It has been five years in the making and in the next few days the new Madison Public Library is set to open to the public. The new 25,000 square foot library is located at 142 Plaza Blvd, two doors from the original location. On Saturday, January 27, the new library will host makerspace demos, library tours, music, story time and much more.
“We worked with the community, asking them what they wanted in a new library. Our design team did an amazing job at delivering to Madison a plan that incorporates all of the latest standards and technologies,” said Sarah Sledge, branch manager for the Madison Public Library. “This is a library that the community will be proud of.”
Why Did Madison Need a New Library?
The Madison Public Library, which has the second highest circulation within the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) system, has served the City of Madison for almost 40 years. Madison is a city that has seen tremendous growth and development over the last 10 years, and with new growth, comes the need for expanded community services. The current library was designed to serve a population of 20,000 people. The new library will now be able to serve the 55,000 (and growing!) people who call Madison home.
“Madison is known for our fantastic school district and highly educated residents. Our new library will support our community’s continued growth, as well as our thirst for learning and education. As Mayor and Council, we are so excited to see this state-of-the-art facility come to fruition and we appreciate the time, efforts and planning that have gone into this project. Our Madison Library will now be sized for success, and a gem within the City of Madison for years to come,” says City of Madison Mayor Paul Finley.
The City of Madison provided the majority of the funding for this $10.2 million project, recognizing that a new library to serve the community was a priority. Along with fundraising efforts spearheaded by the Huntsville Library Foundation and a generous donation from Redstone Federal Credit Union, the new Madison Public Library is now a reality.
What’s New & Different
The new library will feature 21st-century amenities including the first bookstore-model layout in the HMCPL system. This concept, steering away from the traditional library organization, will be grouped similar to bookstores by subject and Dewey Decimal number. The new library will also feature creature comforts such as private study rooms, an indoor fireplace with quiet reading areas, separate children’s story time room and outdoor seating.
Some of the new technology amenities are a creativity lab, large outdoor movie screen, tween gaming center and an interactive early literacy center. Patrons will also be able to check out laptops at this new location to use within the library.
The New Madison Public Library & Families
The Madison Library has long been on the Must List for local families, and the new one is even more so. Sarah Sledge is looking forward to seeing their faces at the Open House. “Children and their families will love coming to the new building! We’ll be able to offer more of what kids already love about the Madison Library – story times, summer events, book clubs, and craft activities of all sorts. We can’t wait for generations of new library card users to explore their new space.”
How can Madison families get more involved with their shiny new library? Join the Madison Friends of the Library! This is a group of friendly volunteers that will take on exciting projects for kids – including the huge undertaking of a new Children’s Garden this year. Dave Butler, President of the FOL, welcomes new members and input. “We’ll be leading group tours on Saturday to help people learn about all the new features this library has to offer. It’s really a custom-built state-of-the-art facility.”
New Madison Library Open House Details
When: Saturday, January 27th from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Where: 142 Plaza Boulevard, Madison (map)
What: Hourly tours & demonstrations in the new library
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Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.