Building Information


The physical condition of the library is maintained by the UW Physical Plant Custodial Department. We report problems to them, including windows that need to be washed, stairwells that need to be dusted, and graffiti that needs to be removed. Because of limited staff and the heavy use of the building, not all maintenance requests can be filled immediately.

During 24-hour service, the library is cleaned in the presence of patrons. Those requiring quiet study at those times are encouraged to move to another location in the library that is not in the process of being cleaned.

All patrons are encouraged to pick up after themselves and to place garbage and recyclables in the appropriate containers. “Cleaning caddies” are available in each study room for patrons to wipe up spills or other mess that food & drink use can cause. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, patrons are encouraged to sanitize their tables, equipment, etc., with the supplies provided in each study space. Providing intuitive wipes or sprays in public spaces gives users a chance to contribute to the overall cleaning efforts, with staff and custodians doing an extra level of cleaning during designated times. As such, College Library has hired student staff to regularly disinfect “high-touch” surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons, etc.

The campus standard cleaner is Oxivir Tb, which is a CDC recommended product on the EPA website for its effectiveness in neutralizing the virus that causes COVID-19. This cleaner requires a one-minute “dwell or contact time” before wiping dry for effective disinfection and is used on study tables in the library between appointments.


In 2019, a remodeling project at College Library expanded restroom capacity and added two gender-inclusive restrooms to the library’s 1st floor. We trust that every person using the library knows which restroom is most comfortable and appropriate for them. Patrons are welcome to use the restroom of their choice.

Transgender people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and denying them access to appropriate restroom facilities is harmful. Staff at College Library believe no one must look a certain way to use a certain restroom. We encourage everyone to thoughtfully examine and challenge assumptions around gender and how people look.

When operating as a 24-hour facility, the restrooms at College Library can run out of supplies. If you notice an absence of toilet paper or hand soap, please contact library staff and report the situation. Make sure to indicate which specific restroom is affected. Also, please communicate any issues with the facilities (e.g., plugged receptacles, bodily fluids, flooding, broken fixtures, etc.).

In the past the library has received complaints about the quality of its toilet tissue. All of the restroom supplies, including the 1-ply paper, are provided by the university’s Facilities Planning & Management department.

Heating & Cooling

The library’s heat and air conditioning systems are controlled centrally by the Physical Plant Department. During times of changing weather, the systems often cannot respond quickly enough to ensure that the building is always comfortable. Please report any temperature extremes to the Information Desk.  Here is a link to even more details about what it takes to change from heating to cooling campus buildings.

In addition, FP&M has adjusted the system for each building for the new circumstances of COVID-19. Physical Plant continues to operate each building’s HVAC system to manage ventilation, vapor pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. Careful management is necessary to maintain building environments and prevent excessive moisture, continuous temperature fluctuations, condensation, and microbial/mold growth. As part of this management plan, they have extended run times and increased outdoor airflow to further improve air quality.


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, College Library’s hours have been reduced from their traditional 24/5 schedule. During the Fall 2021 semester, the library is open 7:30 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to midnight on Sunday.

Since library hours vary during other sessions, inter-sessions and on holidays, please check the hours page for complete information.


Parking in the Helen C. White lot (Lot 6) is managed by UW Transportation Services. 608-263-6666

Lower parking is permit only Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., with visitor parking available outside of those times. Upper parking is visitor parking at all times. Visitor parking availability is displayed live online.

Visitor parking is managed with “pay on exit” system. Cash payments are possible when attendant is present. If attendant is not present, credit card payments are the only option. Note that the lower parking ramp does not have an attendant and all payments must be made by credit card. For more information, please see the university’s Visitor Parking page.

Special Event parking occurs on occasion, primarily for Memorial Union events. Event parking may require a special event permit or a pay-on-entry fee. College Library does not have advance notice of special events.


Flyers and announcements may be posted only on the designated bulletin boards in the stairwells. Leaflets should not be left on library tables.

Security Cameras

For the safety of College Library patrons, video surveillance cameras are installed in the library. These cameras are for security purposes only. The video footage will be reviewed only in follow-up response to specific incidents in the library. To ensure that the system is running properly, library security staff will check the system on a regular daily schedule. The video footage will be maintained for no more than two weeks. Specific files of footage may be saved as separate image or video files in order to pursue incidents and may be maintained for a longer period of time only as needed for such investigations.

Study Spaces

The library offers an assortment of spaces to meet the varying needs of students using the facility for studying. With service to undergraduate students as a primary focus, the library includes traditional study tables, an innovative digital-media and active learning classroom spaces, and a computer lab.

Sustainability Efforts

College Library staff are committed to making the library and Helen C. “Green.” To learn more about our efforts, please visit our page describing our sustainability efforts. We join the UW’s Office of Sustainability in encouraging our students and patrons to conserve resources and eliminate waste.