Madison Public Library welcomed more than 4,000 eager patrons through the doors of its nine locations on May 24 as it reopened its facilities to the public for the first time since mid-March 2020.

“I found out that the libraries were opening again on the 24th, which is today, and I was super excited, so I’ve been counting down the days since, like, a month ago, probably, until I could come back,” Camryn Marthaoer, a high school junior preparing to graduate early and start at Grand Canyon University in the fall, told the Wisconsin State Journal in a May 25 article. “I was really happy because reading is, like, what makes me super happy.”

Librarians and library staff were equally pleased to see familiar faces and to serve patrons in person. Youth Services Librarian Rebecca Millerjohn, who was working at Sequoya Library on reopening day, joined Digital Services & Marketing Manager Tana Elias and Community Engagement Coordinator Annie Weatherby-Flowers on WORT-FM Community Radio’s A Public Affair show to talk about the reopening experience.

“It has been kind of feeling like an ongoing party,” Millerjohn said on WORT shortly after the reopening. “We have had a lot of children and families in through the space. The number one request I’ve had this morning from people with armloads of books is, ‘We need a basket!’ It’s been really amazing to see kids and families I haven’t seen in over a year.”

With the exception of Monroe Street Library, all locations are open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. weekdays, and noon 5 p.m. Saturdays. Monroe Street Library is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Available services include:

  • in-person browsing and self-serve holds pickup
  • public computers, internet, printing and copying
  • reference assistance and help with resources
  • returns
  • online collections and programs
  • study room use, available by reservation
  • limited seating and Wi-Fi use

The library will follow Public Heath Madison Dane County guidelines and not require masks for patrons. Staff will be required to wear masks through June 12. Visit for evolving information on the return to full library services.