Madison Public Library Foundation disbursed $105,500 in grants to Madison Public Library this spring for technology, collections, professional development, events and other projects that enhance the library’s service to its patrons.

Technology, $25,000 Funds will be used for software licenses like Adobe so library patrons can access useful programs that they may not have ready access to on their own computer. Additionally, the grant will cover the cost of hiring a consultant to draft a multiyear technology plan for the library, allowing it to plan ahead for future technology and to be ready for new innovations.

Collections, $20,000 The library will spend collections funds on eBooks. Madison Public Library is part of a statewide consortium which shares resources. Because Madisonians tend to be heavy eBook users, they pay more each year for increases in eBook purchases. Expanding the eBook variety keeps readers engaged.

Professional Development, $25,000 More library staff will be able to participate in job skills and career development training. The library will seek out beneficial general workplace training, too, such as social justice conferences, to help employees grow personally and professionally. Engaging staff through training and development helps them become true community ambassadors and effective public servants. Funds will also support the library’s annual Staff Day.

Program Venture Fund: Bubbler Impact, $15,000 The Bubbler will use the Program Venture Fund to work with a local software company on building an app that helps staff measure the effectiveness and impact of Bubbler programs for kids, teens and other community members. This app will make it easier to collect observational data on things that are hard to measure, such as creativity and engagement.

Equity & Innovation: Virtual Learning Project, $15,000 The Meadowridge Virtual Learning Project will use virtual reality-based gaming equipment (through PlayStation) to teach information library concepts to children and young adults. Many of the anticipated project participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Virtual Learning Project will use innovative technology and instructional methods to teach real-world concepts.

Kidspages Redesign, $2,000 This mini-grant will pay for a graphic designer to redesign the Kidspages youth library newsletter, as well as hire an intern who will survey families, track program attendance and measure results to determine future programming.

Community-Driven Book Club Kit, $2,000 The Community-Driven Book Club Kit mini-grant will encourage support of local authors, promote discussion, and emphasize amplifying historically under-represented voices and subject matter. Funds will cover the purchase of community-selected discussion books, and will encourage authors to contribute discussion questions or other supplemental material for the kit.

Celebrating the 10 Avatars (Dashavatar), $1,500 A mini-grant will help staff present a celebration of Indian and South Asian heritage. The event will feature a full-size exhibit of the mythological Dashavatar evolution story, plus dance performances, demonstrations, art-making opportunities and Indian food.