A Million for the Sequoya Branch Library
The Sequoya Branch Capital Campaign began in 2006 with an overall fundraising goal of $975,000. Wisconsin First Lady Jessica Doyle, a former long-time resident of the Westmorland neighborhood, served as the Campaign Committee's honorary chair. Through many events, including appearances by many well-loved local authors, and through neighborhood and corporate donations, the Capital Campaign well exceeded its goal. The funds raised have paid for the library's furniture, fixtures and equipment. Names of those that contributed $1000 or more will be recognized on a donor wall. Additionally, naming opportunities throughout the library have been provided for donors who have made significant contributions, such as the Madison Community Foundation, Madison Gas and Electric Company, as well as several additional individuals and businesses. Capital Campaign Committee Chairs are Gary Poulson and Jean MacCubbin, both former alder persons who represented most neighborhoods in the immediate area of the Sequoya Branch.
The library reopened on November 20 after being closed for nearly six weeks. Many neighborhood residents braved Madison's first snowstorm of the season to attend the Grand Opening on December 8, 2008, and were treated to remarks from Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Library Board and Library Foundation Board President Tripp Widder, and Engberg Anderson Design Partnership Architect Joe Huberty before the ribbon cutting ceremony. A performance by the Westmorland Walking Band, refreshments, and an architect tour completed the official opening. Pictures of the event are on the Madison Public Library Flickr photosharing site
The library, expanded to 20,000 square feet from 12,000 square feet, features a special children's area with sections devoted to early literacy and family reading, an area especially for teens, and a hearth room for quiet reading. There is a large community room for neighborhood meetings and programs, and smaller conference rooms for study groups, small meetings and tutoring.
The new Sequoya will offer expanded Internet access computer stations with centralized printing, as well as full WI-FI availability for laptop users, the option of self-service checkout and nearly 120,000 assorted books and media as well as access to valuable subscription-based informational and educational databases through the LINK system. Sequoya is the busiest Madison Public Library branch, with 279,000 visits and 690,000 items checked out this year.
The new library is a departure from the decor of more recently remodeled Madison libraries in that it has a more structural feel, with some exposed elements and bright accent colors. Sequoya construction incorporated many "green" elements such as natural/renewable materials and finishes, and kind-to-the-environment features like a greywater system that collects rainwater from the roof for toilet flushing.
The new Sequoya Branch will earn LEED certification as green building, and the building itself will serve as a demonstration project - educating library users about sustainable buildings through a self-guided tour featuring the many environmentally sound decisions and practices that went into the library's design.
Beginning Sunday, January 11, 2008, the library will also be open Sunday afternoons from 1 - 5 p.m. through April 26, 2008. These Sunday hours are made possible by the Madison Public Library Foundation.
More updates and photos and videos of the new library can be viewed online