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

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo