Borrow / Renew / Return Materials

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Search Materials

UW-Madison

Use the Library Catalog to search for materials physically located in UW-Madison Libraries, as well as links to many online resources. For more information on how to search see Catalog Help or watch a short video.

For dissertations, see Dissertations and Theses

UW System

Use the Library Catalog UW System search to see if another System library owns the item when UW-Madison items are not available (e.g., checked out, lost, etc) or not found.

UW-Madison faculty, staff and students may use the Place Request button to request the item be delivered to the campus library of your choice. See Borrow from Another Campus for more information.

Other ways to search

For dissertations, see Dissertations and Theses

For other materials, see Article and Book Delivery for more options. Check your library privileges if you have questions about eligibility for these services.

Locate Materials

Once an item is identified by searching the Library Catalog, check:

  • which UW-Madison library has the item - see the Campus Libraries page for more information on location, hours and loan periods
  • the call number of the item (ex. RC256.6 L24 S55 2010)
  • the status button to see if the item is Available - see Catalog Help for more details.

Go to the owning library to check out the item. Or, UW-Madison faculty, staff and students may use the Place Request button to have the item sent to the library of their choice for pick-up. See Retrieve from Shelf in the menu on the left for more information.

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Recall Materials

UW-Madison faculty/staff/students (with NetID)

Before placing a recall, try a Library Catalog UW System search

    • This may be faster than recalling the UW-Madison copy.
    • When the needed item is found and has a status of Available, use the Place Request button to have the item delivered to the UW-Madison library of your choice.
    • See Borrow from Another Campus for more information.

Or, recall the UW-Madison item when it has a status of Not Available - Checked out

    1. Find the item you want in the Library Catalog.
    2. Click on the Place Request button in the upper right.
    3. Select your preferred UW-Madison Pickup Location from the dropdown menu and submit your request.
    4. You'll receive an email notification when the item(s) is ready for pick-up.

Other UW-Madison Card Holders (without NetIDs)

To recall a UW-Madison item from the current borrower online, use MadCat - the legacy catalog.

    1. Find the item in MadCat and display its record.
    2. Click on Place Requests and if you haven't logged in, enter your card's 11-digit number and last name.
    3. Select RECALL from current borrower from the dropdown menu.
    4. Using the dropdown menu you MUST choose a library at which you wish to pick up the item. Type in your card's 11-digit number again and submit the request.
    5. You'll receive an email notification when the item(s) is ready for pick-up.
You must have a currently valid General Library System Card or card issued by a specific campus library in order to recall items. Library privileges vary depending on the type of card issued and library issuing the card.

 

More about recalls

  • All regular loan books are subject to recall by another patron.
  • The original borrower is guaranteed 14 days; after that, the item is subject to any recalls issued by another patron.
  • If a recall is issued on an item you have checked out, the due date will be changed and you will be notified.
  • If you have a recalled item checked out and it is overdue, a block will be placed on your account.
  • UW System materials may not be recalled by UW-Madison patrons.
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Retrieve Materials From the Shelf

UW-Madison faculty / staff / students (with NetIDs)

To have a UW-Madison or UW System item with a Library Catalog status of Available delivered to a UW-Madison campus library.

    1. Find the item in the Library Catalog and make sure the status button is Available.
    2. Click Sign In to Place Request if you haven't logged in, select your location and enter your UW-Madison NetID and last name.
    3. Select Place Request in the upper right.
    4. Select your preferred Pickup Location from the dropdown menu. For UW-Madison, if you do not choose a campus library pickup desk, the item will be delivered to Memorial Library.
    5. You'll receive an email notification when the item(s) is ready for pick-up.

Other UW-Madison Card Holders (without NetIDs)

To have a UW-Madison item retrieved from the shelf and held for you, use MadCat - the legacy catalog.

    1. Find the item in MadCat and display its record.
    2. Check that the item's Status: is "Not Checked Out".
    3. Click on Place Requests and if you haven't logged in, enter  card's 11-digit number and last name.
    4. Select RETRIEVE Madison Item at Madison Library from the dropdown menu.
    5. Using the dropdown menu you MUST choose a library at which you wish to pick up the item. Type in your card's 11-digit number again, if needed.
    6. You'll receive an email notification when the item(s) is ready for pick-up.

You must have a currently valid General Library System Card or card issued by a specific campus library in order to retrieve items. Library privileges vary depending on the type of card issued and library issuing the card.

