Back to top


African American Culture Collection

The Central Library features a special collection of nonfiction and fiction celebrating African American Culture. Located in a display area on the 2nd floor of the library, the collection is home to nearly 400 books by Black authors that explore, highlight, and celebrate the African American experience. The titles cover a range of topics, including literature, contemporary essay collections, biographies, history books, cookbooks, art and photography collections, and more. The collection is made possible by the support of a former MPL staffer.

Bestsellers and Serendipity

serendipity DVDs and CD DVD players

Books: Bestseller Collections

Interested in reading the trendiest titles but want to skip the hold list?  Madison Public Library’s bestseller collection gathers the most in-demand fiction and nonfiction print titles that are topping national bestseller lists and local demand, with selections refreshed on a regular basis.  Bestseller collections are at all MPL locations, can be checked out for 14 days, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis inside the library.  

Dane County Seed Library

The Dane County Seed Library is a self-sustaining seed exchange program. Choose from flower, herb and produce seeds then "check out" seeds for at-home gardening. After growing and harvesting the vegetables, participants are encouraged to return seeds to the library to be checked out to someone else.

Local Materials

The Local Materials area of the Central Library contains materials about Madison, Dane County & Wisconsin history -- past and present. These materials include books, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings, maps, government documents, newspaper and periodical indexes. For more information about local history, see our recommended internet sites on Madison and Dane County history, our Research Guide to Local History, or information about obtaining an obituary from the library.

Mae Mitchell Multicultural Collection

PRISM (People Resources in South Madison) established this multicultural collection for children at the Goodman South Madison Library in memory of Anna Mae Mitchell. These books, which span the breadth of cultures, races, and ethnic groups, are a lasting tribute to her life and work. To this day, the collection continues to be supported by her family, friends, and those who remember her important contributions...

Too Good to Miss

Too Good to Miss is a special collection of popular books that are truly too good to miss.  Some are new and popular titles, others are older titles that might not have had as much media attention as a bestseller or celebrity book club selection but are still great reads that deserve another look.  New books are added to the collection monthly and are available at all Madison Public Library locations on a walk-in, first-come-first-served basis.  

Yahara Music Library

Yahara Music Library is an online music collection that celebrates Madison’s dynamic music scene by sharing local music with the greater Madison community. The diverse collection includes established musicians and up and coming artists who play everything from rock, hip hop, classical, and more.