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Madison Public Library is excited to support your family as kids across our city return to the classrooms. Librarians are here to help your kids through their educational experience both inside and outside the classroom. Library resources can help them thrive and learn emotionally, creatively, and physically.

You and your family are doing great! These librarian-approved resources are here to supplement the already wonderful learning environment that you are fostering and creating at home. 

Parent and Caregiver guide to Back-to-School with Madison Public Library

Find Something To Read

Keeping your child supplied with books they are interested in and motivated to read can be the greatest predictor of eventual reading success.

Get A Library Card

Kids of any age are welcome to get a free library card. There are two options for them to choose from. (Please see the options below.)

To get a card, fill out this form or visit one of our libraries.

■    Full Access Card: This is the traditional library card option which allows an individual to check out up to 100 physical items including five video games and five vinyl records. Full access card holders also have access to all of the other library resources such as computer access and online resources. In order to get a Full Access Card, kids under the age of 16 need to have their parent or caregiver’s permission. They also need proof of address and a photo ID. (Student IDs or Infinite Campus accounts with a picture work just fine!)

■    Easy Access Card: This is a library card option which makes it easier for kids to get a card without a parent or guardian’s signature and without proof of address. A photo ID is still required, but student IDs and/or Infinite Campus accounts with a picture work! With this type of card, you can only check out three items at a time, but you have access to all of the other library resources such as computer access and online resources.


All library card holders are able to stream 10 free movies or episodes per month on Kanopy and have unlimited access to Kanopy Kids and Great Courses, a collection of lectures on a variety of topics from literature, health, finance, and more.

Dream Bus

Dream Bus

Visit our mobile library that stops at a dozen locations throughout the Madison area.

Check out the schedule and find out when the Dream Bus will be in your neighborhood.

Digital Books

Wisconsin's Digital Library

With your library card, you have access to thousands of eBooks and Audiobooks with these services:

Recommended Reads

Recommended Reads

Novelist k-8 This database can help you find good books to read for your kids and young teens.

Or check out these Book lists compiled by Madison Public Librarians.


Get Help

Computers and Printing

Library computers are available on a first come, first served basis at all nine locations during their service hours. Busy parents can grab one of our Baby Play Kits to help entertain their babies or toddlers while they work or help on homework! Ask about them at your library!

Printing costs are $0.10 per page for black & white, and $0.50 per page for color.

Learn more on our Internet and Computer Access page.

Ask a Librarian

We love helping kids and families with questions!

Contact your local Youth Services Librarian or fill out our contact form or call our centralized reference line at 608-266-6300

Madison Writing Assistance

Do you have a teen or older child who is working on a paper or admissions letter? Consider connecting with Madison Writing Assistance to get personalized help.

Other Services

See what else the Library has available on our Current Availability of Library Services page.

Play, Explore, and Take a Break


Need a moment? Consider incorporating mindfulness activities into your child’s daily routine including these ideas from the UW's Center for Healthy Minds.


Racial Equity Resources

The Library is committed to supporting racial equity and social justice efforts throughout the city of Madison. Madison Public Library has created this resource list (books, videos, articles, websites, music, podcasts) which includes suggested resources from groups working on racial equity and social justice in Madison.


Explore high-quality apps you can feel good about using with your kids.


Enjoy an online song, game or storytime created by Madison Public Library Staff.

Or, even better, come to one of our storytimes at the library. See our calendar to find a storytime near you. 



Curated podcast stories for kids from Radiolab.

Explore hilarious, imaginative stories that spark conversations about emotions and other big feelings with The Imagine Neighborhood.

Play Spaces

Find the right play for your family at Madison Public Library. 

Our nine libraries each have their own play spaces with open-ended materials for kids of different ages to enjoy. Browse our Play Guide to find the right fit for you. 


I can’t seem to place a hold because I have fines, I thought you were fine free?

Madison Public Library went fine free in August of 2020.  Questions about library accounts can be addressed to the library at or 608-266-6357.

Our internet is down, or can I print something?

You can visit one of our libraries to use a computer and to print . Learn more on our Internet and Computer Access page.

Help, my kid is struggling!

We are bored.

How can I find information on help with rent relief, food purchases, and other basic needs?