Madison Public Library provides free and equitable access to cultural and educational experiences. We celebrate ideas, promote creativity, connect people, and enrich lives. The library's tradition of supporting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 135 years. Our nine locations throughout the city are open six days a week (with limited Sunday hours) and welcome over 2 million visits each year.
Madison Public Library: your place to learn, share, and create.
Borrow materials from the 9 Madison Public Library locations along with 44 member libraries of the South Central Library System. See if the item is checkedin on the shelf before you head down to the library or just place a hold and pick it up at any public library in our area.
Discover, collect, and enjoy music from Madison's music community.
Madison has always been home to a dynamic music scene. The Yahara Music Library celebrates that fact by creating an online library of local music to share with the community. The diverse collection of music in Yahara includes established musicians and up and coming artists who play everything from rock, hip hop, classical, and more. All South Central Library System card holders can stream music from the Yahara Music Library using any web browser or download albums in multiple formats to a variety of devices.
Madison Public Library established the Yahara Music Library not only to share local music but also to support local musicians. That's why you'll find more than just music in Yahara. Artist and album pages feature reviews, biographies, and information about upcoming shows, links to the musicians' websites, social media, and online stores. We hope that Yahara creates new fans and inspires listeners to support the artists who make the music.
The Yahara Music Library was a collaborative project between the Madison Public Library and Murfie Music, Inc of Madison. The Madison-based Murfie corporation is a modern take on the neighborhood record store. Murfie digitizes the CD collections of its customers and makes those collections available for streaming, downloading, and selling in its online marketplace.
Murfie and the Library are releasing technical elements of the Yahara Music Library under an open source license. This means that anyone can contribute to the project's design, and other institutions can create their own iterations of the project. Yahara runs on a combination of this open source code and elements that were developed by Murfie. Institutions creating their own version of this project can develop their own system or work with Murfie to use theirs. The project can be found at github.com.
To have your CD or album considered as an addition to the Yahara Music Library, complete this application. Please keep in mind that we cannot accommodate all requests for inclusion, and that we follow guidelines detailed in the Madison Public Library's Collection Development Policy.
Central Library houses the Bubbler Room, which hosts a variety of workshops and participatory projects. The room is on the Ground Floor and is open during all regular Central Library hours, so stop by anytime. You may find anything from a cheesemaking workshop, to a drop-in printmaking session, to an impromptu dance party! Madison Public Library's Artist-In-Residence uses a portion of the the Bubbler Room as their public studio and workshop space for moths at a time.
Individuals: Check out the Bubbler Calendar or stop by the Bubbler Room for a true Madison experience if you're in the downtown area! You may run into our Artist-In-Residence or find the perfect hands-on project just waiting for you!
Groups: Connect with us to see if we can schedule a group workshop with the Artist In Residence.
The Media Lab on the 1st Floor of Central Library in Madison, WI, is a free space for teens and adults to explore digital media production in the realms of stop motion animation, 3D world design, CG animation, green screen video, audio design and graphic design. View a list of hardware or software available and check out the Media Lab webpage for open hours and staff expertise. Get in touch to schedule a time for your teen group!
You don't even have to stop by the desk to find out what your local library staff think about the books they read, just check out their reviews on MADreads.
Reading over the summer is incredibly important for students and their academic achievement. Join the local teen conversation at the Teen's Choice Awards page.
For more about the importance of summer reading, read the Department of Public Instruction's Fact Sheet, Why Public Library Summer Reading Programs Are Important and this article from School Library Journal. Or check out the Summer Learning Loss video from Brian Williams.
Looking for information or library resources by topic? Start here or ask our librarians for help.