Madison Public Library Foundation selected six Madison Public Library efforts to receive grants, for a funding total of $91,000. The grants are made possible thanks to annual fund gifts secured from businesses, individuals and organizations.

The programs and projects that will be funded are:

Black Men Run, Brown Boys Read – Meadowridge Pilot Program • $10,000

This initiative, created by Aaron Perry of Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association, strives to reduce health disparities and boost literacy in Madison by creating a safe, healthy environment for black males ages 8-16 in the Meadowridge Library service area. This program pairs 15 middle school and high school boys of color with mentors. They will participate in guided activities as a group and build longer-term personal connections in hopes that partnerships will improve the boys’ health and nurture their literacy.

Pathway to Cooperative Entrepreneurship • $6,000

Through the Pathway to Cooperative Entrepreneurship, 20 Madison area residents will be able develop a viable business venture that will provide enough income to sustain their families and has the potential of creating jobs once the business is stable and ready for expansion. This program targets low-income city residents and supports job creation through cooperative small-business ownership, with a heavy focus on building and strengthening partnerships that serve Latino families and future business owners. The library will partner with the City of Madison’s Economic Development office, the Madison Cooperative Development Coalition, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., Market Ready and the Latino Chamber of Commerce. This program will take place in fall 2018 and spring 2019.

High-Loss Materials Replacement • $33,000

Each year, Madison Public Library loses a significant amount of the library collection due to wear and tear, and patrons’ mishandling or loss of items. The need for replacement materials is higher in low-income neighborhoods and for at-risk populations. Grant dollars will be used to replace 625 adult nonfiction books, 800 feature DVDs and much more. The library will buy replacement materials for all nine locations and make them available for circulation in 2018. The grant will also support a library social media marketing campaign that will highlight both the foundation’s gift for replacement materials, and the importance of returning materials and letting staff know if materials are damaged upon return.

Increasing Accessibility • $36,000

Several of the libraries use large, rolling smart screens for meetings, presentations, videos, games and more. The grant will allow Meadowridge, Alicia Ashman, Hawthorne and Goodman South Madison libraries to purchase screens for their locations. Additionally, teens and adults currently share the computing areas in Meadowridge and Goodman South Madison libraries but will now have separate, age-specific areas that better meet their needs.

Meet Your Madison Public Library • $3,000

Many Madison residents are library card holders, but many taxpayers do not use the library. This project aims to reach those potential new users to discover what might appeal to them, what barriers to library use might exist, and how the library can better connect programs and resources to communities who might best use them. To do so, we will create short videos in multiple languages explaining popular services at Madison Public Library, with a focus on reaching non-library users. With these videos, we will work with community partners to share the message out widely and create a social media campaign promoting the videos and the library.

Who Matters? Volume Two • $3,000

In 2017, Madison Public Library and Madison Senior Center partnered on Who Matters? This photo and story project highlighted intergenerational families and told their stories through brief words and visuals. The National Institute of Senior Centers honored the Madison Senior Center with an Award of Excellence in the Special Events category for this project. Based on the success of volume one, this project will be expanded to other Madison locations in 2018, including the Sequoya and Goodman South Madison neighborhoods. A foundation grant will cover the costs of hiring a professional photographer, printing and mounting the photos and stories, and providing participants with a copy of their photo. The project will launch in the fall at both locations, with displays up by winter 2018 and possibly lasting into 2019.