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 Matthew S. Dudgeon

The First Books-By-Mail Program in Wisconsin

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, September 01, 2016
in WLA 125
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.


Popular Tags

27 American Library Association Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends library legislation cam WLA 125 Eratus Swift Wilcox Clarence Brown Lester Klaus Linderfelt Irene W. Newman Robert Bocher Helen Adams Ruby Roeder American Library Association Library War Service Sarah Janice Kee Hall of Fame 2011 caly film Brown Deer Public Library Carl Spitzweg Milwaukee Public Library Bob Bochfer Milwaukee Public Library Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs Public libraries Wisconsin Free Library Commission I Love Libraries Library people William J. Wilson Hall of Fame 2010 Sandra Friedman Dolnick bookworm WLA 125 Portage Public Library caly film Lutie Stearns Peter G. Hamon Publications Wisconsin State Law Library 21 Eager Free Public Library presentations WLA 125 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Zona Gale Carnegie libraries UW-Madison school of library and information studies Gerald A. Somers Library History Hall of Fame 2015 White House Conference on Library and Information Services Manitowoc Public Library Centennial Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries campaign Hall of Fame 2018 Gilbert H. Doane 23 Evansville Wisconsin library memorabilia ca Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries Wisconsin Library Bulletin Woman's Congress library education School libraries Inform Wisconsin Hall of Fame 2017 Capitol Fire 1904 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries 20 trav S. Janice Kee State Law Library Louise S. Robbins Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Wisconsin Library Association Hartford Public Library Amer Increase A. Lapham caly film Hall of Fame 2018 Rusk County Community Library Hall of Fame 2016 Soughton Public Library Madison Public Library Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Clinton Public Library Wisconsin Free Library Commission Meter mail slogans Special libraries Larry T. Nix archives Lutie Eugenia Stearns Middleton Public Library Lowell W. Wilson UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Events WAAL T. B. Scott Free Public Library CCBC Jane K. Billings Beaver Dam Public Library Academic Librarians Hall fo Fame 2012 Campaign Hall of Fame 2008 McMillan Memorial Library National Bookmobile Day Ice Storm Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library Historical Register Postcards Hall of Fame 2015 11 Katharine MacDonald Jones National Library Week Library Buidlings World War I Wayne A. Wiegand Exhibits books-by-mail Buttons Wisconsin Rapids 14 Library celebrations traveling libraries Library e Frank Avery Hutchins DeForest Area Public Library Brown County Library Black River Falls Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Elroy Public Library Hall of Fame 2009 Cam Orrilla Blackshear Hall of Fame 2015 Charles Bunge Library Buildings Library People campaign library exhibit Jerome P. Daniels Hall Suring Area Public Library Dorothea M. Krause Edward Asahel Birge WWI Library War Service Wisconsin Historical Society Library Artifacts 28 Beloit Public Library Appleton Public Library Richard E. Krug Hall of Fame 2012 COLAND 22 WLA 125 Dianne McAfee Hopkins James Duane Doty Digital Collections UW-Milwaukee Libraries Hall of Fame 2014 Uncategorized Nolan I. Neds state historical society Milwaukee Art Museum bed and breakfast campa Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee Anniversaries background Cooperative Children's Book Center Campaign People Campaign Bernard Schwab anniversaries campaign Library people Postcards Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries 24 membership libraries Delia Ovitz Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Bookmobiles Academic Libraries hall of J. D. Witter School of Library and Information Studies Brown Deer Public Library Marketing-Publicity Council on Library and Network Development Cornelia Marving Pierce WHCLIS Ripon Public Library Matthew S. Dudgeon Library Trustees Events & Meetings Wilbur Lyle Eberhart Postcards James Huff Stout Hall of Fame 2012 10 Events & Meetings Parcel post Superior Carnegie Libraries Hall of Fame 2015 Public libraries Anniversaries Gertrude Thurow Pinback buttons buil Tower Hill Wisconsin Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends Oshkosh Public Library Lucy E. Smith Morris Hall of Fame 2015 Public library systems Hall of Fame 2013 Black River Falls Public Library Library Systems Postcards Hall of Fame 2012 Pewaukee Public Library Ruth Ann Montgomery John J. Jax John Miller Chancellor

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo