Steenbock Library construction circa 1969

Steenbock Memorial Library is our Library of the Month for March!  It got its start over 100 years ago, when Professor Stephen Babcock (the pioneering dairy scientist for whom the Babcock Dairy is named) donated his first salary check to help found a library for the University of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

The library settled in its current location in 1969, and was named Steenbock Memorial Library after Dr. Harry Steenbock, who is famous for developing a way to enrich foods with Vitamin D, which helped to all but eliminate instances the bone disease called rickets worldwide. In 1990 Steenbock Memorial Library was named “Library of the Year” by the Wisconsin Library Association.

Steenbock is one of Bucky’s favorite study spots.

Today, Steenbock Library serves as the primary resource library for the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the School of Human Ecology, the School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Botany and Zoology Departments. Steenbock also provides library support to the UW-Extension Cooperative Extension sites in over 72 counties in Wisconsin.

The diverse array of schools that Steenbock Library supports translates into the unique collections.  You can find resources and books on bees and beekeeping, couture fashion and fiber arts, animal care, and government documents at Steenbock Library, in addition to a large collection of cookbooks.  There are over 5,000 cookbooks available at Steenbock, from some of the earliest examples of historical recipe volumes to novelty titles like Creepy Crawly Cuisine: The Gourmet Guide to Edible Insects.

Steenbock’s Puzzle Table.

With so many diverse resources, it’s a good thing the staff at Steenbock have an open door policy and are happy to help students find the right resources for papers and projects.  They make the library a welcoming  productive place by encouraging students, faculty, and grad students to ask questions about resources, references and research tips– they’re always happy to help!– and by providing fun ways to take study breaks.  The Puzzle Table near the front entrance is always a popular way to unwind.


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