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.

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Lucy E. Smith Morris, 2018 Library Hall of Fame Inductee

Posted by Larry T. Nix
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lucy smith morris2-reducedLucy E. Smith Morris (1850-1935) was a native of Berlin, Wisconsin. She was a contemporary and colleague of charter Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame member Lutie Stearns. Lucy Morris advocated for the development of public libraries beginning in the late 19th century.  She worked to unite local women's clubs under the umbrella of the Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs.  At the group's first meeting in 1896, the group determined that the establishment of public libraries would be their top priority.  Within a year, over 100 free public libraries were established throughout Wisconsin.
Lucy Morris's efforts in promoting the expansion of public libraries resulted in her appointment as one of the founding members of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission.  Working closely with Lutie Stearns from 1897 to 1917, she supplemented the work of the Commission by recruiting volunteers from women's clubs throughout the state. She was active in the initiative to develop traveling libraries throughout the state and served as president of the Wisconsin Library Association for the 1899-1900 term of office.
Lucy Morris's contributions to libraries were recognized after her death by the Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs with the Lucy Morris Memorial Membership to the American Library Association. This honor was presented on May 15, 1936, during the Friends of the Library luncheon.

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