In the News

Just as countless inspiring works fill the shelves of our libraries, there are many stories to tell about the ways the foundation supports the libraries’ facilities, services and programs. Read or view recent news coverage below. For media inquiries, visit our For the Press page.

Foundation to Announce $76,000 in Grants at Library’s Summer Picnic Aug. 4

MADISON, Wis. (Friday, July 31, 2015) — Madison Public Library Foundation will announce how it will spend more than $76,000 to fund new and existing programs, collections and events – some proposed by community members — from 6–8 p.m. Tuesday, August 4, at Madison Public Library’s Every Hero Has a Story Concert & Picnic at Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave. Admission to the event, which celebrates the end of the library’s Summer Reading Clubs, is free.

As part of National Library Week in April and its theme of "Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library," the foundation kicked off the Pop! Challenge, which asked library users to submit their best ideas to make Madison Public Library even better. The winning suggestions would receive up to $20,000 in total funding. Foundation and library staff narrowed down the ideas to five that have the best chance of success, and those were put to a public vote this summer.

The remaining ideas included: 1) Strengthening materials and programming that serve underrepresented library populations. 2) Creating a computer coding class for youth who are underrepresented in computer science and technology fields.  3) Organizing community suppers at the new Meadowridge Library kitchen and hosting meals for neighborhood groups. 4) Acquiring 3-D printer technology for The Bubbler and other maker programs to enhance the popular Bubbler maker space. 5) Hosting a series of family-friendly Minecraft contests and programming.

The foundation will announce which of these Pop! Challenge ideas will receive the $20,000 in funding, as well as a summary of its 2015 grant awards totaling more than $56,000, on Tuesday evening.

The grants will fund literacy efforts for youth, programs for African-American families, expanded materials for Spanish speakers, teen internships, a local music library, a teen digital creation platform, high-traffic collections and more.

“While our annual grants are made possible through the generosity of our many donors, the Pop! Challenge project allowed Madisonians to be generous with their ideas, ” said foundation Executive Director Jenni Collins. “We’re excited to share the many ways that these gifts of money and ingenuity will make the library experience better for everyone.”

Each year, the foundation’s Grants Committee reviews requests from library leadership, with input from all nine Madison libraries. Annual fund donations help fulfill these needs, supporting collections, programming and special projects. To make a gift to the foundation’s annual fund, visit the foundation's Donate page.

About Madison Public Library Foundation: Madison Public Library Foundation promotes and supports Madison Public Library’s facilities, services and programs. Established in 1993, the foundation provides annual project grants, raises funds for capital projects, and promotes awareness of the library and its programs. Learn how to support Madison’s libraries at, on the foundation’s Facebook page, and on Twitter (@mplfoundation).

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Our media kit includes basic information about the Madison Public Library Foundation and its mission.

Please contact Jenni Collins, or 608.266.6318 for media inquiries.

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