New Pinney Library branch features many firsts for Madison Public Library system

After years of dreaming, planning, fundraising, and construction, Madison Public Library finally celebrated the opening of the new Pinney Library branch on March 11.

The opening is much needed and highly anticipated. In recent years, usage of the Pinney Library had outpaced the current branch’s space. One of the busiest of the Madison Public Library’s satellite locations, Pinney serves multiple neighborhoods, as well as students from 12 schools within walking distance of the library and beyond.

The new 20,500-square-foot library — designed with current library trends and community needs in mind — nearly doubles its former size.

“The branch library will have many firsts for the system, including a play space for children 5 and younger and adjacent outdoor space; wireless printing; individual, gender-neutral bathrooms; a drive-thru book drop; geo-thermal heating and cooling; and wood ceilings and other finishes made from reclaimed ash salvaged from trees cut down in Milwaukee and Madison to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer.”

Other highlights include a flexible 250-person program room; expanded adult, young adult and children’s collections; updated technology, a glass-enclosed studio with sink, a green screen for video production, a patio for events and programming, and quiet reading and study areas. Within the children’s area, a PlayLab, will offer a flexible space for children to create their own story and environment, incorporating elements of the educational philosophy AnjiPlay.