When a library opens, it becomes a longstanding support to its community, with open catalogs of knowledge and resources available for everyone. But without a fund to sustain the library’s future, making improvements and other enhancements can be financially challenging. Madison Public Library Foundation has established endowment funds — reserved for long-term library support, and managed by Madison Community Foundation — for each of Madison Public Library’s nine libraries to ensure the health and potential of the libraries for years to come.

When you make an endowment donation, it goes directly toward the library of your choice. Each year, library staff can request an endowment distribution to support new collection materials, projects, furnishings, facility improvements and more.

In 2021, Meadowridge Library tapped its endowment for a new quiet/socializing space, new shelving for its growing collections, and two new book trucks. 

”In recent years, (the endowment fund) has helped us acquire resources to create a sense of belonging for youth and families,” Library Supervisor Yesianne Ramirez said. “A good example is the creation of a quiet/socializing room that is inclusive and friendly for everyone. We are very fortunate to have these funds as they have been a key factor in supporting one of the most diverse communities of patrons in the Madison Public Library System.” 

Lakeview Library has greatly benefited from its endowment as well — namely, with additions of new, lighter furniture and shelving for patrons, as well as supporting building renovations. Lakeview Supervisor Carra Davies, said these improvements have made the library more welcoming.

“With the endowment fund, Lakeview Library was able to enhance our renovations with new furniture for our patrons, including café chairs in our back work area, task chairs at our public computer stations, and a variety of desk chairs in our work and study areas,” she said. “We added shelving for children’s video games, making that collection more accessible. We’ll also be adding a storage cabinet for youth programming to enhance equipment access for our youth programmers. Finally, we’ll be adding a window seat/ board book shelf in our kids’ section to add some seating, as well as organize our board books in a more efficient and accessible way. 

“Patrons have been very pleased with the way it looks (the color scheme complements our new paint and color themes), and the comfort, aesthetics, utility and versatility of the new furniture. Thank you!”

How can you support one of the foundation’s endowment funds? It’s as simple as making any donation. Visit our Donate page, and you’ll be prompted to select an endowment from a list of options. If you’re looking for your favorite neighborhood library, simply select it. Or, if you wish to support all nine local libraries’ endowments, you can choose the general endowment fund, which distributes funds to any of the nine facilities. 

And for those of you who gave to an endowment fund in 2021, we’re very grateful for your contributions!

Endowment funds are the building blocks toward creating a bright future for your libraries. Visit our Endowment Funds page to learn more.