WLA’s First Library Conference, March 11, 1891

On this date 119 years ago the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) held its first conference in Madison. According to Benton H. Wilcox’s history of WLA, only 26 people were in attendance. Of these 15 were librarians. The call for the conference was worded as follows: “All citizens who are interested in library work are cordially invited. …teachers and school officers are especially requested to attend.

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Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Changes

Larry T. Nix who has served as Chair of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) Steering Committee since its establishment in 2008 is leaving the committee. Committee member Paul Nelson will take over as Chair. Also leaving the committee after completing three terms on the committee are Peter Gilbert and Lori Belongia. Continuing members on the committee in addition to Nelson are Ruth Ann Montgomery,

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Wisconsin Library Memorabilia Exhibit at Lone Rock

The exhibit of Wisconsin library memorabilia sponsored by the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is currently on display at the Lone Rock Public Library (see photo above). The exhibit will be there through the month of June. The Lone Rock Public Library is the smallest public library in which the exhibit has been displayed. A variety of library memorabilia exhibits have been on display in around 30 Wisconsin libraries so far.

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When Thoreau Came to Wisconsin

stamp-us-thoreau-72.jpgThis week is the 150th anniversary of the start of a trip taken by Henry David Thoreau and Horace Mann, Jr. to Minnesota and back to Massachusetts. The trip started on May 11 and ended on July 11, 1861. On the return leg of the trip Thoreau and his companion traveled through Wisconsin.  Corinne H. Smith,

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An enjoyable get-together, WLA’s first conference

wla-wilcox-bk2-72.jpgOn March 11, 1891, 120 years ago today, twenty-nine people gathered in Madison for the first conference of the Wisconsin Library Association. Benton H. Wilcox in his history of The Wisconsin Library Association 1891-1966  described the first conference: “The program appeared rather hastily prepared. F. A. Hutchins spoke first on the conditions and prospects of town libraries, and later on the manner of establishing free city libraries under the state law. 

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Happy 160th Birthday Frank Hutchins

hutchins-72.jpgToday is the 160th anniversary of the birth of Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame member Frank Avery Hutchins (1851-1914). Hutchins was a leader in the free public library movement in Wisconsin and the United States. Hutchins’ entry in the Dictionary of American Library Biography (Libraries Unlimited, 1978) written by Helen Huguenor Lyman has this to say about him: “Frank Hutchins,

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