The Information School Library is one of the few specialized library and information science collections in the United States. Our physical collection contains around 65,000 volumes related to libraries, archives, print culture, documentation, information science, and information technologies. Circulation policies can be found here.

Main Collections

The General Collection. Our main collection consists of books, reports, and pamphlets related to the practice, theory, and research of librarianship, archives, print culture, and information science more broadly defined. Most of our general collection is within this category, but we also have a variety of other topical books covering social science research, evaluation, computer science, data science and other materials supporting the Information School curriculum and faculty research. We also hold paper copies of most doctoral theses completed at the Information School: all UW-Madison doctoral theses are available online starting with 1997. Check out the books available at the Information School Library here.

Print and Online Journals. Online Journals may be accessed through the Library Catalog. A university ID is not required to use journal material from a computer in the library. We have complete print runs of many titles that are invaluable for library history research, including over 150 research and professional periodicals in the field of library and information studies, including journals not available online.

Children’s and Young Adult Collection. The Information School offers a variety of classes that train school library media specialists and youth services librarians. For this reason, we add new children’s and young adult literature to our shelves each year. Notably, we have a selection of children’s picture books, including two special collections: Mother Goose books and runs of the Newbery and Caldecott winners.

Reference Collection. Encyclopedias, indexes, dictionaries, bibliographies, guides, handbooks, and statistical compilations related to library and information studies are housed here. This selection includes complete historical runs of titles such as Book Review Index, Book Review Digest, Choice, and Kirkus Reviews.

Collections of Distinction

Poster from Book Week, 1945

Digital Collections in Library and Information Studies.  This collection includes materials related to the role of libraries during WWI, historical pieces from early American children’s literature, portraits of historic librarians and benefactors, historic library and reading posters, and Madison Public Library Annual Reports. As part of the library’s unique learning laboratory model, these materials were digitized by practicum students through collaboration with University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.

The Historical Collection. This is a collection of annual reports, newsletters, and miscellaneous publications from library schools and all types of libraries dating back to the 1890s in some cases. This collection is in the process of being cataloged by Information School students: materials from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are searchable in the Library Catalog. If you are interested in materials from other states, please contact the Information School Library for further information.


The Library Workers Zine Collection. Our library houses a unique collection of alternative print publications showing the perspective of library workers not represented in mainstream library literature. The collection was started in the spring of 2006 and now contains issues of over 40 zines that are written about the field of librarianship or are written and published by librarians. More information about this collection can be found here, You can browse the items in our collection in this online exhibit created by Information School students available here.