Library History (1916-1923)

With the completion of the Home Economics Building (Harvey Hall) in 1916 the library found a home that it was to keep for nearly forty years. The Stout Annual for that year stated:

"Along the west side of the main floor extends the library with its fire-proof stack room, its special reference and conference room, magazine alcove and conveniently designed furnishings. The room is well lighted and well ventilated and large enough to accommodate nearly two hundred students. Another room on this floor is designed as a textbook room and has two delivery windows up on the main corridor."9

Harvey Hall

Harvey Hall
Completed in 1916, the library moved into the west side of the main floor and stayed for nearly 40 years despite increasing severe space shortages. (Photo courtesy of UW-Stout Archives.)

Harvey Hall Interior, 1916

Interior of the Library in Harvey Hall as it looked upon occupancy, 1916. (Photo courtesy of UW-Stout Archives.)

 

This increase in size of accommodations was badly needed by the library. At the time of the move the size of the collection had expanded to nearly 6000 volumes and 4000 pamphlets, with a growth rate of better than 10 % a year. It was unfortunate that Hahn had little time to enjoy the new facilities. Due to illness she resigned her position in November, 1918, and died less than a year later. She had been popular with the students and had the 1915 Student Annual dedicated to her. The Stoutonia recorded, "Ten years ago Mrs. Hahn came to Menomonie to take charge of the Stout Institute Library. From that time to one year ago her happy laugh and cheerful greeting made all who knew Mrs. Hahn find an added pleasure in frequent visits to the library."10

Following the retirement of Mrs. Hahn the library was to see a number of librarians in quick succession. Ottilie Liedloff finished Mrs. Hahn's last academic year and was herself replaced in the fall of 1919 by Ruth Tobey.

Tobey, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Library School, served at Stout for two years before moving to Indiana."11 Margaret Gilpin, Tobey's replacement, served only one year before being replaced in turn by Marjorie Beal. Beal worked at Stout for nearly a year and a half before taking a job at the New York State Library in December, 1923.12 Christine Halseth, the assistant librarian, assumed the duties of the librarian for the rest of the 1923-24 academic year. In fact, it was probably Halseth who ensured the smooth running of the library during this period of rapidly changing head librarians. Halseth prepared most of the annual reports and did many of the other jobs of the librarian as well, but may have lacked the formal education to head the department herself. She first came to Stout in 1913 after serving as an apprentice at the Mabel Tainter Memorial Free Library and was to stay at this institution until 1928.

 

Ruth Tobey Head Librarian 1919-1921

Ruth Tobey
Head Librarian, 1919-1921
(Photo from the 1920 Stout Tower)

 

Margaret Gilpin

Margaret Gilpin
Head Librarian, 1921-1922
(Photo from the 1922 Stout Tower)

 

Marjorie Beal

Marjorie Beal
Head Librarian, 1922-1923
(Photo from the 1923 Stout Tower)

 

Christine Halseth

Christine Halseth
Assistant and Acting Head Librarian, 1913-1928
(Photo from the 1923 Stout Tower)

--Kevin Thorie 

The Beginning   |  1916-1923  |  1924-1935