Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels (1934-2009) 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Library Association annual meeting in Milwaukee on October 27, 2016.

Jerome (Jerry) DanielsDaniels was an outstanding academic librarian, providing leadership in the development of academic library service in Wisconsin.  From 1965 until his retirement in 1996, he worked at the Karrmann Library at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, serving as Director from 1970 until his retirement in 1996. At the Karrmann Library, he was especially interested in the application of computer technology to library services, and he was generous in sharing his experiences with his colleagues across the state.  The Wisconsin Library Association recognized the excellence of library service at the Karrmann Library in 1982 by naming it Library of the Year.  Daniels served on the UW System Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries for many years.

He had a solid record of leadership in WLA, contributing especially to the effective operation of the Association.  From 1970-1973, he served as Treasurer, working effectively to put WLA’s financial and membership records and processes on a businesslike basis.  In 1976, he chaired a special WLA committee to study the role of the Administrative Secretary.  In 1977, he was Chair of the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians.  Other WLA committee assignments included the Appointments Committee, Intellectual Freedom Committee, and Public Relations Committee.

Throughout his career, Daniels provided leadership in cooperation and resource sharing among libraries of all types.  In Southwest Wisconsin, he worked with the Southwest Wisconsin Association of Libraries, the Southwest Library System, and staff in CESA3 to develop programs for interlibrary cooperation and networking.  He was also a leader in library cooperation at the state level, serving as Chair of the Council of Wisconsin Libraries in 1974-75 and as a member of the Wisconsin Library Network Planning Steering Committee in 1981.

Daniels had important impact on library development in Wisconsin through his legislative activities.  Throughout his career, he was an active member of WLA’s legislative networks and action groups and could be counted on to contact legislators on issues for all types of libraries. At the time of the merger of the Wisconsin State Universities into the University of Wisconsin System in the early 1970s, he worked tirelessly, along with WLA’s Legislative Liaison, Wayne Bassett, to obtain statutory language that would protect the tenure-track faculty status of librarians at the former State Universities.  In 1977-78, he served on the Wisconsin Legislative Council Special Committee on Library Laws.

The community of Platteville benefited greatly from Daniels’ leadership and community service.  In 1974, he helped galvanize support for a new public library building.  A lasting tribute to his community service is the Rollo Jamison Museum.  Over many years, Mr. Jamison collected artifacts of southwest Wisconsin history.  When Mr. Jamison was no longer able to care for his collection, Daniels worked tirelessly to convince him to establish a formal museum and to convince the City of Platteville to accept the museum.  Daniels was a leader in forming the Jamison Museum Association, which is an important support group for the museum’s continuing activities.

Daniels was born on March 12, 1934, in Greensburg, PA, and died on January 2, 2009 in Platteville, WI.  He received his bachelor’s degree in radio and television production in 1957 and his master’s degree in library science in 1965, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
 

This Hall of Fame entry was written by Charles Bunge.

Jane K. Billings ((1916-2004) 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

Jane K. Billings was born in Watertown, Wisconsin, June 10, 1916 and died in Clintonville June 26, 2004.  She received a bachelor’s degree in library science in 1939 and an M.A. in library science in 1962 from the University of Wisconsin Library School.  She served as Librarian of the Clintonville Public Library from 1939 to 1949.  From 1949 until her retirement in 1982, she was high school librarian and later coordinator of library media services for Clintonville Public Schools.

