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About the Library

Madison Public Library's tradition of promoting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 145 years. Our nine locations throughout the City of Madison are open six days a week (with limited Sunday hours) and welcome nearly 2 million visits each year.


The Madison Public Library is an agency of the City of Madison. It is governed by a nine-member Library Board of Directors appointed for three-year terms by the Mayor of Madison. Functioning under the aegis of Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin Statutes, the MPL Board works in conjunction with the Mayor, Library Director Greg Mickells and staff, and the Madison Common Council to carry out the Library's mission in the community.

Madison Public Library is part of the South Central Library System, a cooperative network of 53 public libraries in a seven county area. The System offers a shared online catalog, daily delivery of books and media, and reciprocal borrowing privileges among libraries.

Madison Public Library at a Glance

In 2021*, Madison Public Library...

  • Welcomed 539,254 visitors from Madison, Dane County, and beyond (May-Dec)
  • Circulated 1.956,275 million library books and media
  • Facilitated 59,647 in-person computer sessions and 2.1 million wi-fi uses
  • Engaged 23,885 children and adults at 1,243 library classes and events (May-Dec)
  • Issued 11,283 new library cards
  • Provided space for 14,052 meetings and study sessions (May-Dec)

* All libraries reopened for regular in-person service on May 24, 2021.

Read our combined annual report (2021) for the Madison Public Library Foundation and Madison Public Library.