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An Invitation from City Librarian Joan Johnson

By Joan Johnson on Mar 10, 2023 12:00 AM

On January 23, 2023, members of Milwaukee Public Library staff joined me in presenting the first of our Community Conversations at the Martin Luther King Branch Library. [Pictured at left, Ald. Milele Coggs, City Librarian Joan Johnson, M.L. King patron Teresa Smith.]

A list of our conversations and the talking points we use to guide our conversations are available on the library’s Community Conversations webpage. You can also pick up these materials at your nearest Milwaukee Public Library.

You are invited to join one or more of these informal conversations to discuss the importance of the library in your neighborhood and the ways you use your branch library for checking out materials, accessing technology, and attending programs.

You will also hear about ways you can contact legislators at the city, county, and state levels to communicate your personal priorities for the services you’d like to see funded in the upcoming year’s budget.

We have enjoyed tremendous success building awareness of the modern library and all it has to offer residents on our social media platforms, with our education and outreach activities, and with our program offerings. Through these Community Conversations we have the opportunity to hear directly from residents about what is most important to them.

We are receiving a lot of praise for our rich collections, the online holds system, chat and Ready Reference, literacy programs, the community and study rooms, and of course, the beautiful Central Library – celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2023.

We’ve heard how the use of our buildings ranges from people needing a quiet reading room for peace and solace to needing to find community at a library program or neighborhood meeting. They love having a place that gives them the option for either extreme, and everything in between.


These conversations have been truly energizing and inspire me to double-down on my commitment to our mission and vision to help people read, learn, and connect, and to continue to advance MPL as an anchor institution, helping to build healthy families and vibrant neighborhoods for a strong Milwaukee.


Join us and add your voice to the conversation!

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