Friday, March 27, 2009
Odd Wisconsin: Bookmobiles were seen as a threat by some
The Wisconsin State Journal's Odd Wisconsin feature notes that 60 years ago, rural Wisconsinites objected to bookmobile service from Madison as "outside interference" by educated librarians plying "bad books" with "frank language." Library use increased by 160 percent in northeastern Wisconsin and children's reading scores improved significantly. But in 1952, four years after the program started, rural residents voted no when asked to support the program with local tax dollars. The article notes it took another 35 years for library service to be available throughout the state.