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

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo