Whether you frequent our libraries, online or in person, or visit a few times each semester, the UW-Madison Libraries have you covered. Our services extend beyond quiet learning spaces, free equipment check out, and resources for your courses. We are national leaders with a strong history of supporting access to materials for students, faculty, and staff with sweeping interests and needs. We rely on cutting-edge research information, consultation services, technology, and space. Simply put: we’re here to help you succeed.
“I welcome you to the new academic year at UW-Madison. The campus libraries are here to connect you to the material and services you’ll need for your work,” says Ed Van Gemert, Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian. “I invite you to find the study and learning spaces that work best for you and make full use of the Libraries’ new website. Library staff prides itself on providing high-quality services to the University community. We are, in fact, here to help you find success.”
To kick off your academic year, we’ve compiled a “Back to School: Libraries Survival Guide” to help us help you. We look forward to hearing your feedback from your experiences.
Survival Tip 1: Get To A Library – Fast!
The Libraries at UW-Madison are diverse, abundant, and accessible whenever and wherever you need us thanks to our extensive websites and online resources. The Libraries manage the 11th largest research collection in North America with exceptional access to print and digital materials from our libraries at UW-Madison and around the world.
Our other libraries include Law, Ebling Library for the Health Sciences, Engineering (Wendt Commons), and Education. The Wisconsin Historical Society Library & Archives is the North American History library on campus. Special Purpose libraries, which service individual departments and programs, round out the campus libraries.
Survival Tip 2: Find Your Resource of Choice
What do you need? Chances are the Libraries have what you’re looking for.
You can borrow, renew, and request materials. If you need special equipment, like video or still cameras, laptops, or projectors, check for availability online and then pick up your equipment at its specified location. Need to print? Bring your work to us. Everything from papers to posters – we have you covered.
You can also interact with expert librarians, request resources from libraries around the world, and even participate in instructional sessions to learn in depth how our resources can enhance your education (more on these services below).
Survival Tip 3: Make a Reservation
Reserve rooms to conduct lively group study sessions and projects, or find your focus by disappearing into a quiet study room. Whatever your study style, we can provide the space.
You can also reserve special course materials such as books, articles, videos, solution sets, even exams that your instructor has selected for use by students enrolled in a specific course. Physical materials are located at libraries across campus. Online content (articles, book chapters, etc.) may be accessed both on and off campus.
Survival Tip 4: Use Our Connections
Our “Ask” service allows you to call, text, email, or join an online chat with a librarian who can answer your questions or search for materials from afar.
Looking for a resource not available within the UW-Madison or UW System collections? Our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) offers free access to materials you need for coursework or scholarly research, putting libraries around the world at your fingertips.
Students, faculty, staff of UW-Madison living outside of Dane County are encouraged to access our distance services option.
Don’t forget to cite. Our citation managers, software for researchers, can: gather references automatically from article database, format manuscripts and citations in a variety of styles, generate bibliographies, create and organize a personal research database of references, images, and PDFs, share citations with colleagues on campus and around the world, and transfer references among various applications.
Survival Tip 5: Accept the Invitation
Check out our library tour schedule, join one of our upcoming workshops, or attend any of our events and exhibits throughout the year. We have plenty going on to kick the school year off, like the Steenbock Library Luau or College Library’s House Party.
If you need more in depth training, ask about customized instructional sessions. Instructional services connect students to the most appropriate research materials and help develop critical research skills.
So, stop in or log on to visit us. You’ll see we’re not your grandparents’ or even your parents’ library (but we do have historically significant materials to prove even they were cool once too). Don’t believe us? Just visit our University Archives, Digital or Special Collections and search through a scrapbook from 1920…Granny might surprise you. The materials and resources we offer will surprise you as well.
“The modern research library supports knowledge acquisition and creation—with information resources, technology, and opportunities for collaboration,” Van Gemert says. “The library facilitates not only your preparation for this semester’s classes, but also helps you to develop a foundation for information management skills for your chosen profession.”
Bottom line: Your success is our mission. Let us help you find your place this year. Welcome back – On Wisconsin!