Madison’s Central Libraries

The Madison Public Library’s new central library was dedicated today. The new central library is a substantial remake of the central library building which was built in 1965. For all practical purposes it is a new building. The first separate library building for the City of Madison was a building built with assistance from Andrew Carnegie.  That building which was located at 206 N.

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Governor Doty’s Public Library

doty-72.jpgOne of Wisconsin’s earliest and most unusual libraries was that of Territorial Governor James Duane Doty (1799-1865). While serving as Territorial Governor (1841-1844) in Madison, Doty made his own personal library of about 500 volumes available for use by the general public. Colonel George W. Bird writing in the August 1907 issue of the Wisconsin Library Bulletin described the library.

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Library Liquor Fee

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The Janesville Young Men’s Association Library (a membership library) was founded in 1865. An amendment to the City of Janesville charter was enacted which provided one half of the liquor license fee for the purchase of books for the library. The Board of Supervisors for Rock County lobbied its state legislators to repeal that amendment.

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Origin of Wisconsin’s Public Library Law

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Wisconsin’s original public library law was introduced as Assembly Bill no. 87, 1872 on January 26, 1872 by Assemblyman Alexander Graham of Janesville, Wisconsin. It was approved by the Governor on March 22, 1872. The  Graham Bill was remarkably similar to a bill introduced in the Illinois Legislature on March 23, 1871 and signed into law on March 7,

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Library System Anniversaries 2009

Significant anniversaries are opportunities for libraries and library organizations to acknowledge their heritage and at the same time put the spotlight on their library or organization. I generally encourage the idea of celebrating anniversaries as often as every five years and definitely every ten years. This year a number of Wisconsin public library systems have significant anniversaries.  The Southwest Wisconsin Library System is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Library Services Act multi-county library cooperation project that evolved into the Southwest Wisconsin Library System.

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