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 from the carrels. 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.


Although College Library does not yet have gender-neutral restrooms, 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.

If visitors to the library would prefer a single-stall restroom, the closest available are across the street in the lobby of Shannon Hall at the Memorial Union.

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.


During the regular Fall and Spring Semesters, College Library is open 24 hours, five days a week:

  • Sunday – Open 11 a.m.
  • Monday through Thursday – Open 24 hours
  • Friday – Close at 11 p.m.
  • Saturday – 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

24-hour service is available only to UW-Madison students, faculty and staff.  All people entering or using College Library between midnight and 6:00 a.m. are required to present a valid UW-Madison ID both at the entry and whenever asked to do so by library staff, security or campus police. The library expands to 24/7 service for the final two weeks of the fall and spring semesters.

Library Hours vary during other sessions, inter-sessions and on holidays.


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.


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

Lower parking is permit only Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; visitor parking available other 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.

Here is a Transportation Services flyer with rates and hours.

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.

Sustainability Efforts

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