W. Lyle Eberhart
By Joyce Eberhart
The Madison Public Library Foundation acknowledges and appreciates gifts on behalf of W. Lyle Eberhart’s friends and family.
Libraries were the central theme of our father’s work, and he left a deep love of books and libraries as a legacy. When we were young, family vacations centered on camping trips with stops at small town libraries along the way. His daughters and grandchildren have grown up with a love of books and reading, and a devotion to the sharing of knowledge. In fact, all five of his daughters have worked in a library system at some point in their careers and three of them currently make their livings as librarians.
W. Lyle Eberhart earned a Masters degree in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1951. He was first a librarian at the Detroit Public Library. In 1962 he moved his family back to Madison to work as a public library consultant in the Wisconsin Free Library Commission. In 1965 Lyle became the first administrator of the newly created Division for Library Services. He, with other leading Wisconsin librarians, developed a state library legislative proposal, making possible the creation of regional public library systems with partial state financial support for their operations. He was a founding member of Chief Officers of State Library Agencies.
We all remember our father’s love of libraries with pride and fondness. Until the end of his life, he quoted poetry and sang with us.