Starting Monday, Madison libraries will allow in-person browsing, checkout

The city's 9 public libraries will welcome families back May 24th

MADISON, Wis.– The city’s 9 public libraries are about to get noisier, in a good way. For the first time in 14 months, all 9 will reopen for in-person browsing and check-out starting Monday, May 24.

“It’s kind of crazy to think we’re suddenly going to be full of people again,” said Tana Elias, Digital Services & Marketing Manager for Madison Public Libraries.

Once inside, you’ll notice many changes, including new self-checkout machines.

“Because we’re discontinuing curbside service at the same time we’re reopening our libraries, people who are maybe less comfortable being in a public space can come in, pick up their holds, check them out themselves, and be in-and-out in five minutes,” explained Elias.

At first, children’s play areas won’t reopen: disappointing news for families hoping to enjoy Pinney’s new space, open just four days before the shutdown.

RELATED: A look inside the new $10.5 million Pinney library

“Part of the big attraction for that space was a lot of toys for kids to touch and learn from in a very physical way,” Elias said, adding that toys will be phased back in, as the library system slowly phases out masks.

“Even if we get to a place where we no longer require masks, we will still have a lot of signage to encourage them,” she explained. “I do think we’re coming back better.”

All libraries will be open from 10-6 p.m. weekdays and 12-5 p.m. Saturdays, with the exception of the Monroe Street library, which is following summer hours of 10-6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.

Click here for more information on the reopening of Madison’s public libraries.

Click here for a schedule of upcoming library events & programs.