2023 has been a year of progress, continued growth, and community engagement for the Sun Prairie Public Library. The library developed a new three year strategic plan with four focus areas:
1) A More Fully Aware and Engaged Community with Greater Funding Support
2) Facilities Upgraded to Meet Growing and Evolving Needs of Community
3) Increased Investments and Diversification of Staffing and Resources
4) Enhanced and Expanded Programming and Services
We reached record high participation in our Summer Reading Program for youth and adults. Throughout the community, “Library Champion” can be found in English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, and Hmong! We anticipate more languages in the years to come! The summer library program connects our patrons to a world of ideas and instills a love of reading and learning for all ages.
Outreach efforts extend library services beyond our physical walls with visits to Senior Adult Apartments, Dream Bus Mobile Library visits, and visits to 4K Headstart programs. The Sun Prairie Public Library is a proud partner with community organizations including Sunshine Place, Cards Closet, Sun Prairie Emegency Food Pantry, Second Harvest, Community Schools, Public Health Madison Dane County, American Red Cross, and Neighborhood Navigators . These partnerships enable all organizations to collectively extend their reach to better serve all residents.
Funding and support from the Friends and Foundation expanded performing and visual art experiences for the community. This year, we offered our first local singer/songwriter series in the spring. In the fall, we hosted Rebecca Kautz as our first artist-in-residence. Rebecca’s residency included open studio hours as well as interactive community and paired portrait experiences. And of course, the library staff and board continues to work behind the scenes as we advance the much anticipated library expansion and renovation project. We are currently in the full design phase and plan to break ground in June 2024!
Next year, we look forward to building on the success of this year’s activities. Although, we will officially be under construction, we plan to keep library operations as normal as possible throughout the course of the construction project. We will be expanding our outreach services to include homebound services and will bring repository collections to all 4K Headstart classrooms. We will continue to work with community members to develop and host cultural programs that are authentically reflective and representative of our community’s interests. We have already put into place a plan with the Sun Prairie Area School District which will result in field trips for all 5th graders in the district.
The community is truly the heart of the Sun Prairie Public Library and as our community continues to grow, so does the library. The expansion will reflect an evolution of public library service as a place for discovery, creation, connection, and reflection.
It’s an exciting voyage and I am grateful to be on this journey with such talented and skilled library colleagues. We couldn’t do this without the tremendous advocacy and support we receive from our Library Board, Library Foundation, Friends of the Library, and City Council. Most importantly, we couldn’t do this without a community of library patrons that value life-long learning in all its forms.
On behalf of the entire SPPL staff and board, I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year and I look forward to a very prosperous 2024!
Sun Prairie Public Library Director