Library takeover returns: submit your application!

From September 15 through October 15, 2022, Madison Public Library is accepting applications for the Library Takeover Program.

Teams of three or four people can apply to participate in the program, which includes a four-session course in event planning and culminates in a finished, fully-funded program at the library in spring 2023. The library will choose three teams to participate for 2022-2023 and will provide $2,000 for each team to use to plan their event. Each team member will also receive a $400 stipend and a certificate of completion from the Madison Public Library. No prior event planning experience necessary – all it takes is a great idea for community engagement!

“We are looking for inclusive ideas and events from people in Madison who don’t typically have access to resources for large community events, namely people who aren’t already connected to a nonprofit, commercial or educational,” said Kristina Gómez, librarian responsible for community engagement. “We’re especially looking for events that connect people, have impact, and reflect Madison’s diverse communities.”

Each team selected to create a program will be paired with a community mentor. This year’s mentors are Sarah Akawa, Rob Dz and TS Banks. Mentors help guide their team through a crash course in event planning, share their local contacts and connections, and lend their expertise to the process. One of the participants in last year’s Library Takeover program, which helped organize the Muslim Mental Health Matters events, said:

“I was always very nervous about planning events because it was so much work… taking over the library made it possible to organize an event that we would never have done otherwise. Now I understand what it takes to make a successful event, and I’m confident that we can continue to help our community.

Library Takeover started in 2017 as a way to do community programming differently. Last year’s teams held events focused on Thrival Tools and Indigenous Brilliance, Essential Workers and American Muslims in Madison. Over 350 people attended the four events that took place in the spring of 2022. The Madison Public Library provided the space, time, and resources for these teams to host their own events, which helps set the stage for future library programming that reflects all of Madison.

Applications are available online and will be accepted throughout the 30-day submission period, with a closing date of October 15, 2022. Group Learning Boot Camps will be hosted by staff at the Central Library (201 W Mifflin) on Tuesday evenings, November 15-22 and December 6-13 from 6-7:30 p.m. training will be in person and two will be held online. .

Library Takeover is funded in part by the Madison Public Library Foundation. Visit to learn more or submit an application.

About the mentors:

Sarah Akawa: Sarah Akawa is an advocate for queer nightlife and inclusive spaces. Akawa is a DJ and producer operating under the name Saint-Saunter, and has gone to great lengths to book gay-focused dance parties, live music events, and art exhibits at venues around the city. In 2019, Akawa leads the multi-genre summer festival series Hot Summer Gays and runs Queer IRL, a monthly queer dance party.

TS banks: TS Banks is the author of “Call Me ill”, “Left”, and “SPLIT” is a Black & QTDDisabled, non-binary artist, poet and playwright from Madison, WI. He is the founder of Loud ‘N UnChained Theater Co. Their work focuses on the vision of black liberation, a critique of the medical system, radical care + access, madness, QT liberation, disability justice , abolition and inter-movement solidarity.

Rob Dz: Rob Dz is a Madison-based Hip Hop artist and activist. He currently works as Bubblerarian Media Projects at the Madison Public Library. He is the creator of the Mad Lit series of events on the 100 block of State Street which focuses on creating a more inclusive downtown by bringing music, art and businesses of color to all throughout the summer. One of his songs is the inspiration for the title of the American Family Insurance book, Let’s talk about it, which commemorates downtown wall art after the 2020 civil unrest.

About Madison Public Library
Madison Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy, and community engagement has enriched the city of Madison for more than 140 years. Visit the online library at www.madisonpubliclibrary.orgmadison public library on Facebook, @madisonlibrary on Twitter, or @madisonpubliclibrary on Instagram.