The "Best" Books for Children, 1890

Circular Relating to Public School Libraries of the State of Wisconsin, 1890.


Laws passed in 1888 and 1889 required Wisconsin communities to commit tax dollars to support libraries in their schools. This booklet was an attempt by state officials to make sure that the new program exposed children to "profitable reading" that supplemented their textbooks. After a six-page essay justifying the program, most of the pamphlet consists of a list of recommended books for the various grades. It is firsthand evidence of the values promoted by educational experts as they tried to raise literacy levels and instill cultural norms throughout the state's multi-cultural mix of communities.



Related Topics: The Progressive Era
Americanization and the Bennett Law
Creator: Wisconsin. Dept. of Public Instruction
Pub Data: Madison, Wis.: Dept. of Public Instruction, [1890]; from a copy in the Wisconsin Historical Society Library, Call Number WI LIB.8/2:L 5
Citation: Circular Relating to Public School Libraries of the State of Wisconsin, 1890 (Madison, Wis.: Dept. of Public Instruction, [1890]) Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1718; Visited on: 9/18/2014
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