Rethinking Libraries

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries have undergone an incredible transformation in recent years, with people looking to libraries for a growing variety of uses. With the support of campus leadership, the Libraries are aligning services, collections, and spaces to reduce our physical footprint, while re-envisioning the critical support we provide to the research, teaching, and learning needs of campus.

Consolidation will take many forms across campus, with emphasis on the following areas:

  1. Concentrate print collections using a comprehensive print management program.
  2. Repurpose spaces vacated by print collections for academic uses and collaborative activities.
  3. Redeploy staff expertise to deliver a more robust continuum of support to users, and strengthen library liaison roles to support campus priorities in research, teaching, and learning.
  4. Establish a new service model that leverages our technology ecosystem and integrates support for new forms of scholarly communication and related needs.

See this page for library-by-library updates of all consolidation efforts.

Current Consolidation Efforts

  • Chemistry Library

    Timeline: Fall 2016 - 2019
    In collaboration with the Chemistry Department, UW-Madison Libraries have re-envisioned library spaces and services that will better support the work of Chemistry faculty, staff, and students. When the Chemistry Building Project is complete, the Chemistry Library will reopen as the Chemistry Information Commons.

  • Microformat Consolidation

    Timeline: Starting Summer 2018
    In order to better provide support for access to our microformat collections, the General Library System (GLS) has developed a multi-year microformat consolidation plan. This project will eventually centrally locate all microfiche and heavily used microfilm at Memorial Library. Materials will be able to be retrieved by staff for use by patrons at our public machines. The remaining microfilm will be relocated to shelving facilities where it can easily be requested through campus delivery. The plan also centralizes machines and services related to microformats into one campus location, Memorial Library, in an effort to make it more convenient for researchers to use these materials.

  • Somers Social Science Reference Library

    Timeline: January - mid-2019
    UW-Madison Libraries will consolidate SSRL active collections, services, and staff into other active collections on campus. Liaison services to the Anthropology, Economics, and Sociology Departments will continue.

  • Physics, Math, and Astronomy Libraries

    Timeline: Spring 2019 - 2020
    UW-Madison Libraries will consolidate the Astronomy, Math, and Physics Libraries into one library, which will be located in the current Physics Library space. Staff expertise and support will continue to be available both locally and through the greater collective approach of the Science & Engineering Libraries. The user space in the current Physics Library will be updated to increase seating while offering better spaces for collaboration and individual study.