UW–Madison Libraries Services during COVID–19

COVID–19 Library Dashboard
Learn more about updates to library services

COVID-19 FAQ for Library Services

If you do not see your question answered here, feel free to Ask a Librarian.

General Questions

Are there any libraries open? expand_more

Because only essential personnel are allowed on campus, we cannot open any libraries for public use.

The State Street entrance of Memorial Library is open weekdays from 9 am-noon for limited and appointment-only access to Memorial shelves, and weekdays 1-5 pm for laptop checkout and Pickup by Appointment.

Where can I print? expand_more

Printing services are suspended on campus. In many cases, you can upload documents electronically in Canvas, or share via Google docs or email. Please check with your instructor and consider alternative approaches for note-taking, studying, and document sharing.

For non-course related printing needs, FedEx, UPS, and Insty-Prints (Monona) stores offer printing services. We recommend you call the locations to determine if they are still open and offering printing. We also encourage you to consider the state’s Safer at Home order before making a decision.

Where can I scan? expand_more

Scanners for books and documents are mostly inaccessible due to library closures.

There are several ways to scan documents at home with just a smart phone or tablet:

  • iOS 11+ has scanning build into the Notes app.
  • Android users can scan from their Google Drive app.
  • Microsoft Office Lens is a free tool that will let you convert images to PDF, MS Word, and MS PowerPoint files.
  • Adobe Scan is a free tool (with in-app paid upgrades) that lets you turn images into PDFs, sign PDF forms, and more.

A few scanners are available in Memorial Library and can be used during scheduled appointments.

I have things in a locker or study carrel at Memorial Library. How do I get to them? expand_more

Contact the Circulation Office and if possible, include your locker/carrel location & number, contents of locker/carrel, and needed items. You will be contacted when they are ready to be picked up at Memorial Library.

Can I still deposit my thesis at Memorial Library? expand_more

It is currently not possible to deposit your thesis at Memorial Library. Instead, follow these instructions posted on the Graduate School website.

Circulation of Physical Books/Videos/etc

Can I make a request to pick up a physical book? expand_more

UPDATE JUNE 25: The Libraries now offer pickup by appointment services: You can put items on hold in the catalog and then schedule an appointment to pick up these items at Memorial Library.

This service is currently limited to items from Art, Law, Memorial, Music, and Wisconsin Historical Society. Other libraries and additional pickup locations may be added later in the summer.

More information is available here.

We are also working to digitize books upon request. If you know you only need some chapters or specific pages, you can place a request using our Interlibrary Loan service. Log in to your account, choose the option to Request an Article, and fill out the form with the book chapter’s information as best you can. (If you are unsure which chapters or pages to request, please Ask a Librarian for assistance.) You will receive an email when the chapter is available online for you to download. We are currently prioritizing items needed for course content at this time, so some requests may take time to fill.

Will you ship books to me as I work remotely? expand_more

At this time the Libraries cannot send physical books to anyone. You can request book chapters using Interlibrary Loan.

I have books that were due recently. How do I return them? expand_more

UPDATE MAY 1: UW-Madison and UW System book loans have been extended to October 15 for undergraduates and December 30 for graduate students and staff. Some Interlibrary Loan items and equipment may be due sooner. Check your library account for details.

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We encourage everyone to stay home and wait to return items until it is safe to do so.

We will continue to extend due dates to the extent possible and we are waiving any fines that you might incur. Having loans at the time of graduation does not prevent you from graduating.

If you want to return a book, it must go to the drop box at Memorial Library’s State Street entrance. Items returned via the book return may remain on your account for some period of time, but fines will not be assessed.

Please don’t use the drop box for returning equipment. Instead, turn it in in person at the Memorial Welcome Desk which is open 12-4, Monday – Friday.

Return of Materials

Where do I return library materials? expand_more

The only book return that will be open throughout this time is at Memorial Library at 728 State Street. Books and materials that you got from any campus location can be placed in the outside book return. The book return is located on the South side of the building, to the right of the library main entrance, facing the University Book Store. Please do not return equipment (laptops, cameras, headphones, etc.) via the book return.

The book return at Memorial Library is located to the right of the entrance.
The book return at Memorial Library is located to the right of the entrance.

Where do I return equipment? expand_more

The Welcome Desk at Memorial Library will continue to be open 1-5 pm, Monday – Friday to take equipment returns, including laptops, cameras, and other non-book items. You can return equipment that you got from anywhere on campus here – including InfoLab equipment – and we will ensure it gets returned to the proper location. Please double-check that all cables, bags, and support materials are in the equipment bag before returning the item.

Note that you can only access the Welcome Desk from the South entrance, across from the University Book Store.

Do I have to return library materials before being allowed to graduate? expand_more

No. Having library materials checked out at the time of graduation does not prevent you from graduating.

Are materials being quarantined upon return? expand_more

All materials returned to Memorial Library will be quarantined for at least 7 days. This means that returned items may stay on your record for the period of this quarantine and some amount of time after the quarantine period, as it will take some time to process all the returned materials. Note that any overdue fines generated during this time will be waived.

How do I return items if I am out of town? expand_more

If you are not able to get to Madison to return items, they may be returned via postal service to Memorial Library. It is recommended that items be insured before sending via USPS, as patrons are responsible for materials until they reach the library. Please note that standard item replacement fees begin at $100.00 and equipment replacement fees can be much higher.

Address items to:

Memorial Library, Room 166
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Who do I contact with questions about returning materials? expand_more

Contact circulation@library.wisc.edu with any questions or concerns you have about returning general library materials, and direct questions about equipment circulation and returns to technologycirculation@library.wisc.edu.

Laptops and Equipment

When is my equipment due, and how do I return it? expand_more

New checkouts of laptops are due on or before August 14, 2020. When returning equipment, please return it at Memorial Library 1-5 pm on weekdays. Please do not return equipment (laptops, cameras, headphones, etc.) via the book returns.

Textbooks, Reserves, and Instruction

Is my textbook available online? expand_more

Maybe – we provide access to many ebooks, and academic publishers have been making their content freely available during this disruptive time. You can Ask a Librarian to see if your textbook has online availability. You can search our catalog for the book. We are also keeping a list of publishers that have opened up content for free in response to the COVID-19 emergency. If the book is only available in print, course instructors can contact us to see about having it digitized.

How do I access items that were on reserve for my course? expand_more

Students should ask their instructors about how to access course content.

Instructors who need assistance or have questions about replacing their physical reserves (including asking us to digitize items in our physical reserves) can go to our Course Content for Instructional Continuity page and use the “Course Content Support Form.”

Of course you can always contact our experts.

How can Libraries support my online course? expand_more

We support teaching at a distance and are prepared to support instructors with alternative modes of instruction during this disruptive event. Visit the library support for instructional continuity page to learn about course support and instructional services provided by the Libraries.

Troubleshooting Online Access

How do I access articles, ebooks, and databases from home? expand_more

Using the library website, navigate to the resource you want to use. The resource will eventually ask you to log in with your NetID. Once entered, this remains active until you exit your browser or are logged out after 6 hours of inactivity. For more information see our page on Off-Campus Access.

I am using the campus VPN, and I am unable to access full-text journal articles and other library resources. expand_more

The campus VPN does not automatically give you access to library resources. Accessing resources from links on the library website will ensure you get access, on or off the VPN. Note that some publishers block our VPN’s IP address, and so you cannot use the VPN when trying to access their publications.