This video features imagery from the Mississippi River and the Family Reading Garden at Onalaska Public Library near La Crosse, Wisconsin. The garden centerpiece is local artist Mike Martino’s bronze “Invitation to Imagination” sculpture. Literary quotes found on the sculpture are reproduced in the video and the audio track “Under the Stars” is provided by UPPM.

Creation of the sculpture as well as the garden and benches surrounding it was due to the combined effort of the city of Onalaska, the Friends of the Onalaska Library, the library staff and master gardeners who maintain the plantings.


A Message from the Editor

America’s public libraries are on a mission to maintain relevance in contemporary society. Based on their role as community gathering places, libraries want to become the “third place” that people visit when not at work/school or at home.

By offering diverse all-ages programming, libraries are better serving the needs of more individuals within their communities. Libraries are transforming and now permit snacks and beverages in designated social areas. Free internet access, fireplace lounging, film screenings, technology labs, coding workshops, childhood literacy programs, assistance for veterans and entrepreneurs, aid for job searches, physical exercise options, private study and group meeting rooms, and so much more is offered. State authors read their works and local artists exhibit. Libraries can make life better for you and me.

Since 2015, Celebrate Libraries® has been exploring and interpreting this transformation through our videos and podcasts. Wisconsin library directors in Brown, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, Rock, Dane and La Crosse counties have provided tours of their buildings and sat for recorded interviews.

For example, learn about Beloit Public Library’s new Blender Cafe´, a joint project of Kerry Ingredients & Flavours, the library, and the School District of Beloit. Listen to founders of Proto GB a well-stocked makerspace nonprofit and one of several organizations part of a small business incubator at Brown County Central Library in Green Bay. Or view images from Middleton Public Library’s contribution to the Unity Project.

Lastly, we would like to acknowledge the support of those businesses and organizations whose generosity allows us to promote the essential programs and services provided by public libraries. Please visit their Websites.



Celebrate Libraries made its first visit to the Middleton Public Library in Middleton, Wisconsin. Two things stood out: the view of patrons reading and stacks and stacks of books.  It was as if I was looking at a garden in full bloom. Secondly the sound of a community gathering.  It was a different sound than I remember as a child in the library, (sound equated with noise). The sound had the quality of a fiddler and cloggers creating a soft audible rhythm.  The Middleton Fiddler was conceived and we look forward to where the Fiddler takes us in the coming months.

Robin Voils / Art Director





2018 is looking to be a promising year with new Celebrate Libraries® podcasts and videos in production. As the company grows, we are approaching libraries in adjoining states with creative proposals and hope to add new names to the list of trending projects. Current projects include Beloit Public Library, La Crosse County Library and Middleton Public Library.

As always, we appreciate the support of businesses and organizations who believe in the essential value of public libraries.