Partnerships, both on and off campus, continue to be a priority for the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries. Teaming up with other libraries often reaps the best rewards when trying to involve both the University and our Madison residents. One vital partnership highly valued by the Friends involves the library at the other end of State Street – Madison Public Library. The Friends and MPL enjoy joining forces to pull off successful events, and 2019 was no exception.
In May the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries co-hosted with MPL a major gala event celebrating the culmination of the Lands We Share project, an initiative by the UW Oral History Program that explored Wisconsin farming culture through interviews and conversations with six diverse farming communities from across the state. Attendees at the free MPL event enjoyed the Friends-sponsored dinner prepared with local farm produce by Madison chef Tory Miller. Guests could also visit the exhibition that was the result of the oral history project and listen to a panel of representatives engaged in the project. People from all over the state appreciated the opportunity created by the public and campus libraries to learn about the perspectives of our rural communities.
In addition, every year the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries provide sponsorship for the Wisconsin Book Festival, a program of the Madison Public Library Foundation. It is a fun and beneficial partnership that includes shared publicity for the Friends biannual Book Sale as well as an author event sponsorship. On October 19th, the Friends welcomed author Karl Marlantes as he discussed his recent book, Deep River to a rapt crowd in the Madison Public Library’s Bubbler.
As both a Community Engagement Librarian with Madison Public Library, and a Friends of UW-Madison Libraries board member, I see the incredible value of this partnership for both entities. The public library offers a platform to convey the Friends’ continued outreach about the UW-Madison Libraries’ dynamic collections and resources. The Friends’ support and engagement provides Madison Public Library, and the wider Madison community, with a more nuanced understanding of the university campus through an exciting access point: the Libraries.
~Laura Damon-Moore ‘12, Board Member & Co-Chair, Communications Committee