2016 Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame Selections

Posted by Brigitte Rupp Vacha on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in Awards

The Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC) has selected five individuals to be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2016.  They are Jane K. Billings, Jerome P. (Jerry) Daniels, Dianne McAfee Hopkins, Irene W. Newman, and Larry T. Nix. These individuals will join fifty other members of the Hall of Fame. The inductions will take place on October 27, 2016 at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Milwaukee.  The WLHC was established as a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation in 2007. The Hall of Fame, a part of the WLHC, inducted its first members in 2008. 

Jane K. Billings (1916-2004) served as Librarian of the Clintonville Public Library from 1939 to 1949, and from 1949 until her retirement in 1982 she was high school librarian and later coordinator of library media services for Clintonville Public Schools. She had an outstanding record of leadership in the Wisconsin Library Association, for which her colleagues recognized her by naming her Wisconsin Librarian of the Year in 1963.  She was President in 1947-49, after serving as Secretary in 1946-47.  

Jerry Daniels (1934-2009) worked at the Karrmann Library at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from 1965 to 1996, serving as Director from 1970 until his retirement in 1996. He was an outstanding academic librarian, providing leadership in the development of academic library service in Wisconsin.  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 and, 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. 

Dianne McAfee Hopkins, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), has influenced the practice of librarianship, especially school librarianship, not only in Wisconsin, but nationally and even internationally. Hopkins began her contributions to Wisconsin libraries when she became the director of the Bureau for Instructional Media and Technology at the Department of Public Instruction in 1977, a position she held until she joined the faculty of SLIS in 1987. She retired from SLIS in 2002, and in 2004 SLIS honored her for her exceptional leadership by establishing the Dianne McAfee Hopkins Diversity Award.

Irene Newman (1895-2005) served the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for 43 years, first as the assistant supervisor of school libraries, and, after her appointment in 1937, as Wisconsin supervisor of school libraries, a position she held until her retirement in 1965. Under her leadership, libraries were established in the smaller high schools and at the elementary level in Wisconsin. During this period, the place of libraries in a school was legalized and certified teacher librarians became compulsory.

Larry T. Nix joined the Bureau of Public and Cooperative Library Services in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in 1980 as a public library administration and buildings consultant.  He became director of the bureau, which later became the Public Library Development Team in 1983. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 2003. After retirement he served as Legislative Advocate for WLA and on the Board of the WLA Foundation. He conceived the idea for the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center (WLHC), which was established under the auspices of the WLA Foundation in 2007. 

More information about these inductees will be forthcoming in later blog posts.

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