Connecting, Serving and Encouraging
An Invitation to Support Our Community of Learners and Readers
The Lakewood Public Library has been proud to serve the Lakewood community with its two branch locations, Main and Madison, for over 100 years. The Library is a community institution, committed to lifelong learning and free and open access to information for all. Since opening its doors in 1916, the Library has been guided by three core values:
- COMMUNITY CONNECTION—All Lakewood residents can walk, bicycle or take public transportation to a library where they feel welcome.
- SERVING DIVERSE POPULATIONS—Lakewood is a community that welcomes all newcomers and helps connect people with resources. The Madison Branch, in particular, serves as a community anchor to a growing immigrant population.
- ENCOURAGING LEARNING AND ENJOYMENT OF READING—The Library provides homework help to school-age youth and is one of only a few libraries that circulates more children’s books than adult books.
Today, Library Trustees seek to invest in a much-needed renovation of the Madison Branch. Designed by Walker & Weeks, the Cleveland architectural firm who also designed Severance Hall, proposed renovations of the “little Library” would maintain its beloved neighborhood-feel, while improving the efficiency and usability of an historically significant building.
We invite you to take a minute to learn more about the Madison Branch’s long history of serving the Birdtown community and how you can support this historic renovation. Your contribution to the Library’s capital campaign ensures that future generations of Lakewood residents and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy our beloved neighborhood library.
On behalf of the Lakewood Public Library Board of Trustees, the Lakewood Public Library Foundation, and the Friends of the Lakewood Public Library, we thank you for your generous support.
Anchoring the past…with a vision to the future
Lakewood Public Library first opened its doors on May 19, 1916 with only 10,000 books to offer the burgeoning streetcar community that built it. As the city grew, so did the Library, adding thousands of volumes of materials to serve the needs of the patrons who flocked to Lakewood. In 1921, a branch library on Madison Avenue was established to serve the city’s growing immigrant population and to provide library resources within walking distance of every Lakewood resident, a value of significant importance to the Library then and now.
Today, the Library’s century-long tradition of serving the needs of the Lakewood community continues with a collaborative effort to renovate the historic Walker & Weeks Madison Branch Library building, located in the city’s vibrant Birdtown district.
The small, brick building nestled near the corner of Madison and Clarence Avenues has been home to the Madison Branch since 1929, when Library Trustees purchased the property from the City of Lakewood for $1.00. With only three modest renovations in its nearly 100-year existence, the Madison Branch is seeking your support for an historical preservation.
The purpose of Lakewood Public Library is to serve people of all ages, walks-of-life, and interests by selecting, organizing, preserving and making records of human experience, knowledge, ideas, information, insight and values widely accessible.
Without a doubt, the Madison Branch is an anchor institution to the Lakewood community and in particular, the growing immigrant and refugee populations who call the southeast corner of Lakewood home.
The Lakewood Public Library is consistently ranked among the best in the nation, competing with large institutions far outside its weight class. Yet, the Library remains proud of its strong local connections, taking seriously its responsibility to be responsive to the needs of the Lakewood community.
To that end, Library Trustees seek to invest in a much-needed renovation of the Madison Branch, updating building systems for the 21st century, addressing safety and ADA compliance, and increasing usable square footage, all while maintaining the building’s existing footprint. The proposed renovations would improve the efficiency and usability of an historically significant building.
The Library’s goal is to minimize service disruption during renovation. While the physical Branch location will be closed, patrons will still be able to access print materials and have access to the Library’s public Chromebooks at an alternate location, 13427 Madison Avenue, during regular business hours (currently Monday thru Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) beginning Monday, December 14, 2020.
We hope that you will consider contributing to the Library’s capital campaign. Your support strengthens the Library’s long tradition of excellence and service to the community, ensuring the Madison Branch remains a public fixture in the Birdtown community for generations to come.
Questions about the Madison Branch Capital Campaign?
All inquiries will be held in strict confidence, and we will reply promptly.