In the News

$15K Foundation Grant Supports Equity in Collections

Equity is a critical focus of Madison Public Library, and Madison Public Library Foundation is backing this effort in 2017 with a $15,000 grant to support the library’s equity initiative.

The grant will allow the library to expand collections for inclusion of popular materials that are in great demand at the city’s nine libraries,
especially in low-income neighborhoods. The dollars will cover 125 New York Times bestsellers; more than 400 popular books; and 800 film DVDs, TV series DVDs, Blu-rays, music CDs and video games, says Library Collection Manager Molly Warren.

Some of the items purchased belong to the Too Good to Miss collection, a special assortment of new and popular items, along with some older titles that might not have received much media attention but are still standout materials.

“Madison Public Library is the great equalizer in providing access to popular materials, but the need for these materials is higher in low-income neighborhoods,” Warren says. “All Madison residents deserve something fun to read, listen to or watch, and thanks to the generosity of the foundation, the library is able to provide free and equitable access to more popular materials.”

The library cited several factors in its grant request to the foundation to build a case for funding more popular materials:

• Going to the movie theater to watch a newly released film can cost as much as $18 per viewing, and theaters aren’t in close proximity to or easily accessible by public transportation from the majority of Madison’s low-income neighborhoods.

• Fewer feature films and television series are becoming available via streaming services like Netflix.

• Bestseller collections provide wildly popular new books for checkout without a wait list for library users who may not have access to a computer to place holds, or can’t visit the library in time to pick up holds.

The library makes titles available in-house only to reduce barriers.

Find the Too Good to Miss collections at some of the nine libraries, and support the purchase of materials equity at mplfoundation.org/donate.

The Too Good to Miss collection at some of Madison Public Library's nine locations includes popular materials that the library is working to more equitably get into the hands of all library users.

Library Website