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Library Takeover

Library Takeover Header

What is Library Takeover?

Library Takeover is a program created to support communities to make their idea happen at the library! We hope that by providing space, time, and resources for community members to host their own events, we'll not only have fun, exciting, events, but we'll also be setting the stage for future library programming that involves and reflects all of Madison.

Have questions about Library Takeover? Send us an email at

More Takeover

Find out about previous Library Takeover events and community partners on the Past Library Takeover Programs page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications for Round 5 of Library Takeover are no longer being accepted. The deadline for submitting applications was Wednesday, January 31 (11:59 p.m.), 2024.

1. What exactly is Library Takeover?

Teams of community members pitch event ideas they’d like to do at the Madison Public Library. A review panel chooses up to 3 ideas, and those ideas are supported with the following:

  • Funding (more on that below) to support your event
  • Free space in the library to hold your event
  • Event planning workshops to turn your ideas into action and meet with your team
  • Guidance from experienced event organizers and mentors

2. How are event ideas chosen for Library Takeover?

We are looking for innovative event ideas from community members who do not typically have access to resources for big community events. Specifically, no non-profits, for-profit businesss, institutions, or government agencies. Here are some details our reviewers will look for in applications:

  • Inclusivity - that the event is widely inclusive, or elevates a specific underrepresented group
  • Community - that attendees will feel a sense of community at the event
  • Impact - there will be a transformative impact on those who attend the event

3. What is the timeline for Library Takeover Round 5 ?

  • Applications open on December 1, 2023 and close on January 31, 2024.. 
  • Teams will be notified of their status the week of  February 26, 2024. 
  • Four planning bootcamps will be held at the Central Library (201 W Mifflin Street) Tuesday evenings, 6-7:30 in March and April, 2024 (dates TBD). There will also be a check-in meeting (online) sometime in April 2024..
  • Events will take place in late Spring, Summer, or Fall of 2024.

4. Who can participate?

Any group of 3-4 people who have an idea and are willing to attend four sessions to learn about event planning is welcome to apply. However, the entire team can’t be associated with an existing institution like a school, a government agency, a for-profit business, or a non-profit organization.

5. What kind of event can I plan?

Anything that’s free, open to the public, and inclusive will be considered. Events should be intended for adults. We encourage you to think outside the box! All we ask is that the event be held at the Madison Public Library or other approved location by late Spring, Summer, or Fall of 2024.

6. Will there funding available for the events?

Yes. Each team will have $2000 to spend on their event. How you use the money is flexible but there may be some restrictions on how the money can be spent. Don’t worry too much about budget details at this point--if your idea is accepted, we’ll work with you to figure out how to make it happen.

7. Do I need to have event planning experience?

Not at all! We will help you plan your event from idea to clean-up. At the four-part series of workshops, you’ll hear from other event organizers about how to plan an event, from budgeting to marketing to day-of logistics.

8. How will I be compensated for my time working on the Library Takeover program?

Participants will be contracted to receive a $400 stipend for their involvement following the event. We will also provide language for you to use to explain this experience on your resume and in job interviews.

An additional stipend is available to support child care needs for selected participants.

In addition to the contract with the Madison Public Library, the City of Madison requires a criminal background check for those who have direct contact with the public during library programming.

9. I’m an individual that wants to do this program. Can I sign up solo?

Individual signup is NOT available for this program. If you can find two or three people to join you, you can sign up as a team.

10. Where and when will the planning sessions be held?

The four-part series of workshops will be held at the Central Library (201 W Mifflin Street) Tuesday nights March & April, 6-7:30 p.m. (dates TBD). Refreshments are provided for Library Takeover participants. Depending on when your event is going to take place, we may ask that you schedule a few more informal meetings with your group to check in before the event.

11. Are you providing transportation to the bootcamp sessions?

Bus or parking passes may be provided.

12. Do I need to attend all of the workshops?

At least two people from each team need to attend each bootcamp session so that the event planning process can move forward. All team members need to be involved in planning and staging the event in order to qualify for the stipend.

13. I have a hard time getting my ideas down on paper. How can I get some assistance filling out the application?

Library staff at any Madison Public Library location can help fill out the application. You can reach out to staff by email at, by calling Central Library at 608-266-6350, or DM us (@madisonlibrary on Twitter or @MadisonPublicLibrary on Instagram and Facebook) and we’ll connect with you that way. Help may also be available through the Madison Writing Assistance program.

COVID-19 safety protocols for bootcamp sessions and Library Takeover events will be informed by current Dane County Public Health guidelines and recommendations.



This program was made possible in part by generous support from: