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.
Daniels 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.