Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy 150th Birthday Henry E. Legler

Henry E. Legler (1861-1917) earned a national reputation as a public library leader while serving as Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC) from 1904 to 1909.  For his service in Wisconsin, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Library of Fame in 2009 (Hall of Fame biography). While in Wisconsin he became actively involved in national library activities and was elected as the first chair of the League of Library Commissions in 1905. Building on booklists established by the WFLC, he founded the Booklist of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1904 and served as its editor until 1916. He was a member and chair of the ALA Publishing Board, and served as ALA President in 1912-13. After leaving Wisconsin in 1909 he became Director of the Chicago Public Library, a post he served in until his death in 1917. Legler was instrumental in the relocation of the headquarters of the American Library Association from Boston to Chicago in 1909. Legler is included in the Dictionary of American Library Biography.  He was one of eighteen library leaders included in the publication Pioneering Leaders in Librarianship (ALA, 1953).

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