In the News

New Readmobile to Visit Underserved Neighborhoods

Madison Public Library will collaborate with Dane County Library Service to bring a new, fully staffed Readmobile filled with library collections to five under-resourced neighborhoods weekly.

The program will operate solely on private support for four years, with a goal of inclusion in Dane County and City of Madison budgets in the following years.

The idea for The Readmobile came about after the Dane County Bookmobile piloted regular visits to the southeast side Owl Creek neighborhood in 2016, and saw astounding results. However, the Bookmobile can only haul bins of materials; it’s not a vehicle that patrons can enter and use like The Readmobile will be.

The Readmobile will offer collections, exterior programming space and free Wi-Fi. It will visit five locations:

  • Allied Drive
  • Leopold Elementary School
  • Park Edge/ Park Ridge (near Elver Park)
  • Reindahl Park
  • Vera Court/ Kennedy Heights

Librarians will circulate books, provide library cards, fulfill holds and host early childhood activities aboard The Readmobile.

The vehicle is in fabrication thanks to a lead $263,000 gift from the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation; additional support from The Evjue Foundation Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, and the Rennebohm Foundation; and donations from Dick Goldberg & John Reindl. Dane County Library Service contributed a cash gift toward the vehicle’s construction and will fund 25 percent of the personnel costs. Funds support the purchase, design and outfitting of the Readmobile vehicle; new staff to support the outreach; collections and programming; and vehicle maintenance, gas and insurance costs.

The total project cost for The Readmobile is $582,265. The foundation needs to raise another $172,430 before the vehicle makes its debut in 2019.

To make a donation toward the readmobile, visit mplfoundation.org/donate, select “Other” under Designation, and enter “Readmobile” in field that appears.

Library Website