The Capital Campaign


Help Bring a New Library
to Madison’s East Side

Construction of the new Pinney Library is underway. Tri-North Builders is leading the project, with completion in late February. The new facility will serve as an east side community hub — a safe place to read, learn, relax and connect.

 The new Pinney Library will be located in Ruedebusch Development & Construction’s Royster Commons, a mixed-use development at 516 Cottage Grove Road. It will become the heart of the east side in the same way that Sequoya Library serves the west side. The foundation wants tomorrow’s Pinney to meet the needs of industrious east siders who have a voracious appetite for lifelong learning, creativity and the sharing of knowledge.

The foundation is nearing its goal of raising $1.6 million in private funds for the $10.2 million project. Capital expenses will consume $1.2 million of that total, with an additional $400,000 earmarked for program costs and the library’s endowment. As with previous library capital projects, any funds raised in excess of the goal will go into the endowment fund.  

Why Do We Need a New Library?

 To become a first-rate library like the recently completed Meadowridge and Goodman South Madison libraries, Pinney must relocate and expand. The current library is too small and can’t keep up with visitors’ demands. Its program room is often beyond capacity, computer stations are full, and study/lounge seating is inadequate. 

An increasing number of residents near Pinney are underserved, and at several public schools within the library’s service area, more than 77 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Pinney will also serve a growing number of seniors, especially those just steps away in the 55-and-over housing adjacent to the library. This population is eager to gain new digital skills; attend educational, life-enriching programs; and interact with other community members.

Who Uses Pinney Library?

Pinney Library serves the Eastmorland, Lake Edge and Schenk-Atwood neighborhoods, along with thousands of students who attend the 12 schools within a few miles of the library. But Pinney’s reach goes well beyond these areas to Monona and Cottage Grove while also drawing visitors devoted to its diverse programs. It’s the third-busiest library of Madison Public Library’s nine locations.

About the Project

The new Pinney Library will be pedestrian-friendly, with Madison Metro bus access, plenty of bike racks and lots of parking. It will be a model building for sustainability, with the hopes of attaining LEED Gold certification.

Other planned features include:

  • an expanded, flexible program room that seats 100
  • improved spaces for teens and children
  • updated technology, including a laptop checkout program
  • an outdoor space for events and programs
  • a quiet reading area
  • a drive-through book drop

Named Gift Opportunities

Many individuals, families, businesses and organizations want to demonstrate their support of the new Pinney Library with named gift recognition in a particular library area. View our Named Gift Opportunities Packet for details on various giving levels and how we’ll recognize your gift. Gifts for particular library areas or features may also be anonymous. 

Thank You to Our Campaign Committee

Thank you to The Capital Campaign for a New Pinney Library Committee for its volunteer work in raising funds for the library. Members include Allen Arntsen, Paul Hoffmann, Heather Clefisch, Sarah Lawton, Phil Plourd, Jeff Ruedebusch, Miriam Simmons, Vern Stenman, Bill White and Tripp Widder.

Latest Pinney News

Pinney Library is currently housed in an interim location at 211 Cottage Grove Road. It will close on Sunday, February 16, at 5 p.m. The new library will open its doors on Saturday, February 29, for Love the Library: A Grand Opening Gala for Pinney Library. It will open to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, March 12, with grand opening events throughout that weekend. More details are available here.

The Pinney Library Endowment Fund Challenge is on! Help us raise $50,000 by May 31 to earn a $25,000 challenge grant from Madison Community Foundation. Give today on our Donate page and be sure to select the Pinney Endowment Fund Challenge upon checkout.

Visit the library’s Pinney page for information about the interim location and for grand opening information.

View the most recent construction photos and architectural renderings here.

How You Can Help

Your help is so important to our campaign’s success. A donation to the new Pinney Library is an investment in a better and brighter future for the east side. Please make yours today on our Donate page. You may also complete our pledge form to commit to a donation over a specific number of months or years.

The money raised will support:

  • Community Art – artwork throughout the building, and Pinney Studio programs and supplies
  • Early Learning Programs – the PlayLab’s volunteer docent program, take-home activities, play story stations/supplies, interactive play materials and training for in-home childcare providers
  • Adult Learning – partnership classes, food access, bike repair and more

You can also support the new library by:

  • telling your friends and coworkers about the new library
  • becoming a member of the Friends of Pinney Library
  • volunteering at Pinney campaign-related events

Call 608.266.6318 to inquire about volunteer opportunities.

Thank You!

We’re grateful for every donation to our campaign. View a list of all Pinney campaign donors here.


About the Festival

Since 2002, the Wisconsin Book Festival has brought thousands of local and internationally acclaimed authors to downtown Madison in celebration of literacy, conversation and ideas. Presented by Madison Public Library in partnership with the foundation, the festival offers year-round events led by authors representing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, spoken word and other genres. The 2020 festival celebration is scheduled for October 15–18. 

Most events are normally held at Central Library, with some at other libraries, local bookstores and UW-Madison campus venues. Approximately 15,000 people attend festival talks each year. However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is live streaming its events.

What makes the festival an incredibly successful Madison tradition is that all events are FREE and available to the public. To achieve this, the foundation raises half of the festival's $250,000 annual budget through private donations.

Join a community of readers, book lovers and enthusiastic supporters and ensure the festival's future as a vital part of Madison culture by contributing today.