Local Support Lifts Friends Library Fund Raising Initiative to Exceed Goal

The Friends announce the success of the 2020 Challenge!   We have exceeded our goal of $40,000 thanks to you, our generous donors. This fundraiser was initiated in November 2020 to allow the Friends to continue our yearly contribution to the Madison Public Library at the same level of our past support.  Thanks to your continued generosity, the library will use the funds to provide more extensive program offerings, streaming services, and book collections for children, teens and adults.


The Friends of the Madison Public Library will hold their Annual Meeting electronically at Noon on Monday, January 11, 2021. The public is cordially invited to join in electronically via Zoom. Please contact us by email, indicate in the subject line “FMPL Annual Meeting” and include your name and email address to receive your invitation. Requests should be made to and sent by Friday, January 8, 2021.

The agenda will include the election of the Executive Board for the 2021-2022 term and a review of annual reports.  The nominating slate includes the election to the Executive Committee of Linda Holm as Treasurer, Jen Bauman, as Co-Corresponding Secretary and the appointment of Colleen Bohensky, as Website Coordinator.

This year the Friends reached out with a 2020 Challenge request to community leaders followed by a recent Appeal letter mailed to Madison families. We are grateful to all who have made contributions. Your gifts will help the library remain an outstanding cultural resource with its vital programming and extensive collection. 

To reach the legacy goal of $40,000 we still need your help! Please consider supporting your library. Checks may be made payable to the Friends of the Madison Public Library and mailed to 39 Keep Street, Madison, NJ 07940 or a secure donation may be made through our website,  

Virtual Winter 2021 Minicourses at Madison Public Library

The nonprofit Friends of the Madison Public Library will conduct two virtual minicourses  for the Winter 2021 semester, ‘Exhibitions Interrupted’ by Dr. Barbara Tomlinson, Professor Emerita, Kean University and ‘Great Thinkers in the History of Western Political Thought’ by Dr. Ian Drake, Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair University.  These online Zoom minicourses will be held for five-weeks beginning January 26, 2021.  Registration will start January 5.  The cost is $95 per individual or couple residing at the same residence.   The cost of a second minicourse by the same student is $65.  Students may either register by mail or online on our website,  Checks made payable to Friends of the Madison Public Library may be mailed to: Minicourses at Madison Library, P.O. Box 1341, Madison, N.J. 07940.

Exhibitions Interrupted by Dr. Barbara Tomlinson; Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00 pm; January 26, February 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2021.

2020 saw museums around the world mounting spectacular exhibitions only to have them shut down.  These sessions offer an opportunity to visit some of those exhibitions. 

The Obama Portraits, National Portrait Gallery; The Ghent Altarpiece, Ghent Museum; Snow Scenes: Bruegel to Monet; Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana, the Prado;  Titian Poesie, London National Gallery; Rembrandt/Velazquez, The Rijksmuseum and The Man in the Red Coat, Armand Hammer Foundation.  

Great Thinkers in the History of Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Marx by Dr. Ian Drake; Wednesdays, 10 am to 12 pm; January 27, February 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2021. 

This five-part series will review the ideas, lives and times of major thinkers in the history of Western political philosophy.  From the ancient Greeks to our own day, political theorists have proposed dramatically different ideas about how and why we should govern ourselves or be governed by others.  This series will review these controversial ideas and how the biographies of their chief proponents affected their proposals.

Sylvia Luber, Coordinator, said that “additional online minicourses will be offered during the Spring 2021 Semester in March and April.  Registration for Spring will begin February 16 with the first day of class on March 3.”  

 “In-person minicourses will not be held until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” added Rose Mary Dinnhaupt, Registrar.  All proceeds will go to the Madison Public Library These virtual non-credit courses are intended for the general public with no prerequisites or examinations.  For information, email or leave a voice message at (929) 450-7040.

Friends Kick off 2020 Challenge

In the Fall of each year the Friends of the Madison Public Library (Friends) ask their neighbors from all around Madison to support their library. This year is different for everyone. The Friends are reaching out to the community to meet the 2020 Challenge, a new plan to support the library this Fall as an answer to set backs resulting from the pandemic.

In past years the Madison Library was consistently funded at a level of $40,000 to support services programing for all ages, electronic media, technology and furniture. Most recently in 2019 the Friends gifted $67,000 to the Library. The end goal of the 2020 Challenge Campaign is to keep the legacy going at $40,000.

Currently the Friends are reaching out to major donors who responded during difficult times in 2011 to meet the half way mark of the Challenge at $20,000. To date 11 families and individuals have stepped up to meet the goal with leadership donations totaling over $13,000. Thank you!

 In November our request will be mailed and reach out to over 5,000 households in Madison with the hopes that contributions – great and small – will meet or exceed the 2020 Challenge. The Friends (a non-profit, tax-exempt organization) hope you will consider a donation to keep the legacy going and meet the needs of the library in an uncertain time.

Fall 2020 Minicourse will be Online

The Friends of the Madison Public Library are pleased to offer ‘Gothic Art’ by Dr. Rita Keane, Associate Professor of Art History, Drew University, an online Zoom minicourse for fall 2020.

This five-week course will be held Monday afternoons beginning September 21 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.  Registration will begin August 24 at This minicourse is open to the public. Current students will receive an email with a link to register.

The Friends held their first online Zoom minicourse during the summer, ‘The Story of the Symphony’ by Dr. Robert Butts which was well attended. We plan to offer additional online minicourses in January 2021.

Please Note: In-person minicourses will not be held until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.