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 traveling libraries

Wisconsin's Traveling Libraries

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, June 23, 2016
in WLA 125

traveling-libraries-wi-1897-72Under the leadership of Melvil Dewey, the State of New York initiated a state funded traveling library system in 1892.  Traveling libraries were small rotating collections that provided a method for extending library service to rural areas.  These small libraries usually from 30 to a hundred books were located in a post office or store with a volunteer acting as the caretaker of the collection.  In New York the collections stayed in one location for six months before they were rotated.  Michigan initiated a similar system in 1895 and Iowa in 1896.   

Traveling libraries began in Wisconsin in 1896, when Senator James Huff Stout of Menomonie, Wisconsin privately funded a system of these libraries for Dunn County.  He provided 500 books divided into collections of 30 volumes each.  He was assisted in the selection of titles to be included by the Wisconsin Free Library Commission which began in 1895.  Senator Stout along with Lutie Stearns and Frank Hutchins had been instrumental in starting the Commission.  More about Wisconsin's traveling libraries can be found HERE.  The image below shows a Stout Traveling Library bookcase at the Dunn County Historical Society

travel2wla125logo-small

Wisconsin Rapids Public Library History

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, December 12, 2008
in Library buildings


pc-wi-wisrapids.jpg-72.jpg


This postcard shows the public library building for Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids). It was completed in 1892. The library shared the building with the city council and the fire department initially, but the library took over the entire building in 1900. The library was named the T. B. Scott Free Public Library at that time after T. B. Scott who donated $5,000 to the library. The library was located in this building until 1948.  


The folks at the McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, formerly the T. B. Scott Free Public Library,  have done an especially good job of telling the library's story on their website. A recent addition to their website is a Google map of the previous locations of the library with photos and descriptions.  Also on the website is an online version of Centennial Story 1890-1990 : McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
by Alice McCaul Hayward.  There is a section devoted to the traveling libraries initiated by J. D. Witter in Wood County. Information about other Wisconsin traveling libraries can be found here. Finally there is a section that includes digitized newspaper articles that were written in 1921 about the early years of the library. A mural showing the history of the library is located near the entrance to the library. This mural is shown as part of the new Google map feature. 


Recent Comments Show all comments
  • Larry Nix says #
    I'm sorry, but the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is not in position to do the kind of research which you request. Our area of...
  • Antoine Nouens says #
    Dear Sir, Madam: Please assist me in regard of the following. I do research about US servicemen that were killed in WW 2 in and ne...

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo