History and Overview
Since 1875, Madison Public Library has been a leader in building and sustaining a literate community, transforming lives through knowledge and information and enhancing Madison’s high quality of life. Madison Public Library promotes lifelong learning by creating welcoming spaces that offer collections and services to inform, inspire, enrich and entertain.
In 1993, the Madison Public Library Foundation was established in the spirit of public/private partnership with the City of Madison to provide resources and financial support to extend and improve library services and collections, and make Madison’s libraries more comfortable and welcoming for all.
The Madison Public Library Foundation was established to assist in filling the financial gap between appropriated City funds and the ever-rising costs of Library resources and services that meet the diverse needs of our community.
Sustaining a vibrant Public Library system requires a willing community to participate in the overall planning and implementation of high quality programs and services. The Mayor, the City Council and elected officials, the Library’s Board of Directors and personnel are all committed to the library’s mission. Further, generous individuals and foundations invest in the Library’s success through the Madison Public Library Foundation. Most importantly, the people of Madison collectively define the Library and make it the best it can be.
Madison Public Library strives to:
Promote lifelong learning by supporting people of all ages and from all walks of life to explore, discover and learn on their own terms and in their own time through access to information, ideas and learning opportunities.
Provide resources that inspire, enrich and entertain by building virtual and in library collections that reflect the needs and interests of the community. Provide easy access to books and other materials that expand people’s horizons and provide opportunities for personal growth.
Promote reading by celebrating books and reading by promoting library collections and book related programs and services to users of all ages. Emphasis is placed on literacy, and especially early literacy for families through expanded collaborations with community agencies serving preschoolers.
Create welcoming library spaces by creating “public commons”, libraries that serve as neighborhood crossroads and gathering places where a diverse Madison community connects and shares. Additionally, the MPL website serves as a dynamic, and interactive virtual space.
Build community by celebrating Madison’s cultural heritage and history, and inspiring its future; encouraging civic engagement by offering people multiple opportunities to connect and interact, both virtually and physically; building partnerships with other community agencies and groups to further Madison’s goals and meet the needs of its citizens.
Pursue continuous organizational development and renewal by building and sustaining an organization that emphasizes ongoing staff development, celebrates diversity, welcomes change and pursues excellence.