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.

Subscribe to feed Viewing entries tagged Klaus Linderfelt

Disaster Strikes the Newly Created Wisconsin Library Association

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, March 24, 2016
in WLA 125

linderfelt-72Just a little more than a year after the Wisconsin Library Association was founded and held its first conference one of the most bizarre events in American library occurred. In The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA 1966) Benton Wilcox writes:

“Disaster struck the infant Association in the spring of 1892 through the loss of its president, K. A. Linderfelt, who had also received in October, 1891, the even greater honor of election to the presidency of the American Library Association. Mr. Linderfelt had been born in Sweden and achieved an excellent classical education there before coming to America and Milwaukee in 1870. Here he had secured employment in the Milwaukee Female College as an instructor in Latin and Greek at a pittance of $400 per year, later increased to $600. In 1880 he was appointed librarian of the Milwaukee Public Library at $1,200. As recorded in the Library Journal, “In his twelve years of library administration he won a permanent place among eminent American librarians. A man of brilliant capacities and devoted to his calling, he was practically the creator of the Milwaukee Public Library, which he developed to a high efficiency.”

Unfortunately, in trying to maintain a standard of living comparable with that of the culturally elite of the city with whom he was associated, he became heavily involved in debt. In early 1892, the city having been spurred to a careful audit of its accounts by a defalcation discovered in one of its offices, a shortage of some $10,000 was found in the funds of the public library. Mr. Linderfelt readily acknowledged his guilt and aided the auditors in tracing the shortages. His staff and library board members showed their support by replacing the missing funds, and he was given a suspended sentence. Though Mr. Dewey offered him a position in his organization he returned to Europe, studied medicine, and died a practicing physician in Paris in 1900. The American Library Association expunged him from its records by accepting his resignation as of the day he had been elected its president. The Wisconsin Library Association, without machinery or heart for such decisive action, was left leaderless and apparently no one knew just what to do. As a consequence there was no annual conference in either 1892 or 1893.”

The Wisconsin Library Association forgave Linderfelt and welcomed him back into their fold at WLA’s Centennial reception in Milwaukee in 1991. It went even further and inducted him into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2009.  

Read more about Linderfelt.

wla125logo-small

Categories

Popular Tags

Hall of Fame 2012 State Law Library Delia Ovitz Lutie Stearns CCBC Sarah Janice Kee Richard E. Krug Carl Spitzweg Amer Oshkosh Public Library McMillan Memorial Library Wayne A. Wiegand anniversaries bookworm Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee National Library Week Hall of Fame 2012 Gertrude Thurow Wisconsin Rapids Library people Postcards School of Library and Information Studies Academic Librarians Postcards Campaign Klaus Linderfelt Clinton Public Library archives Hall of Fame 2015 Hall of Fame 2015 Wisconsin Free Library Commission ca Library Buidlings Ruth Ann Montgomery 23 White House Conference on Library and Information Services Milwaukee Art Museum WLA 125 Publications caly film Milwaukee Public Library Appleton Public Library state historical society cam WHCLIS Events & Meetings caly film Middleton Public Library Buttons Cam I Love Libraries campaign Jerome P. Daniels Library celebrations Brown Deer Public Library Uncategorized 11 21 Hall of Fame 2014 Postcards buil Hall of Fame 2015 Lutie Eugenia Stearns Hall of Fame 2016 Zona Gale Nolan I. Neds James Huff Stout Katharine MacDonald Jones Increase A. Lapham Meter mail slogans Hall of Fame 2015 Evansville Wisconsin Anniversaries J. D. Witter Ice Storm Black River Falls Public Library trav Brown Deer Public Library Digital Collections campaign 22 Centennial Gilbert H. Doane UW-Milwaukee Libraries library legislation Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Library Systems Public libraries Inform Wisconsin Suring Area Public Library Orrilla Blackshear Wisconsin Library Association Carnegie libraries Beaver Dam Public Library Bernard Schwab Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Library History Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services Campaign Hall of Fame 2008 School libraries Postcards Tower Hill Wisconsin American Library Association DeForest Area Public Library campa COLAND Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library Beloit Public Library Wilbur Lyle Eberhart Brown County Library S. Janice Kee Library Buildings Clarence Brown Lester Historical Register Dianne McAfee Hopkins UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Capitol Fire 1904 Hall of Fame 2013 WAAL Library e People Eratus Swift Wilcox background Hall of Fame 2009 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries 24 Hall of Fame 2012 Events & Meetings American Library Association Library War Service Portage Public Library Marketing-Publicity Public library systems Special libraries campaign Hall of Fame 2011 Manitowoc Public Library Hall of Fame 2015 caly film traveling libraries Exhibits Gerald A. Somers Public libraries membership libraries Hall of Fame 2010 Hall Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends Irene W. Newman Edward Asahel Birge Matthew S. Dudgeon Peter G. Hamon Larry T. Nix Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries National Bookmobile Day library exhibit Wisconsin Library Bulletin Ripon Public Library UW-Madison school of library and information studies Jane K. Billings Wisconsin Historical Society 28 T. B. Scott Free Public Library Council on Library and Network Development WLA 125 Madison Public Library Black River Falls WWI Library War Service hall of John Miller Chancellor 10 27 bed and breakfast William J. Wilson Academic Libraries WLA 125 Superior Carnegie Libraries Library people Pewaukee Public Library Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries Milwaukee Public Library Events Wisconsin State Law Library Woman's Congress Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Hartford Public Library presentations Frank Avery Hutchins Cornelia Marving Pierce Rusk County Community Library 20 Pinback buttons Eager Free Public Library Bookmobiles library education Wisconsin Free Library Commission James Duane Doty Soughton Public Library Dorothea M. Krause Elroy Public Library 14 Campaign Charles Bunge Parcel post Anniversaries library memorabilia Cooperative Children's Book Center Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends books-by-mail Library Artifacts World War I Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Library People WLA 125 Library Trustees Hall fo Fame 2012

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo