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Families thrilled to take home stacks of books as Madison libraries reopen

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MADISON (WKOW) -- For the first time in more than a year, you're able to walk inside Madison libraries to check out books.

Libraries across the city opened up Monday for the first time since mid-March 2020.

"Everyone is so excited, it kind of feels like a party at the library today. Everyone is just coming and grabbing as many books as they possibly can," said Rebecca Millerjohn, youth services librarian at Sequoya Library.

Families were thrilled to be let loose at Sequoya again to freely pick out their own books.

"We all basically just love to read and the library just has this like, awesome vibe to it. So, it's just really fun to be here," said Addie Pence, who visited the library with her siblings and mom on Monday.

The Madison family had been doing curbside pickup throughout the pandemic, but it just wasn't the same for these avid readers.

"I think that coming in was really nice because we get to explore books and we don't have to put a hold on them and wait for like a week til they come. But just, when we come here, we can just go get them as fast as we want. And then we'll have an adventure reading them," said Dexter Pence.

For pandemic safety, masks are still required for now and spaces are distanced with no seating, except at computers.

"Public health and the CDC are still recommending that spaces for unvaccinated people, like children, that people remain masked. And we're certainly a children's space," said library manager Marc Gartler.

The library will be slowly reopening services and staff members are excited to welcome back events this summer.

"There might be programs just kind of popping up when you happen to be at the library. We're calling it a summer of serendipity. You never know what's here," Millerjohn told 27 News.

All events will be held outside for the summer, including some partnerships with the parks department and Forward Madison to get kids interested in reading and other activities.

You can visit the Madison library website for more information on scheduled events.

All libraries except the Monroe Street location will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 to 5 p.m. Monroe Street will only be open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

Jennifer Kliese

Weekend Anchor and Reporter, 27 News

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