New Library Is Jewel of the South Side

by Adaeze Okoli, age 18

There is a new jewel on the Southside of Madison: the Goodman South Madison Library. Members of the South Madison Community love the new building space it provides. They also love the expanded resources and variety programs.
As we walked through the library, librarian Chris Wagner reminisced about the small, cramped and noisy former library location in Villager Mall. “ I don’t know how we managed, but we did,” Wagner told us.
The South Madison Library moved to the new Urban League of Greater Madison building about a year ago, and was christened the Goodman South Madison Library Branch. The Goodman brothers donated a significant amount of funding to rebuild the South Madison Library.
When designing the new library, community members gave their input on what they wanted the library to look like. They requested a colorful space with natural lighting.
Walking through the library, one soon notices the muted greens and blues that cover the walls. Some are painted with grasses.
A couple pieces from the old library have been incorporated into the décor of the new library. A beautifully crafted stained glass window of a father reading to his daughter is displayed in the front window. This stained glass portrays Wilbur Thomas, a longtime Madison resident.
The library not only sports a new décor, but many more resources. The expanded children’s section includes Book Bundles. These bundles enable children and parents to choose groups of books by topic.
Of particular interest to us is the swarm of new programs available for young people. The Teen Tuesday offers the chance for teens to express themselves creatively. The latest Teen Tuesday project is making a large mural of popular young adult novels. Reporters for the Simpson Street Free Press plan several stories in the coming months about the various activities for young people offered by the library.
There are also a number of interesting programs for adults. The library offers help with computer skills, resume writing, and other necessary skills.
The new Goodman South Madison Library Branch is a wonderful addition to the South Madison landscape. While the old library holds fond memories for many of us at the Free Press, there is no question our neighborhood needed this new facility. There is also no question that this library is now much better equipped to serve and engage the community.
If you haven’t yet visited our new South Madison Branch Library, make a point to visit soon. We think you will be very impressed.

I agree. We have been going here since it opened and we love it! Thanks for doing this story. – James Tyler , Madison, WI (2012-02-03 12:18)