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Summer Reading

We Read Nosotros Leemos

What is We Read?

We Read is a year-round, all-ages, community wide celebration of all kinds of reading. To participate, Madisonians can simply find something to read that they love, share it with a friend or on social media and join in the conversation about reading using the hashtag #WeReadMadison. There will be a variety of ways for Madisonians to engage with We Read this summer through their neighborhood library and out in the community.

Your library is here to celebrate with you! Starting June 12th, everyone is invited to stop into the library to pick up your official We Read items including a We Read tote bag to fill with titles from our amazing collections. 

For adults, ask one of our librarians about a book club kit to read with your friends, or be sure to join in the fun with what you are reading and how you are reading on social media. Plus, we've got a great fiction Summer Reading Book List full of books everyone will be talking about this summer!

We Read is funded by Madison Public Library Foundation, Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, and Dick Goldberg & Lisa Munro.

We Read Summer 2021 Event Calendar

We Read Summer 2021

Download Printable Calendar of Events

This summer will include a number of fun outdoor events for kids and families through We Read. The team will be handing out lots of giveaways at library locations and on the Dream Bus, as well as providing grab-and-go Mini-Maker Kits from the Bubbler, hosting Serendipity Saturdays at various library locations and having Storytimes and other family events in the community. 

Mini-Maker Kits:

Kids and families can enjoy unique activities with Mini-Maker Kits from The Bubbler. These creativity-inspiring, hands-on kits will be assembled and put out for families to grab at the We Read Displays in libraries, beginning in July. 

  • July: Paper Puppets Kit. Materials and ideas included. K-5
  • August: Things That Fly Kit. Paper airplanes, paper helicopters and straw rockets. K-8

Additional kits may be released this fall!

Serendipity Saturdays: 

Come enjoy a variety of events for kids and families - most events are perfect for ages 4+ with adult help. Drop in anytime between 12-2pm for these outdoor events where you can reconnect with your local librarians. We’ll be there to guide you through quick, socially distanced outdoor craft projects. We Read Serendipity Saturday at Sequoya LibraryDuring the month of June, we’ll have markers and decorations ready so you can customize your We Read bag. Throughout the rest of the summer, activities will vary each time and in each location, and may include an activity such as planting seeds, creating recycled robots, tiny acts of kindness and much more! 

We Read: Youth Voices Writer's Contest

In 2021, Madison Public Library and Forward Madison FC are teaming up to promote reading, literacy, and youth voices. Learn more about the partnership!

This summer, Madison Public Library, Forward Madison, and the Wisconsin Book Festival are partnering to host the We Read: Youth Voices writer’s competition. Aspiring writers aged 18 and under are encouraged to submit a short story, poem, song, or any other written form between June 12-September 17th. Learn more about the contest and submit your story at!

We Read in a Flock StickersWe Read in the Community: 

The Dream Bus will be at over a dozen weekly stops, as well as some special events to hand out We Read giveaway items. As part of our new partnership with Forward Madison FC, you’ll find the Dream Bus located outside of Breese Stevens field during select games throughout the summer. See the full Dream Bus schedule at

Dream Bus at Forward Madison Games:

  • Saturday, June 12
  • Saturday, July 24
  • Saturday, September 11
  • Saturday, October 30 (final home game of the season)

The Dream Bus will be outside Breese Stevens Field from 5-7 p.m. during the dates listed above.

We Read on the Spot!:

Pop in with your kids to connect with your local librarian in the children's area! Grab a recommended read, learn a new song or rhyme to do at home or an easy activity that promotes early literacy skills. Plus, this is a great opportunity to share with others YOUR favorite recommended reads and activities you do as a family! 

While we currently are not offering structured programs, our librarians are excited to provide amazing resources and services to support you and your little one(s). 

  • Alicia Ashman Library, Wednesdays, July 7 - August 18, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Hawthorne Library, Fridays, July 9 - August 13, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Goodman South Madison Library, Fridays, July 9 - August 13 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Sequoya Library, Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 15 - August 17, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Pinney Library, Mondays, July 12 - Aug 16, 10-12 Location: Play lab 
  • Lakeview Library, Wednesdays, July 7-28 & August 11 & 18, 10-12
  • Meadowridge Library, Mondays, July 12 - Aug 16, 10-12

How Can I Participate?

We want to celebrate your reading and perhaps connect you with other folks across the city who are readers just like you and want to share their favorites, too!  

  • Recommend your favorite book with a photo or video
  • Take a photo/video of yourself reading 
  • Make a video showing how or where you read
  • Tell us about your reading through lyrics, poetry, art, or however else you feel comfortable

Be sure to follow @MadisonPublicLibrary on Instagram and use the hashtag #WeReadMadison so we can share your creativity!

    Apply for a Library Card

    While you're practicing social-distancing by remaining at home and avoiding crowds, you can still access many of Madison Public Library's digital resources with your library card. If you don't already have a valid library card, you can apply for one online. There are two card options: Virtual and Full Use.

    Get a Virtual Card

    Access ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines and online databases

    Get a Full Use Card

    Access all digital and physical materials, including books via curbside pickup, and DVD and vinyl collections

    Social Media

    Like/Follow/Tag @madisonpubliclibrary

    Use #WeReadMadison if you’d like to participate. We’ll feature your photos/videos on our page and in our stories!

    Access our Media Kit for graphics, press release and an email template for easy sharing.

    Want to get We Read updates in your inbox?

    Sign up for our Library Kids newsletter!

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