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Stearns, Lutie Eugenia / Traveling libraries in Wisconsin with directory of stations

III. History of traveling libraries in Wisconsin,   pp. 6-12 PDF (1.6 MB)

Page 6

in her home, loaning the books only to her more intelli-
gent neighbors and congratulating herself on the good
she was doing, when the children of families about her
were reading nothing or reading trash. Such a woman
needs to be taught to reach out for neglected children by
every means that a kindly tact and enthusiasm may sug-
gest and to hold them by a loving sympathy until the
book hunger grows."
  In February, 1893, the library of the State of New
York began to send out from Albany a number of small
libraries of 100 volumes each to such of the smaller cities
and villages as were not provided with free public libra-
ries. Each of these small libraries remained in a com-
munity for six months and was then exchanged for
another. The system of traveling libraries thus estab-
lished proved so flexible, useful and popular as to at-
tract wide notice and sympathy. In 1895 the legisla-
ture of Michigan appropriated $2500 to buy books for
a similar system and in 1896 the state of Iowa set aside
$5000 for a like purpose.
  In Wisconsin, the system was founded on somewhat
different lines by private philanthrophy.  In January,
1896, shortly after the organization of the Wisconsin
Free Library Commission, Hon. James H. Stout, a State
Senator from Menomonie, Wisconsin, asked the aid of
the Commission in making plans for a traveling library
system for his home county, for which he proposed to
bear all expenses. Mr. Stout was a trustee of the Mabel

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