Go Big Read 2016-2017

Selection | Book Availability | Book Discussions | Events

Each year Madison Public Library partners with UW-Madison to extend this perennially popular Go Big Read program into the broader community with book discussion groups and programs at our libraries. 


2016 Go Big Read Selection

Chancellor Rebecca Blank has selected Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City as the 2016-17 Go Big Read book. Desmond documents the increasingly frequent experience of housing instability for poor, renting families. Through the interwoven stories of eight families living in Milwaukee, WI, Desmond illustrates the human impacts of a shifting economic and policy landscape. To learn more, see the official press release.   

Matthew Desmond received his doctorate from UW-Madison in 2010 and is the recipient of a 2015 MacArthur “Genius” grant. He is a sociologist and urban ethnographer who currently serves as John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, the Co-Director of the Justice and Poverty Project, and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at UW-Madison. Learn more about Matthew Desmond and Evicted.


Book Discussions

Every Madison Public Library location will be hosting a book discussion of Evicted. Copies of the book will be available to checkout at the library approximately one month before the discussion date.




Go Big Read Keynote Speaker: Matthew Desmond, author, presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Book Festival

Tuesday, November 1, 7:00-8:30pm, Memorial Union Theater

Free tickets are required for this event. Student/staff tickets open Oct. 3, general public tickets open Oct. 5, via the Memorial Union ticket office (in person or online/$4 processing fee). Limit 2 per person. A standby line will be offered.


Livestream of "An Evening with Matthew Desmond"

Tuesday, November 1, 7:00pm, Alicia Ashman Library, Central Library, and Meadowridge Library

Can’t make it to campus for the live event? Join others at one of three Madison Public Library locations to watch a live web stream of the event.

Encore Presentation of "An Evening with Matthew Desmond"

Saturday, November 5, 1:00pm, Sequoya Library
Sunday, November 6, 2:00pm, Pinney Library
Friday, November 11, 6:30pm, Hawthorne Library

Missed the event? View a recording of the author’s talk on the big screen.


Tour a Tiny House

Wednesday, November 9, 5-9pm, Central Library

During the resource fair, you'll have the opportunity to stop outside the library and tour a tiny house built by Occupy Madison, Inc.

Occupy Madison is an organization that envisions a place where people with or without current safe housing can live and/or work cooperatively in a way that promotes dignity, safety, stewardship, and sustainability for all. Their projects include:

  • OM Build - Building Tiny Houses
  • OM Goods - Building products for sale to fundraise to build houses
  • OM Village - A tiny village for our Tiny Houses


Film Screening and Discussion: 30 Seconds Away: Breaking the Cycle

Wednesday, November 9, 6:30pm, Central Library

Experience the struggles of chronically homeless men in Milwaukee as a former federal agent takes you from the streets through the justice system in the film 30 Seconds Away: Breaking the Cycle. Discussion and Q&A with director Faith Kohler and producer Jessica Farrell to follow the film. View the film trailer at www.30secondsaway.com.


Take Action: Housing Resource Fair

Wednesday, November 9, 5-9pm, Central Library

Inspired by Evicted and want to take action? Find out how local organizations are working to solve housing instability in Madison and you how can help, too.

Access to Independence
ACCESS to Independence provides resources, services, and advocacy for people with any type of disability, and of any age.

Aging and Disability Resource Center
The ADRC of Dane County provides information about resources and support on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability and is a one-stop shop for older adults, people with disabilities and their families. ADRC staff are unbiased and knowledgeable professionals who listen to your concerns, help clarify your options and direct you to appropriate resources. The ADRC is also the access point for information about long-term care options and applying for public benefits. Services provided by the ADRC are free and available to all Dane County residents regardless of income or assets.

Dryhootch is a nonprofit 501c3 organization formed by combat Veterans to help Veterans in their return home.

Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison
Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison provides counseling, investigation, and legal referral services to those who feel they have been denied housing or housing loans and insurance, or offered it on unequal terms, because of discrimination. The Fair Housing Center also provides information on fair housing laws to housing providers and the general public. All services are free.

Homeless Veteran Re-integration Program - CAC and EATA partnership

Hope Haven/Catholic Charities
Hope Haven has provided affordable and effective residential substance abuse treatment for adults ages 18+ who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction since 1973. Our substance abuse treatment plans are customized for each individual, including those with a dual diagnosis. Our "Preparation for Employment" program assists our clients in finding jobs and housing after they receive treatment. This approach helps to create stability and maintain long-term sobriety.

Movin' Out, Inc.
Movin' Out, in partnership with people with disabilities and their allies, creates and sustains community-integrated, safe, affordable housing solutions. Movin' Out, Inc. provides information and resources covering a wide range of housing options to Wisconsin households that include a family member with a permanent disability.

Porchlight, Inc.
Porchlight strives to decrease the homeless population by providing shelter, housing, supportive services and a sense of community in ways that empower residents and program participants to positively shape their lives.
Port St. Vincent de Paul
Offering help and hope, housing programs operated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Madison provide a home for up to 60 people at a time. Along with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, a program for women and children transitioning from homelessness, The Port has long helped restore hope for men needing transitional, supportive or emergency housing. The Port also supplies meals, clothing and 24-hour staffing. Both programs help participants work toward goals for their appropriate next steps in life.

The Road Home of Dane County
The Road Home Dane County provides opportunities for homeless children and their families to achieve self-determined goals and affordable, stable housing.

Rural Housing, Inc

Rurual Housing, Inc. is a state-wide non-profit organization dediacted to improving housing conditions for low-invome familier across rural Wisconsin. We work together with clients and local communitie to develop solution to prevent homelessness an promotoe housing stability. Currently our Critical Assistance program covers 69 or the 72 counties, excluding Dane, Milwaukee and Racine. We collaborate with and support local efforts to solve housing issues and are intentionally flexible so we can best meet the varied needs across oru service area.

The Tenant Resource Center

The Tenant Resource Center is a nonprofit, membership organization dedicated to promoting positive relations between rental housing consumers (tenants) and providers (landlords) throughout Wisconsin. By providing information and referrals, edcation about rental rights and responsibilities, and access to conflict resolution, we empower the community and obtain and maintain quality affordable housing.

Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education, and Social Services (WisCARES) is an outreach partnership at the University of Wisconsin that provides basic veterinary medical care, housing support and advocacy, and other support services to Dane County pet owners who are currently experiencing or are at risk of homelessness, as well as those who are unable to pay for veterinary medical services needed for access to housing.

Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development
The Partnership is committed to housing for everyone because we believe that is is essential for building healthy communities. WPHD develops housing for sale in the City of Madison. We also operate a Housing and Financial Stability Program that works with families who want to purchase a home, but need some help figuring out how to qualify for a mortgage. We manage rehab and down payment assistance programs that help homeowners make needed repairs to their home. Finally, we engage in advocacy to try to increase the resources available for affordable housing.