Riddle me this, Madison: Why did the librarian slip and fall on the floor?

That question may not be the first one prompted by the presence of a giant question mark sculpture in the new Madison Central Library, unveiled to grand pomp and circumstance on Thursday night. But the sculpture is meant to provoke all kinds of questions that library patrons can search for the answers to in the new building.

“Sometimes it’s very difficult to have an iconic piece and also some kind of inspiration or meaning, and in this case, we’re able to marry both,” Rosario Marquardt, a Miami-based artist who created the sculpture with her husband Roberto, told Channel3000.com.

Here are some of the reactions that the unveiling prompted in social media:

The library tweeted photos all night from the unveiling via its @madisonbubbler account: "What is a library? We’re not afraid of a big question . . . Or a mark for that matter."

Madison artist and performer Angela Richardson commented on Facebook: “The public library as THE place to ask questions, seek answers, and try new things. I love the amusement park whimsy of it - public library as a playground for the curious. Yes!”

UW student Elziata Beck (@Elzbeck) tweeted: "#madmark is pretty sweet!"

Madison.com’s own Bill Novak took a more sardonic take (as he’s apt to do) at @BillNovakNews: "The Central Library has a question mark. A big question mark. What's next? I'm hoping for "quote marks" & where it's @."

Oh, and the answer to our question above? She wandered into the non-friction section.

Rob Thomas is the features editor and social media editor for the Capital Times, as well as its film critic. He joined the Cap Times in 1999 and has written about movies, music, food and books.

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(6) comments


Not merely the lighting makes the ? brilliant!


Much better than the rat-eaten-penis statue in front of Camp Randall. I've never heard a kind thing about that sad piece of garbage.


How about a new sculpture at the capitol. One of a big blue fist, with another one facing it of a red fist, with one finger extended. I think we all know which finger!


We spent all this money and we couldn't hire a Madison artist? you have to be kidding

Rob Thomas
Rob Thomas

Yeah, I'm sneaky that way. Glad you enjoyed, GDHM!



Timing is an important factor in punning and funning, dawg. I had to read your whole piece to get to the punchline. Nice. Good humor should also have some connection to the truth.

And that is why you don't want to ever pith off a Unitarian.

They'll come burn a question mark on your lawn.

I remain yours in chits and giggles,


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