Friday, February 11, 2011
Happy 120th Birthday Wisconsin Library Association
Today marks the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA). On February 11, 1891, a group of individuals gathered in the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (located in Wisconsin's second Capitol, shown above) for the purpose of establishing a state library association. At that meeting, a constitution was adopted and officers were elected. They included K. A. Linderfelt, president; R. G. Thwaites, vice-president; and F. A. Hutchins, secretary-treasurer. The first conference of the newly established association took place in Madison on March 11, 1891. The constitution of WLA was based on that of the New York Library Association which was founded in 1890 and was the first of the state library associations. Melvil Dewey was instrumental in the formation of the New York Library Association. There are six other state library associations celebrating their 120th anniversary this year. They are Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Kansas, Minnesota, and Indiana. The Wisconsin Library Association Foundation is the home of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center.