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Summer Reading (We Read)

We Read Website Header 2022

The Madison Public Library wants to inspire youth to read and engage in cool programs throughout the year. WE READ is our invitation to your family to check out all of the free activities and resources your library provides!   

We Read is made possible thanks to support from Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, Madison Public Library Foundation, Dick Goldberg & Lisa Munro, and David Wood & Jane Doughty.

We Read Activities: Spring 2024

Spring seems to have come early this year with lots of sunny days, warm weather, and a February that felt like it flew by. At Madison Public Library, we're ready for Spring and we hope you are, too!

From March-May, we've got many programs and activities planned for kids, teens and families to enjoy at their local library. Here are the many ways you can engage with the We Read program this spring at Madison Public Library:

  • We Read Spring Break Madison Public LIbrary hosts programs and activities for kids and familiesJoin us for We Read Spring Break from March 25-29 for programs that encourage kids birth-18 to express themselves! We hope you feel a spark of creativity during the week leading up to the opening of the We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest. We'll have writer's notebooks available at each library location  for kids to pick up throughout the week, as well as over-sized story dice that can be rolled to generate characters, settings and interesting obstacles. Plus, programs include everything from LEGO storytelling to cardio drumming, clay sculpting, modern dance class and many more.

  • The We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest returns April 1! The theme for the 2024 Writing Contest is “Celebrate Small Heroes.” Every act of heroism, bravery, or kindness - no matter how small - matters. Daya Dhawal is the youth ambassador for the 2024 We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest at Madison Public LibraryThe theme was chosen by this year's Youth Ambassador and last year's Grand Prize Winner, Diya Dwahal. We can't wait to hear your stories of everyday acts of heroism and the impact they can have. Learn more:

  • Early Literacy Calendars: The Public Library Association created a year full of engaging content for families to enjoy, and Madison Public Library has copies available in both English and Spanish for library visitors. You can stop into any of our library locations in  to pick up the first 6 months of the 2024 calendar and begin a literacy journey with your little ones! Calendars include learning activities, curated book lists, nursery rhymes, song lyrics, early literacy tips, suggested reading material and more! The second six months will be released as part of the Summer We Read campaign. 

  • Books, Birding and Board Games: Explore the collection and find books, DVDs and video games to take home and enjoy over the long break. Or ask about something special from our Library of Things like a Birding Backpack, adaptive toy or vinyl record. Can't make it to one of our locations? You can always enjoy the library at home by utilizing our digital collection of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, graphic novels, comics, etc. Kids and families can enjoy birding backpacks and other surprising things when they explore Madison Public Library's Library of ThingsTV shows, movies, documentaries and more are also available using your library card via Kanopy, our video streaming service. Kanopy Kids has a curated collection of quality content for little ones that includes familiar characters from Sesame Street, PBS Kids, Weston Woods and more. 

  • Play, Build and Explore: Each library has its own unique set of materials or play options, including a variety of open-ended toys, art and maker supplies, video games, board games and more. Check out our online Play Guide to see which library location has the right play for your family. 

Upcoming Programs

See the list of events and programs you can participate in over the next 30 days below:

Additional programs are available on

Alicia Ashman Library

Central Library

Goodman South Madison Library

Hawthorne Library

Lakeview Library

Sequoya Library

What is We Read?

We Read Together illustration for Madison Public Library by Emily BalsleyWe Read is a year-round, all-ages, community wide celebration of reading what you want to read. Reading with our ears, reading together, reading outside, reading on an e-reader - it's all reading! Throughout the year we offer opportunities to celebrate reading with passive and active programs in our libraries and out in the community. See below for upcoming We Read Activities.

Be sure to join in the fun with what you're reading and how you're reading using the hashtag #WeReadMadison and tagging @MadisonPublicLibrary on Instagram and Facebook or @MadisonLibrary on Twitter. Plus, we've got a great selection of book lists that cover lots of genres and topics. Check them out now!

We Read is funded by Madison Public Library Foundation, Ascendium Education Group, Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, Dick Goldberg & Lisa Munro and Jane Doughty and David Wood.

Apply for a Library Card

You can apply for a card or manage your Library account in-person at any of our physical locations, including the Dream Bus. Library cards give you access to the Wisconsin Digital Library, ebooks, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, books and more!

If you don't already have a valid library card, you can apply for one online. There are two card options: Individual and Organizational.

Get an Organizational Card

Organizations can access physical and digital resources and materials.

Get a Library 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.

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