Back to top

2022: A Year in Review

2022: A Year in Review

2022: A Year in Review

2022 was our first year fully back open to the public after COVID-19. We were able to go into the community this year and spend time in parks, at community events, and in our libraries reconnecting with kids, families, and all who visit the library. As you scroll, you'll see a data-based breakdown of our year, that helps tell the story of our library and our services. You'll see the most checked-out items, what your fellow Madisonians are reading, how many events the Wisconsin Book Festival had, and what the Dream Bus got up to, as well as so much more. Thank you to all the library visitors in 2022 and we look forward to continuing to serve the needs and hopefully meet the expectations of the public going into 2023. 

Physical Checkouts in 2022

As mentioned, 2022 was our first year being back to full, in-person services at the library and we saw that reflected in our checkouts of physical library materials (books, magazines, DVDs, etc.)! Madisonians checked out 1.7 MILLION items this year, which is 16.7% more than in 2021. Sequoya Library continues to be our most popular library for checking out materials, with Pinney in second and Central Library in third. Thanks to the DVD-watchers, gamers and our many, many readers for showing us some love this year!

Digital checkouts from Madison Public Library in 2022

As we look back at 2022, we have to talk about eBooks and Audiobooks! This year, Madisonians increased their digital checkouts by 13.1%, reading almost 75,000 MORE digital materials in 2022 than in 2021. You can also see the Top 5 titles in eBook and Audiobook on the infographic - Little Fires Everywhere continued to be a popular eBook choice in 2022, while Braiding Sweetgrass and Becoming both stayed in the Top 5 Audiobooks for 2022. We love our digital readers - make sure you've set up your Libby account to start checking out digital materials! 

eBooks and Audibooks | Try Libby

Total library visits to Madison Public Libraries in 2022

With 2022 being our first year fully back in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic first began, we knew we'd have more visitors this year than last. After all, we couldn't welcome visitors until May of the previous year. However, we didn't expect to see the number of visitors more than double in 2022. Over 1 million people walked through our doors this past year and wow were we glad to see you! Between storytimes, knitting and chess clubs, book clubs, voting, vaccine clinics and so much more, there were lots of reasons why the library was the place to be last year. We hope to see even MORE of you this year!

The Wisconsin Book Festival celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2022

The Wisconsin Book Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary year with more than 75 events, mostly in person plus some virtual. It has been incredible to see the growth of the event in that time, particularly in the 10 years we’ve been hosting it here at Madison Public Library. We were delighted to return to a fully in-person four-day celebration, which saw 50% more attendees than the 2021 edition!

The Wisconsin Book Festival also continued their partnership with Madison Public Library Foundation and A Room of One's Own bookstore to be able to provide 3,000+ FREE books during 2022. Plus, we had a great slate of authors who visited, including Art Spiegelman, Pete Souza, Ross Gay, Alan Moore, Andy Weir, David Maraniss and so many more!

Watch Past Events

Computer use at Madison Public Library in 2022

Being able to offer FREE computers to the public is something we are very proud of. We know how vital access to the internet can be - whether it's applying for that job, getting that application in, printing those forms or even just for a needed entertainment break! In 2022, the number of computer sessions increased by 75% from ~63,000 in 2021 to over 110,000 in 2022. The library is a free place to work, study or browse the web, plus there are so many resources all around you that can supplement what you find online.

Computer and Internet Access

Madison Public Library's Dream Bus performance for 2022

The Dream Bus has only been on the road for 4 years, but it has already had a big impact on the community. In 2022, our mobile library visited a dozen (or more) sites every week to provide library access and resources, but they also attended some key community events! The Dream Bus made appearances at Juneteenth, Mobile Madison and Parks Alive events, and some Forward Madison soccer games.

Over the summer, the Dream Bus hired a maker intern to lead children's programming at different stops and community events and year-round the bus gives out We Read materials. 

See the Dream Bus Schedule

Special collections checkouts in 2022 at Madison Public Library

In 2022 our Library of Things grew even more with the addition of Birding Backpacks! Thanks to a partnership with the Feminist Bird Club - Madison chapter and the Madison Public Library Foundation, we're able to offer two backpacks at each library location that can be checked out for up to a week. Each backpack contains an adult and kids' pair of binoculars, field guides, and a local guide to birding so you can find locations to try out your new hobby near your neighborhood library.

Check out some of our other special collections and all the use they got in 2022. Did you know we have record players for checkout at Central and Monroe Street Libraries? Did you know you can check out multiple books at a time to read with your Book Club?

Madison Public Library has 48 online databases to choose from

Being able to access resources online from your home or on the go has become increasingly important, so we've added even more online databases to help facilitate that. In 2022, we added Kanopy, our video streaming service, where you can take a Great Course or watch Academy-Award nominated features. We're proud that we've already got thousands of users in the first year of Kanopy with more than 33,000 video plays!

Additionally, genealogy continues to be a popular pursuit at the library with lots of searches on Newspaper Archive and lots of usage on Ancestry Library. Our online databases cover everything from New York Times and Washington Post access to studying for ACT/SAT tests or US Citizenship tests using Learning Express to learning a new language with Transparent Languages.

Explore databases today!

Madison Public Library issued 14,058 Library Cards in 2022

Library Cards are at the core of what we do at the library. Your Madison Public Library card gives you access to a whole world of entertainment and access, and in 2020 we reduced barriers even further by eliminating fines. In 2022, the number of new library cards we issued increased by 29% from 2021. You library card is a free pass to over 2.5 million books, 30,000+ streaming titles on Kanopy, hundreds of newspaper and magazine subscriptions and so much more.

Don't have a library card yet? What are you waiting for?! Get one today:

See more Accountability stories