in 1990, the City Council changed the name of the central library to the Bernard Schwab Library.

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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