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Summer Reading (We Read)

We Read Website Header 2022

What is We Read?

We Read is a year-round, all-ages, community wide celebration of reading what you want to read. Everyone is invited to stop into the library to tell a librarian about what you love to read and receive some small celebratory gifts such as a We Read tote bag, sticker sheets you can color yourself, color changing pencils, special postcards so you can write a message to a friend and more. 

Adults, We Read is for you too! Think you don’t have time or energy to read for pleasure? We’ve got some suggestions that might help AND we want to celebrate all sorts of reading – there’s so much more to reading than just books! Talk with a librarian about finding the joy in reading and you can also take home some small gifts for yourself, including some larger stickers (like for a water bottle), some postcards with quotes we think you’ll enjoy and maybe one of those color changing pencils!

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.

How Can I Participate?

  • We Read at Goodman South MadisonRead what you ​want to read! Go to the library and pick up your free We Read tote bag and load it up with things you're excite to read (doesn't have to be just books!). Then, talk to a librarian when you're at the library about what you're putting in your book or about your favorite thing to read so that we can celebrate your progress and creativity with a small celebratory gift!
  • Attend a program at the library or in the community. See below for a list of events and activities happening both in our libraries and out and about in Madison. You can collect We Read materials,  sign up for a library card, browse books and engage in art and making activities for kids and families. 
  • Share what you read. We know that relationships build readers, whether that’s snuggling with someone special while reading at bedtime or a friend telling you about their favorite new read or swapping magazines to read outside in the sunshine. We encourage you to share your favorite comic book, audiobook, online article, storytelling video game... any favorite read with friends!
  • Feeling creative? Try one of these:
    • Recommend your favorite read with a photo or video
    • Take a photo/video of yourself reading together or in an unusual spot
    • 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!

We Read Activities

Celebrate WE READ this winter by joining in on all of the free activities and resources your library provides!

Winter Break Activities at Madison Public LibraryProgramming

  • We've got special Winter-Themed Activities happening throughout December. Browse the list of programs and come enjoy some Festive Fun at Madison Public Library this month.
  • We're also thinking about all of you wonderful parents out there who are looking for special making, dancing, playing activities for your kiddos to enjoy while they're out of school for a few weeks. Check out our many Winter Break Activities for kids and families. 

Play area at Lakeview LibraryPlay Spaces

The children’s play spaces at each library are getting upgrades thanks to a generous grant from the Madison Public Library Foundation. These new play materials are a carefully curated collection of minimally structured toys that allow for the widest variety of play. Stay tuned and be on the lookout for more new items for kiddos in our spaces!

Gift Books for Kids 2022Gift Books

Each year we put together a special list of books for kids, teens and young adults. If you're in the process of shopping for the holidays (or any time!), take a look at this list of great ideas for books kids will enjoy for years to come. GIFT BOOKS 2022

We Read Comics Maker KitComics Maker Kits

From December 9, 2022 - January 6, 2023 you can pick up a Maker Kit at any Madison Public Library or on the Dream Bus, to take home and do together during winter break!

We Read Postcards

We Read PostcardsWe Read is all about reading what YOU want to read! When you've found that perfect book, audiobook, graphic novel, etc. you may want to crow about it from the rooftops. Why not send a postcard instead? We created 18 different postcards in English and Spanish for you to use to talk about your favorite books, share recommendations and reconnect with loved ones through snail mail. We're excited to offer this opportunity to spread your reading joy! If you'd like to send your postcard in the mail, ask at the desk and we'll provide a free stamp.

However you choose to connect with libraries and reading this winter  -- enjoy yourself! 

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

Monroe Street Library

Sequoya Library

We Read Youth Voices Anthology

We Read: Youth Voices Writer's Contest

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

In 2021, Madison Public Library, Forward Madison, and the Wisconsin Book Festival partnered to host the We Read: Youth Voices writer’s competition. Aspiring writers aged 18 and under submitted short stories, poems, songs, etc. between June 12-September 17, 2021. In October, our panel of community judges selected the winners and finalists! Our librarians have put together a We Read Youth Voices Anthology featuring stories submitted during the contest. Head over to to learn more about the contest and visit to read and listen to the stories! 

The contest is sponsored by the Madison Public Library Foundation and will return in 2022.

We Read to Babies and Toddlers Baby Song BookWe Read to Babies & Toddlers:

Your librarians have created a book of rhymes and songs for babies and toddlers as part of We Read! You can pick up copies of this booklet at your local library, scan the QR code using your smart phone's camera and access songs on the go. Thanks to the many librarians who contributed their singing talent to creating this fun resource for families! Hear the songs online.

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.

Want to get We Read updates in your inbox?

Sign up for our Library Kids newsletter!

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