Billings had an outstanding record of leadership in the Wisconsin Library Association, for which her colleagues in WLA recognized her by naming her Wisconsin Librarian of the Year in 1963.  She was President in 1947-49, after serving as Secretary in 1946-47.  She had a particular interest in library personnel issues, reflected in her service on the WLA Certification and Civil Service Committee in the 1940s, when WLA worked closely with the Free Library Commission on the certification of public librarians.  In 1958-60, she served on the WLA Professional and Personnel Problems Committee.  Billings contributed to WLA’s legislative program throughout her career, always to be counted on to contact legislators on behalf of library legislation.  In 1948, she represented WLA on the Joint Extension Committee with the Wisconsin Library Free Library Commission, which produced The Wisconsin-Wide Library Idea, an important basis for subsequent WLA legislative efforts.  In 1970 and 1971, she had influential roles in WLA’s work toward Wisconsin’s first public library systems law. In 1972-74, Jane served on the Library Development and Legislation Committee.  Other WLA committee work included the 1960-61 Special Committee on School Librarians’ Participation in WLA, which resulted in the establishment of the School Library Section of WLA.

The impact of Billings on the improvement of library service in Wisconsin was great, especially through her work on state-wide library development and interlibrary cooperation.  Starting with her work on the WLA/WFLC Joint Extension Committee in 1948, mentioned above, which promulgated foundational ideas that were implemented through public library systems in later decades, her work in this area continued into the 1970s with service on the Wisconsin Task Force on Interlibrary Cooperation and Resource Sharing.  In between, she served on the Division for Library Services Advisory Council on Library Development from 1965 to 1971 (chairing it in 1969-70) and was a member of the Wisconsin Legislative Council Advisory Committee on Library Laws Revision that wrote Wisconsin’s first public library systems law in 1970.  She was an active part of the legislative network that worked to get this law enacted.
Billings was an outstanding school librarian, and she was generous in sharing her knowledge with others.  She was a frequent presenter in conferences, workshops, and panels on school media center administration, standards, and materials selection.  She was a popular teacher in courses on services and materials for young adults at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library School in the 1960s and 1970s.

This Hall of Fame biography written by Charles Bunge.

 

WLA Pinback Buttons

Pinback buttons have been used by libraries, library organizations, and library vendors for many years to promote a variety of library related events, programs, services and products. These buttons are great souvenirs and most librarians have at least a small collection. The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) has been among the organizations creating pinback buttons to promote its conferences and programs.  Below is a selection of these. More library button examples can be found HERE and HERE.
 

The First Books-By-Mail Program in Wisconsin

Parcel 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.
 
 

The 1979 White House Conference on Library and Information Services

 
The first White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIS) took place in Washington, D. C. on November 15-19, 1979.  Preceding WHCLIS each state in the nation held a pre-conference.  In September, 1978 148 delegates representing communities and institutions from around Wisconsin gathered in Madison for the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Library and Information Services.  The Governor’s Conference had been preceded by meetings of hundreds of citizens in ten areas of the state in June-July, 1978 to discuss their concerns and needs for library and information services. Four delegates selected at the Governor’s Conference represented Wisconsin at WHCLIS.  They were James White, La Crosse; Jenelle Elder, Milwaukee; Jan Coombs, Marshfield; and John J. Jax, Menomenee Falls. The delegates at WHCLIS passed 64 resolutions to improve the quality and access to library and information services.  A second WHCLIS took place in 1991.  It too was pre-ceded by state level conferences including one in Wisconsin that took place in Madison in February, 1991.
 
 

WLA’s Centennial Celebration

 
 
The Wisconsin Library Association celebrated its centennial in 1991. As with this year’s 125th anniversary celebration, WLA’s annual conference took place in Milwaukee. The conference theme was “Celebrating Ourselves”.  In the introduction to the conference program, WLA President Peter Hamon wrote : “The choice for our theme became obvious. We serve our various publics every day, year in and year out.  All that service is dedicated to them.  This conference, however, is not.  Instead it honors you, those who came before you, and those who will come after.  You and yours have served Wisconsin for a century.  For these few days, let us celebrate ourselves.” It was at this conference that a resolution was passed welcoming back into the WLA community WLA’s disgraced first president Klas Linderfelt.
 

