The UW–Madison campus libraries are as diverse as the campus itself and range in size from small reading rooms with a few hundred books to major research collections containing several million titles in multiple formats. With the exception of single department reading rooms, most campus libraries have their holdings listed in the shared electronic catalog and participate in other library services such as lending and document delivery. The libraries represented in the shared catalog are divided administratively into four major groups (although these distinctions are invisible to our users).
- The General Library System (GLS) consists of Memorial Library (humanities and social sciences), College Library (undergraduate library), Steenbock Library (agriculture and life sciences), and thirteen GLS “member libraries” that serve broad-based disciplines (Archives, Art, Astronomy, Business, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Social Science, Social Work, and Special Collections).
- Professional Libraries serve the university’s schools in Law, and Medicine (Ebling Library for the Health Sciences).
- The Wisconsin State Historical Society Library & Archives shares our automated library systems. It is also the official campus library for materials on North American history.
- Special Purpose Libraries serve individual departments or programs, and may be funded through campus or outside (e.g. federal) sources. Examples include American Indian Studies Library, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Data and Information Services Center (DISC), Information School Library, Journalism Reading Room, LGBT Campus Center, MERIT Library (Teacher Education), Schwerdtfeger Space Science Library, Robinson Map Library, and Wisconsin’s Water Library.