Madison Public Library Annual Reports

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OrdinanceThis collection consists of the annual reports of the organization currently known as the Madison Public Library (Madison, WI). It begins with the earliest published report from the organization available, the 1879 ‘Annual report of the Board of Directors of the Free Library and Reading Room of the City of Madison,’ and continues with the renamed ‘Annual Report of the Madison Free Library’ from 1902 through 1929. The reports come from the collections of the Madison Public Library as well as the library at the School of Library and Information Studies at UW-Madison. Each extant copy of the published report in these collections from this 50 year span has been digitized, as well as unpublished versions of the report for years were no published report could be found (1909-1911).

The annual reports detail the usage of the library by patrons, including circulation statistics, and the beginning of the growth of the branch system that today stretches across the city. There are also insights including the names of institutions providing gifts to the library, the titles of certain acquisitions, and categorized financial summaries. Each year contains reports from both the president of the library as well as the head librarian.

Special thanks to Bronwen Masemann and the SLIS Library, as well as Molly Warren, Jane Jorgenson, Lisa Mettauer, and the Central Branch of the Madison Public library for providing the materials.