Inform Wisconsin: A public library legislation and funding proposal


Seeking increased funding and legislation in support of libraries has been a long standing priority for the Wisconsin Library Association.  One of the most ambitious such efforts occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  The effort was titled “Inform Wisconsin” and was the result of the Final Report of the Task Force on Public Library Legislation and Funding to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction which was submitted in October, 1988.  Although the report addressed a large number of issues faced by Wisconsin public libraries and public library systems, the lack of adequate funding for public libraries was the most significant issue. To deal with this issue the Task Force recommended a “Public Library Foundation Program” which would ensure that every resident of the state had access to a basic level of public library service. The level of funding needed to accomplish this was deemed to be $12 per capita for a total of $73,000,000 with the funding coming from state aid.  However, up to $62,000,000 of that amount could have been used for property tax relief by local communities already funding libraries at $12 per capita.  The Inform Wisconsin report was widely discussed in the library community and endorsed by the Wisconsin Library Association.  Although a number of its legislative recommendations were accepted by the State Superintendent and ultimately enacted, the Foundation Program was never advanced as a budget proposal by the Department of Public Instruction. 

Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide

 
 
The Wisconsin Library Association published the Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide in 1989. The guide highlights Wisconsin’s literary contributions and connections.  It connects Wisconsin writers with the places in Wisconsin where they lived and wrote about. It is arranged alphabetically by community.  The source for much of the material were the Wisconsin Notable Authors list and the Banta Award recipients.  The guide was dedicated to Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame member Orrilla Blackshear.  In 2012 WLA put the contents of the guide on the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries website.  
 
 

Wisconsin Libraries and World War I

wi-library-war-council-72
 
When World War I broke out in Europe in 1914 the United States was officially neutral.  However, it proved impossible for the United States to maintain its neutrality and on April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed a declaration of war against Germany. The American Library Association saw an opportunity to provide library service to the men in the armed forces, and in June of 1917 it established a War Service Committee. During and after WWI the ALA Library War Service provided millions of books and magazines to soldiers, sailors, marines, and merchant mariners in the U.S. and in Europe. Wisconsin libraries actively cooperated with the American Library Association in its efforts to provide books for soldiers and sailors during World War I. This included participation in nationwide fundraising efforts. Matthew S. Dudgeon, Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, took a leave of absence to serve in the Library War Service. He was in charge of all camp libraries in the U. S., and later served in France.  A Wisconsin Library War Council was established to help raise funds “To Buy Good Books for the Soldiers” (see receipt above). The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center sponsors library history related exhibits in libraries. One of those exhibits was about the role libraries played in World War I.
 
 

Wisconsin’s Carnegie Libraries

 
Andrew Carnegie was often referred to as the “Patron Saint of Libraries”.  He donated $56,162,622 for the construction of 2509 library buildings throughout the English-speaking parts of the world.  He donated $40,000,000 for the construction of 1679 public library buildings in the United States.  Sixty Wisconsin communities were the recipients of 63 public library grants from Andrew Carnegie.  In addition, two academic institutions also received Carnegie library grants.  Fifteen of these Carnegie buildings have been razed, thirty have been repurposed or are no longer used as libraries, but 20 are still being used as public libraries.  Most of the Carnegie buildings that continue to be used as libraries have received various expansions and modifications. In some cases the expansion is larger than the original Carnegie building. Years in which Carnegie library grants were received (not including the 3 branch libraries) along with the number of libraries: 1901(7); 1902 (9); 1903 (12); 1904 (3); 1905 (8); 1907 (3); 1908 (1); 1911 (2); 1912 (2); 1913 (5); 1914 (3); 1915 (3).  Only six other states received more Carnegie grants than Wisconsin.  The first Carnegie building completed in Wisconsin was the Central Library of the Superior Public Library.  More information about Wisconsin’s Carnegie libraries can be found on Wikipedia.  Judy Aulik’s Library Postcards site has images of Wisconsin Carnegie libraries on postcards.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Andrew Carnegie’s birth, the Carnegie Corporation distributed Carnegie’s framed portrait to all Carnegie libraries in America in 1935 including those in Wisconsin. One of those portraits is shown above.