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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Larry T. Nix, 2016 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

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on Friday, October 14, 2016
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Larry T. Nix was 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.”


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