Madison Central Library now open to the public - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Madison Central Library now open to the public


MADISON (WKOW)-- Hundreds of people in downtown Madison were eager to be some of the first to visit the brand new central library. Library directors held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $30 million facility Saturday morning.

"We're finally here and about to open a modern world class urban library and I'm just thrilled about it," library board president Theodore Widder says.

Library board members say the project has been a long time coming. Some members have been pushing for a new library for nearly 15 years. The idea was approved two years ago and was funded with $21 million from taxpayers and $9 million from private donors.

The new library was built in it's old location at the corner of Fairchild and Mifflin streets. It features 25% more space than the old library and 80,000 square feet of public space.

"There's a lot of evolution going into technology for libraries and the new central library is right there at the very top," library director Greg Mickells says.

The new library features a state of the art media lab with video and sound editing equipment, an iPad bar, a ten 10,000 square foot kids area and a new interactive learning space called "The Bubbler."

"We're bringing in print makers. We're bringing in cheese makers. We're bringing in video artists, so it's going to be an experience every time," Mickells says.

The Bubbler will provide hands-on activities for children and adults that feature local professionals in a variety of fields.

"Libraries are about transmitting knowledge and information and as we've learned, it's a two way street it's not just receiving it's also giving," Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says during Saturday morning's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Library directors have already set up several events through Bubbler. To view their events calendar visit

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