Kids tested out new play materials at Alicia Ashman Library recently. Funded with a Madison Public Library Foundation grant, the Superspace panels immediately inspired and intrigued children. “As soon as I brought the box out to the children’s area today, kids flocked over to see what I was doing,” said Youth Services Librarian Carissa Christner. “‘Is it building stuff? It’s building stuff! Let’s build something! Let’s build a rocket!’”

Child-led play has incredible benefits to children’s learning. Foundation dollars allowed the library to purchase new, open-ended play materials for all nine libraries over the last two years. They can be used in many ways — for stacking, stepping on, and crawling over — depending on a child’s interests and imagination.

Madison Public Library has become a leading innovator in the intersection between libraries and child-led play. If you’re looking for a warm, safe, and fun place to play, visit to learn more about what you’ll find at each of our neighborhood libraries!