Borrow / Renew / Request

Locating Materials

Use the Library Catalog to find call numbers for materials. When you find the item record for the material, you need to check the status line to make sure the item is not currently checked out. NOTE: All library materials on campus show up in the Library Catalog so the location of the book may not be Memorial Library.

For further instructions see Learn How to Find…

A Stack Guide is then used to find which floor the item is located on. There are maps on every floor showing the location of the call numbers located on that floor.

If the item is listed in the Library Catalog as on order or in process, use the OnOrder/In Process inquiry form to get more information.

Recalling Materials

When a book is checked out to another patron and you need it you can recall it from the patron. When the book is returned you will be notified and you can pick it up at your designated pick-up library.

  • Online: Recall materials directly from the Library Catalog record by using the “Place Request” feature.
  • In person: Go to the Circulation Desk at Memorial Library with your currently valid UW ID or General Library System card and the call number of the item you need. The staff there can place the recall for you.

Borrowing Materials

In order to borrow materials from Memorial Library you must present a valid UW-Madison ID, a UW System ID or a General Library System Card.

Take the books you want to the Circulation Desk on the first floor and have the staff charge the items out to you.

The loan periods vary depending on what type of card you have. Please check your Library Account for the due dates of materials.

Retrieving Materials

Book retrieval allows you to place a request for books in the library. Library staff will retrieve the materials and deliver them to the campus library most convenient to you. Book retrieval may be done directly in the Library Catalog using the “Place Request” feature.

You can expect delivery within 1-3 business days. When the item is available for you to check out, you will be notified by mail or you can check your Library Account.

Returning Materials

There are numerous book returns inside and outside Memorial Library. There are two outside book drops, one on the State St. side of the building to the right of the main entrance and one on the loading dock on the Lake St. side of the building. There are also two book returns inside the library, one right inside the State St. doors on the wall and a second across from the Circulation Desk right before the exit gates.

Books on regular loan can be returned to any campus library with an Open Return sticker (see image right) on its book return. Use the Campus Libraries Information page to locate libraries that feature Open Return. For information regarding return of recalled materials see Recalled Items.  Items that need to be returned to the library they were borrowed from include:

  • Reserve materials
  • Materials on Short-Term Loans (7 days or less)
  • Journals/Periodicals
  • Fragile Items

Returning Materials By Mail

If returning items by mail, please address to:
Room 166, Memorial Library
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Note: We suggest insuring your package against loss.

Renewing Materials

Memorial Library materials (excluding recalled items, 3-day and 7-day loans) can be renewed at least one time. All materials must be renewed or returned by their due dates to keep your library privileges active.

  • Online: Items can often be renewed online using the My Library Account feature. NOTE: You will want to check that the due dates have changed. If they have not, the books are not renewable and must be returned.
  • In person: If you obtained due date receipts bring them or the books themselves to the Circulation Desk at Memorial Library with your valid UW ID or borrowing card.
  • By phone: Phone renewals are only available between 8:00am and 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. The phone number for this service is (608)263-7360. You must have the barcode numbers for each book (the number on the back of the books) and your currently valid ID number to renew your books.
  • By mail: If you obtained due date receipts send them with a photocopy of your currently valid UW ID or General Library System borrowing card to:Circulation Department
    Memorial Library
    728 State St
    Madison, WI 53706
    Attn: Renewals

We will either hold the new due date slips at the Circulation Desk for you or mail them back to you if you provide a stamped self addressed envelope or your campus address.

Library Cards

Persons not affiliated with UW-Madison may be eligible for a General Library System card.  Please use the online Application.

  • UW Madison students, faculty, staff, and affiliates use their valid University ID to borrow library materials.
  • UW System (other than UW-Madison) students, faculty, and staff use the ID from their home institution to borrow and to enter Memorial Library.
  • OCLC must bring in an Academic Research Libraries in OCLC card and BTAA (Big Ten Academic Alliance) must authenticate with their net id while on site at UW Madison Memorial Library and provide a current photo id from home institution and a State ID, State License or passport.  Please contact circulation@library.wisc.edu, to set up a date/time for the authentication.

The following patron categories of users must obtain a Memorial Library issued borrowing card.  Proof of affiliation and specific photo id is required.  All overdue charges and lost book fines must be paid before the card will be issued or renewed.  All General Library System cards are valid through June 30th of the current fiscal year.  Please keep in mind that if you submit an online form during June 1st to June 30th of the current year, once you receive a reply that your new borrowing card is ready for pick up your old card will be inactivated.   Thus, it is imperative once you receive notice your library card is ready that you come and pick it up as soon as possible.   If you are a fee card holder, you will note that you will be charged your annual fee on your library account.  Once you come into Memorial Library to pay the fee for the library card, the payment will be posted to your library account the following day or on Monday if you paid on the weekend.  NOTE: Library System Cards do not entitle use of the Infolabs or remote access to licensed online resources.

Courtesy Card Holders

These cards are issued to:

  • Wisconsin State, Dane county, and City of Madison employees (excludes limited term employees)
  • Faculty, Staff and Students at Madison College, Edgewood, and Beloit Colleges
  • Private college faculty in the State of Wisconsin
  • Friends of the Library (must donate $40 or more per year to obtain a borrowing card)
  • Wisconsin K-12 Public School Educators
  • The spouses, domestic partners of UW Madison faculty, staff, and students

Wisconsin Resident – Annual Fee Card

These cards are issued to Wisconsin residents.

Requirements: Must be a current Wisconsin resident. The annual fee is $40 ($20 for those 62 or older). You will need to present a current Wisconsin State issued ID (driver’s license or state ID) the address on your id does not have to match where you reside.  Cash is accepted Monday–Friday, 8 am–Noon and 1–4 pm. Credit cards (MC and Visa only) are accepted anytime the library is open.  This card does not provide off-site access to electronic content.

Questions: please email us

Article & Book Delivery

Memorial Library provides several article and book delivery services to UW-Madison faculty (including emeritus), staff, and students with valid borrowing privileges. For an overview of the services and instructions on how to use these services please see article and book delivery (ILL).

Interlibrary Loan
B106D Memorial Library
728 State Street
Madison, Wisconsin USA 53706

(608) 262-1193

You can also contact the office utilizing your IM client during normal office hours:

The office is usually staffed 8am–4pm, Monday through Friday. The reference staff can also help you in placing requests.

Distance Services

Distance Library Services are intended for UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff who reside outside of Dane County—including dissertators, students taking distance courses, and faculty on sabbatical.