Home Madison Library Takeover Returns: Submit Your Application!

Library Takeover Returns: Submit Your Application!

Learn to plan a community event through the Library Takeover Program at Madison Public Library. Funding, mentorship, and free library space help bring your ideas to life.


From September 15 – 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 on event planning and culminates in a finished and fully-funded program at the library in the spring of 2023. The library will choose three teams to participate for 2022-2023 and will provide $2,000 for each team to use in planning their event. Each individual team member will also receive a $400 stipend and a certificate of completion from Madison Public Library. No previous event-planning experience is necessary – all that’s needed is a great idea for community engagement! 

“We are looking for inclusive ideas and events from people in Madison who do not typically have access to resources for large community events, namely individuals not already connected to a non-profit, business or educational institution,” said Community Engagement Librarian Kristina Gómez. “We are especially looking for events that connect people, make an impact and reflect Madison’s diverse communities.”

Each team that is selected to create a program will be paired with a mentor from the community. This year’s mentors are Sarah Akawa, Rob Dz, and T.S. Banks. Mentors help guide their team through a crash course on event planning, share their local contacts and connections, and lend their expertise to the process. One of the participants in the Library Takeover program from last year, who helped host the Muslim Mental Health Matters events, had this to say:

“I was always very nervous about planning events because it was so much work…the Library Takeover made it doable to put together an event that otherwise we would never have done. Now I understand what it takes to make a successful event, and I feel confident we can continue to help out our community.”

Library Takeover began in 2017 as a way to do community programming differently. Last year’s teams hosted events focusing on Thrival Tools and Indigenous Brilliance, essential workers, and American muslims in Madison. Over 350 people attended the four events that took place in Spring 2022. Madison Public Library provided the space, time, and resources for these teams to host their own events, which help 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 bootcamps will be hosted by Central Library staff (201 W Mifflin) on Tuesday nights, November 15, 22 and December 6, 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. Two of the bootcamps will be in-person and two will be held online.

Library Takeover is funded in part by Madison Public Library Foundation. Visit madpl.org/library-takeover 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 put extensive effort into booking queer-focused dance parties, live music events, and art shows at venues around town. In 2019, Akawa runs the multi-genre summer festival series Hot Summer Gays and runs Queer IRL, a monthly queer dance party.

T.S. Banks: T.S. Banks is the author of “Call Me ill”, “Left”, and “SPLIT” is a Black & QTDisabled, non-binary teaching artist, poet, and playwright from Madison, WI. He is the founder of Loud ‘N UnChained Theater Co.  Their work addresses visioning for Black Liberation, a critique of the medical system, radical care + access, madness, QT Liberation, disability justice, abolition and cross-movement solidarity.

Rob Dz: Rob Dz is a Madison-based Hip Hop artist and activist. He currently works as the Media Projects Bubblerarian at the Madison Public Library. He is the creator of the Mad Lit event series on the 100 block of State Street that focuses on creating a more inclusive downtown by bringing in music, art and businesses of color throughout the summer.. One of his songs is the inspiration for the title of American Family Insurance’s book, Let’s Talk About It, which memorializes the mural art downtown following the civil unrest of 2020. 

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