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Request On Order / In Process Materials

The Library Catalog includes records for books and other items that are on order or being processed (call numbers added, barcodes added, etc.). These materials are not yet available for normal check out.

Some may be requested by using the On Order/In Process inquiry form shown in the Library Catalog. You'll get an email with further information about the item and when it may become available.

Or, try a UW System search to see if another System library owns the item. If so, UW-Madison faculty, staff and students may request the item be delivered to the campus library of your choice. It may also be possible to borrow the item through Interlibrary Loan. See your library privileges if you have questions about eligibility for these services.

Designate a Faculty Runner

Faculty may designate a currently enrolled student or staff member to borrow material in their name. These materials are subject to the same borrowing policies as loans made in person by the faculty member.

To designate a faculty runner, submit a letter of authorization written on departmental stationery and include the following:

  • The runner's name
  • The date until which the runner is authorized
  • An express statement of responsibility (ex. "I agree to take full responsibility for all overdue charges and/or replacement fees.")
  • The faculty member's signature

Letters should be addressed to Dineen Grow, Head of Access Services, Memorial Library, 728 State Street, Madison WI 53706.

Letters may be brought by the designated runner to the Card Application Desk, located in the lobby of the Memorial Library. The runner will need to bring his/her UW photo ID.

Letters may also be faxed to (608) 262-2568, or mailed to Circulation Office, Room 170, Memorial Library, 728 State Street, Madison WI 53706.

A Note about the Runner's ID

A faculty runner identifies him/herself at the circulation desk as a faculty runner and then typically uses his/her own ID to check out material as the faculty proxy when:

  • The faculty member intends to check out only materials from the UW-Madison campus
  • The faculty member intends to use Interlibrary Loan (formerly Library Express) but does not need to access the information in the Interlibrary Loan account

A faculty runner will need a new, unique ID when:

  • The faculty member intends to use Interlibrary Loan and needs access to the Interlibrary Loan account information

In cases where a unique ID is needed, the faculty member will designate where email (for electronic article delivery or messages from staff) is to be sent.

Any questions about Faculty Runners should be referred to the Circulation Office at (608) 263-7360, Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-4:00 PM or by email.

Distance Services

UW-Madison materials may be delivered to addresses outside of Dane County by using Distance Library Services.

These services are intended for UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff who reside outside of Dane County—including dissertators, students taking distance courses, and faculty on sabbatical.

In order to use Distance Library Services, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You are a registered student of UW-Madison or faculty/staff employed by UW-Madison
  • You are living outside of Dane County
  • You do not regularly commute to campus

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Renew Materials

To keep an item you have checked out longer, you are often able to 'renew' it.

UW-Madison faculty / staff / students (with NetIDs)

  • For UW-Madison items, log-in to your Library Catalog account and select the item(s) to be renewed, then click Renew.
  • For UW-System items, log-in to My MadCat Account and select the item(s) to be renewed, then click Renew.

Other UW-Madison Card Holders (without NetIDs)

  • Log in to My MadCat Account and select the item(s) to be renewed, then click Renew.

More about renewals

Be sure to check the status message to see if the item(s) has been renewed. If the item status does not read 'renewed', one of the following occurred:

  • You have reached the renewal limit
  • The item you want to renew is not eligible for renewal
  • You are trying to renew the item too early (this applies to semester loans)

Items that cannot be renewed include:

  • Items that have reached renewal limit
  • Items that have been recalled by another user
  • Reserve materials

If you have questions or would like more information, contact the Circulation Office in Memorial Library at (608) 263-7360, Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-4:00 PM.

When may I renew materials?

UW-Madison faculty, staff and graduate students with semester loans may request renewals about four weeks prior to the due date.

Undergraduates and other patrons with 28-day loans may renew at any time, however, waiting until the due date to renew results in the maximum extended loan period.

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Return Materials

Books on regular loan, including those borrowed via Interlibrary Loan, may be returned to any campus library with an Open Return sticker (see image) on its book return. Or, use the Campus Libraries Information page to locate libraries that feature Open Return Book Drop.

Open Return Bookdrop

Items that need to be returned directly to the library they were borrowed from include:

  • Reserve materials
  • Materials on Short-Term Loans (7 days or less)
  • Journals/Periodicals
  • Fragile Items

Returning Recalled Items

Recalled items should be returned to the library they were borrowed from in order to avoid a potential fine. If you have a recalled item and it is overdue, a block will be placed on your account.

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