GrandFamilies Live @ Your Library

A Case Study of the Villard Square Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library

Featuring: Liza Barry-Kessler, SOIS PhD Student

Thursday, April 12, 2012
NWQB 3511

On October 15, 2011, the Milwaukee Public Library, in partnership with Gorman & Company and the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, officially opened the new Villard Square Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library. Although only a block from the previous Villard Avenue Branch library, the new space could not be more different from the old. The new library building is based on an innovative model of mixed use facilities: the building houses a library on the ground floor, and 47 apartments on three stories above for families where grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. This case study will explain how the Milwaukee Public Library came to create this unusual space, how critical decisions launching the project were made, who made them, and how the shared space and proximity to this very distinct community of families, is working for the library staff, as well as leadership and the Board of Trustees.

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