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

  • Business Library

    Timeline: Summer 2017 – June 2018
    The Wisconsin School of Business and UW-Madison’s General Library System have partnered on a renovation project within Grainger Hall to create an integrated, three-floor learning commons encompassing the Huber Undergraduate Computer Lab, Business Library, and Business Learning Center.

  • 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.

  • Wendt Commons Library

    Timeline: May-December 2018
    In collaboration with the College of Engineering, UW-Madison Libraries will further consolidate collections, services, and staff into Steenbock Library to accommodate the CoE’s evolving vision for new, student-focused spaces throughout Wendt Commons. Wendt librarians continue to support the CoE and the Computer Science Department.

  • 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.