In 1904 the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC) published a book titled Some Wisconsin Library Buildings. The book was comprised primarily of photographs of selected Wisconsin library buildings but also included a tabulation of all library building projects completed or in the process. The book notes that when the WFLC was organized in 1895 there were only three libraries in the state occupying their own buildings,
In January, 1905, just over 110 years ago, the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC), the predecessor to the Wisconsin Division for Libraries and Technology, published the first issue of the Wisconsin Library Bulletin (WLB). The new monthly publication was described as “A Magazine of Suggestion and Information” and was devoted to the improvement of Wisconsin’s libraries. It reported on library activities and development within the state and provided a wealth of practical information primarily for public libraries.
In 2005 DEMCO, the well known library supply company headquartered in Madison, WI, celebrated its centennial. As part of that celebration it published a book entitled Honoring A Century of Service – The Story of Librarians & DEMCO 1905-2005 by Raymond M. Olderman. Far from being a boring corporate history, the book does indeed tell the story of both librarians and DEMCO during this hundred year period.
In 1897 the Wisconsin Free Library Commission published a 39 page booklet entitled Free Traveling Libraries in Wisconsin: The Story of Their Growth, Purposes, and Development; With Accounts of a Few Kindred Movements. The cover of the publication is shown here. The cover includes the statement: “It is after all, not the few great libraries, but the thousand small ones,
Congratulations to WLHC Steering Committee member Ruth Ann Montgomery on the publication of her new book on the history of Evansville, Wisconsin. The book is part of the Images of America series published by Arcadia Publishing. Ruth Ann is Director of the Arrowhead Library System in Janesville and is a longtime Evansville historian.
The Wisconsin Library Bulletin was begun in 1905 by the Wisconsin Free Library Commission under the leadership of Henry E. Legler. It continued publication through 1984. It is the most comprehensive account of Wisconsin’s library history for that period. It includes a wealth of information which can be utilized by libraries and those interested in local and state history to tell the story of Wisconsin’s libraries.
Two members of the WLHC Steering Committee have articles in the Summer issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History. Michael Edmonds is the author of “On the Trail of Paul Bunyan” and Christine Pawley is the author of “The Wisconsin Idea in Action: Reading, Resistance & the Door-Kewaunee Regional Library, 1950-52”. Congratulations to both of them.