Full-Text of Wisconsin Library Bulletins, 1905-1984, Now Available Online
|Early Logo of the Wisconsin Free |
Library Commission, circa 1902
Credit my colleague Abby Swanton, coordinator for the Wisconsin Digital Archives, for working with her contacts at the Legislative Reference Bureau (who already had worked with Google for legislative document access), the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and the DPI administration in gaining authorization for relinquishing DPI's copyright on those materials, as well as many other publications of the Free Library Commission and the DPI. I am also grateful to the Google staff working on the Hathi Trust project for facilitating the initial search list and access, and their continued efforts to clear specific publications for access.
Accessing the Collection
A sample of library history articles from the pastFifty years ago, in the 51st volume of the Wisconsin Library Bulletin (January-February 1955), Emmett C. Blackshear (presumably spouse of Bulletin editor Mrs. Orrilla Blackshear), wrote about the beginning of the Bulletin in 1905, its format, cost, and content. In that same issue there is a related article, "ALA Booklist Reaches Fifty-Year Mark" showing how that time honored publication (still frequently cited on dust-jacket and ad blurbs today), has its foundation in the Wisconsin Free Library Commission's "Suggestive List of Popular Books for a Small Library," first issued in 1897.
|Picture of Larry Nix, announcing his|
joining the Division as a consultant,
in the May-June 1980 issue
The entire Summer 1984 issue is dedicated to the Long Range Plan for Library Services in Wisconsin, 1984-1989, and offers an interesting comparison to issues and challenges faced in statewide support of public libraries today.
The final issue of the Bulletin, Winter, 1984 (issued quarterly instead of bi-monthly by that time), included articles from retired members of the Wisconsin library community. One of particular interest is entitled "Wisconsin Public Library Service to Children: Its History and Development from 1872 to 1984," by Elizabeth Burr.
After the Wisconsin Library Bulletin ceased publication, the Division had only its newsletter, "Channel DLS" (later just Channel) as a regular source for news. But since that was not bound and shelved by academic libraries, it does not appear in the Hathi Trust or Google Books collections. However, issues from 1997 through 2010 are still available through the Wisconsin Digital Archive here, and the Division can consider how and when to digitize the intervening issues of Channel for preservation and access.
Written by John DeBacher
Public Library Development Team