Monday, January 22, 2007

Their Mission and Vision

The Milwaukee Public Library is every person's gateway to an expanding world of information. Providing the best in library service, the staff guides Milwaukeeans in their pursuit of knowledge, enjoyment and lifelong learning, ultimately enriching individual lives and the community as a whole.

The Milwaukee Public Library provides materials, services and facilities for all citizens of Milwaukee and others in order to meet present and future informational needs and raise the level of civilization in Milwaukee.


The Humanities room at the Milwaukee Public Library houses maps, photos, genealogy materials, and local history. This area also houses books dealing with philosophy, psychology, religion, and history. The collections includes 50,000 books. As well, it is home to the Remember When photo collection from the Milwaukee Journal.
Check out the Remember When photos:


The Milwaukee Public Library has a very extensive periodical section. It includes over 1000 magazines and journals, over 100 newspapers from all over the world and country, and there are over 1 million periodical materials in storage.

MPL is also a depository for government documents. It is one of two in the state. It is also a depository for patents and research materials. They keep a significant amount of literature relating to patents and how to get them, as well a research resources.

Art, Music, and Recreation

This reading room was designed to look like a reading room of the past. It was renovated in 1999, and the tables and chairs are modeled after those in the New York City public library. This is the place where all of the material relating to the study of music, arts of any kind, or recreation is kept. It has everything from piano books, to books about sports or canoeing.
Watch a Video about the Art, Music and Recreation Collection:

The Betty Brinn Children's Room

The children's library at the Milwaukee Public Library is phenomenal!When you walk in, you are greeted by flashing colorful lights , animals on the carpet, and an atmosphere of fun. This was the first library to have a children's library separate from the rest of the library. The children have their own computers (30), their own shelving using the Dewy system, special collections including foreign language and award winning books. There is an activity room that they hold puppet shows and after school programs in, and many other group activities. The room is full of animals, puppets, books, and games, and there is a GIANT lighthouse that children can play in.

The children's library also features a window of Hans Christian Anderson that was designed by Marie Herndl in 1896.
MPL has a site just for the kids!

Ready Reference

Ready Reference at the MPL was done away with in 1981, but there were so many requests to restore it, that it was brought back in 1986. Today it has a collection of over 3000 materials. They receive approximately 200 calls a day. The majority of these calls come from elderly people, who just like to hear a voice on the other end of the phone.
All of the Milwaukee Public Library ready reference librarians have either three years of experience working in the library, or have a masters in library science.
Have any questions for the MPL librarians?

The Schoenleber Reading Room

The Schoenlieber Reading Room includes four sections, one for young people, one for kids, one for adults, and a foreign language section including 40 languages! It also has 17 internet computers, these computers also have access to CountyCat, Milwaukee County's 14 library group. These 14 libraries are all connected for interlibrary loan.
Here is CountyCat, the online catalog: