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Look Back 2022

Dec 22, 2022
Looking back at impactful projects and programs in 2022 at Madison Public Library

As we reflect on the last year at Madison Public Library, we're taking the opportunity to shine a spotlight on some lesser-known projects and partnerships that have had an impact on the Madison community in 2022. 

Parents As First Teachers

This is one that we don't get to talk about very often, but that has a behind-the-scenes impact for so many families. We provide books, resource kits, training and more to Madison Dane County Public Health’s Nurse/Family staff to promote early literacy practices and provide baby books during home visits. During the past year, we provided materials to eight local early-childhood orgs to give away 1,500+ board books and picture books in English, Spanish and Hmong, 70+ tailored book lists and 170+ grab bags. Thanks to our many partners for this special program and to Madison Public Library Foundation and Roots & Wings Foundation who support our efforts by providing funds that enable us to buy materials for local families. Read more...

The Bubbler at Madison Public Library

Over the course of 2022, the Madison Public Library contracted with 143 artists to enhance learning and connection throughout all nine of our libraries. Artist(s) shared their expertise and perspectives with us through:

  • leading and facilitating programming both in and outside of our libraries
  • developing artist residences
  • participating in community outreach events
  • assisting with archiving and design
  • encouraging makers and of all levels
  • speaking in panel discussions
  • consulting with us for future planning + development

A snapshot of Bubbler artist(s) focuses this year include: writing, beading, community organizing, found sculpture, graphic design, poetry, curating, native storytelling, painting, basket weaving, and musical performance to name a few.

Some standout programs from the year include the Bubbler in the Neighborhood program, which matched an artist to each of our nine libraries for the summer, and their ongoing Artist Residencies at Central Library, Pinney Library and Sequoya Library, along with the Classroom Mixtape projects with Shabazz City High School. Learn more...

Madison Reading Project

We've been partnering with Madison Reading Project for three years now, but this year was really one for the books! Working together, we delivered a total of 6,150 Maker Kits to 17 neighborhood and community centers in 2022. We also were able to give away 4,380 books this summer (5 to every middle school summer school student), send out 500 Baby Song Books in support of MRP's My First Pages initiative, and made sure that every Madison Metropolitan School District 4K classroom received a classroom collection of 14 books each. 

Here are a few more numbers from 2022 in collaboration with Madison Reading Project: 

  • 1,200 kids received early literacy activities through My First Pages
  • 1,700 library card applications were given to families
  • 20+ child care programs are regularly receiving library collection deliveries

Live Well @ Your Library

Although Live Well @ Your Library hasn't been around that long, this wellness focused group has been busy in 2022. This year, the group focused on health, wellness and art-based activities for older adults. Programs included topics like aging in place, de-cluttering and downsizing and the most recent arts-based workshops. We've hosted 9 Memory Book workshops this fall, with two more planned in 2023 at Sequoya and Alicia Ashman libraries! [SIGN UP] The group also hosted a virtual summit for wellness practitioners to share best practices and network with each other on the topic of creating impactful, accessible and sustainable wellness services for all. Keep up with Live Well @ Your Library and see what's coming up next at madpl.org/live-well.

Making Justice

The Bubbler's Making Justice program issued 63 contracts to 19 unique artists to enhance learning and connection for youth affected by the justice system across Madison throughout the year of 2022. These artist(s) shared their expertise and perspectives with youth through community partners like Dane County Youth Shelter, Juvenile Detention Center, G.R.O.W. Academy, and many more.

A snapshot of our artist(s) focuses this year include: podcasting, screen printing, kick boxing, paper making, meditation, and mural design - including the Metro Panthers mascot project connecting four court classrooms.

Due to a special gift we received in 2021 from Scooter Software, our team has been focusing on the development of hands-on programming around shoe design, which will be tested out with youth at many of our identified community partners. The development of this work has been student-led and collaborative with 10 different artists + experts sharing their skills and passions. This research, development and implementation will continue into 2023. Read more...

Affinity Groups

Madison Public Library's two affinity groups usually fly under the radar, so we wanted to give both groups a shoutout for their work this year! The Pride Affinity Group formed in late 2021 and as one of their first activities, they facilitated a big event back in April called TRANScend. The event included a panel, storytimes, resources and more in support of Trans individuals living in Madison. The group also tabled at events like the Pride Magic Festival in August, supported the Pride Prom in the Spring and held monthly meetings for their members.

The BIPOC Affinity Group, which formed in 2020, also met monthly throughout the year and invited speakers from the community to come share with the group on topics of Advocacy, Professional Development, Personal Development and Community Engagement. Some of their speakers this year included Baron Kelly, Andi Cloud and alder Brian Benford. The group also tabled at some key community events, like Juneteenth and the Hmong New Year, as well as hosting their Thanksgiving food drive to support the Goodman Community Center's Thanksgiving Basket Drive. We're so proud to have these two great affinity groups - supported by the Madison Public Library Foundation - that allow our staff to find community among their coworkers and also give back to the wider Madison community.

Friends of Madison Public Library

We're always so honored by the help we get from our Friends groups. We have individual Friends groups for each library location, so we wanted to highlight some of the amazing things they've done this year to support Madison Public Library. Many Friends' groups host book sales throughout the year that raise thousands for our libraries, as well as other activities like the Annual Meadowridge Library Pie Sale, volunteering in our spaces and holding other events. In the past year, the Friends have raised $66,370 collectively for Madison Public Library!

One cool thing to call out is that the Friends of Central Library used funds they raised to help us create the brand new Naturalist-in-Residence program - without their support, this program wouldn't have been possible. The Friends of the Madison Public Library provide volunteer support and recognition, advocacy, and supplemental funds for special projects and collections that enhance the Library experience. Thanks to the many wonderful folx who give their time and energy to helping support our libraries through the Friends. Become a Friend...

Birding Backpacks

We have lots of different collections at the library, but some are more unique than others! This year we introduced a new collection with the help of the Feminist Bird Club - Madison and the Madison Public Library Foundation: birding backpacks!

We added 18 backpacks to our library collection (2 for each location) that include binoculars and birding guides, and can be checked out for a week at a time. We've already had more than 60 checkouts and the collection just launched in September! In 2022, the Feminist Bird Club also hosted several birding outings, including one in conjunction with the Naturalist-in-Residence!

You can pick up a birding backpack at any of our locations - no holds, this is a walk-in collection. Learn more at madpl.org/birdingbackpacks