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 S. Janice Kee

Bunge Remembers Kee

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Saturday, February 13, 2016
in WLA 125
S. Jan KeeWisconsin Library Hall of Fame member Charles Bunge made an excellent presentation about the creation of Wisconsin's public library systems law on February 8. In the open discussion period following his presentation Bunge recounted meeting S. Jan Kee, another Library Hall of Fame member in the late 1960s. Kee had served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission from 1956 to 1965, an important period leading up to the public library systems law. Bunge was heavily involved in the actual development of the legislation which was signed into law in 1971. In talking at their chance meeting, Bunge and Kee discovered that they had a remarkable connection. While working on the bookmobile in a State Library of Missouri library demonstration project in the 1940s Kee had provided a young boy in Gasconade County, MO a copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. That boy was Charles Bunge. The audience expressed a desire for Bunge to share this amazing story more widely. He has graciously written up a fuller account of their meeting and it is now located on the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center website. 
wla125logo-small

Janice Kee and a Librarian's Travelogue

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, March 05, 2012
in Hall of Fame

This entry was also posted on The Library History Buff Blog on March 4, 2012.

kee-72Sarah Janice Kee (1908 -1998) was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2009 primarily because of her work as Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission from 1956 to 1965. During Kee's tenure at the Commission, Wisconsin established the foundation for its current seventeen federated public library systems.  In seeking to find out more about Kee a number of years ago, I was able to obtain a copy of a travelogue written by Kee titled Around the World in 80 Years: A Travelogue Interspersed with Anecdotes (unpublished, 1997). As the title suggests it is a record of Kee's travels around the world during her lifetime, but it also chronicles a remarkable library career. Kee was a native Texan and ended her library career in Texas. In regard to her travels, Kee writes: "It has been my privilege to see much of the world in my life time. My methods of travel have been in a swing seat in a covered wagon, a buggy, surrey, the back seat of a Model T - Ford car, both slow and fast trains, the driver's seat in a Ford, Chevrolet, Frazier and Oldsmobile, both slow and fast airplanes and a Cruiser in the Mediterranean sea."  From her rural Texas roots, Kee embarked on a library career with her first library position in the Library Service of the Air Force during World War II. She did so well that she was eventually promoted to Command Librarian supervising 35 post libraries. She went to work for the Missouri State Library in 1947, and again did so well that she was designated Acting State Librarian when State Librarian Katherine Mier retired in 1948. Unfortunately, it was only "until a man could be found for the job". According to Kee the man they found "knew nothing - I mean nothing about State Library work". Lucky for Wisconsin she left Missouri and came to Wisconsin for her first stint at the Wisconsin Free Library Commission. She entered the national library arena in 1952 as Executive Secretary of the Public Library Division of the American Library Association, a position she held until she assumed leadership of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission in 1956. Kee concluded her library career as Library Program Officer (classified as a GS-14) with the U.S. Department of Education at the regional office in Dallas, Texas. At her interview for the position in Dallas with the Head of the Regional Office, according to Kee "a political appointee - one of those good-ol-boys who was retired from a Superintendent's position", she was told "'Miss Kee, do you realize I have MEN on my staff who are not GS-14s?'" She reminded him that she would be taking a pay cut if she took the job. She got the job anyway. Although Janice Kee wrote her travelogue primarily for her family, I feel fortunate to have shared via the travelogue in her travel and library career experiences. I wish more people could do the same. The original manuscript is located at the School of Library and Information Studies at Texan Woman's University where Kee established the S. Janice Kee Library Scholarship Fund.

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo