Library By Appointment – What to Expect for Fall 2020 Library Access

August 20, 2020

UPDATE (September 23, 2020) Return to In-Person Activities: Libraries will phase in fall semester onsite services beginning on September 26 with study space, printing, and computer lab access by appointment in College Library. Additional locations, as well as hours, will be added by appointment access the following week. We will update information on our website for the public and begin working with the campus to share this information more broadly with the campus community. Starting September 28, the Libraries will move toward restarting services as they existed on September 2, at the start of the fall semester, recognizing a phased approach of our own is necessary.  

(September 10, 2020): Due to the transition to online instruction through at least Sep. 25, the Libraries’ operations have shifted. Study spaces and most onsite services are suspended at this time. Faculty and grad students may be able to access some onsite collections by appointment only. Pickup service and laptop checkout continues. Online services are still accessible as well. For more information visit our Library Dashboard.

The Libraries are excited to welcome our campus community back for the fall 2020 semester! We will have to do things differently, but we are here to help you and are working to ensure you have the resources for a successful academic year.

As a way to protect the health and safety of our campus and still provide the library tools, resources, and spaces you need, you’ll still have access to robust support and expertise of librarians via chat, email, phone, or video appointment. The Libraries continue to support your research and teaching needs virtually. 

Additionally, our Library by Appointment system, which launched over the summer, will serve as the way the Libraries continue to operate this fall. With the support and guidance of the UW-Madison Smart Restart effort, Library by Appointment allows us to provide access to the Libraries consistent with physical distancing and health guidelines.

We know there are a lot of changes this academic year. Our campus community’s health and safety are our priority as we continue to find solutions for ongoing library operations that support the continuation of instruction and research. Please continue to visit this page for the most up-to-date information. Updates will also be posted on Twitter and Facebook.

Let’s get to work!

Here’s what you need to know:

Library Access – By Appointment Only

We continue our support for campus’ effort to reboot research by offering our Library by Appointment services. Faculty, staff, and students must make appointments to enter a library to take advantage of the following services:

Things to Know About Your Visit

  • Facial coverings are required while inside our facilities
  • No food or drinks are permitted
  • You must have a Wiscard
  • Hours, services, and availability have changed due to the COVID-19 response
  • No group study will be supported during the fall semester
  • Learn more at:

Space Protocols

To accommodate physical distancing requirements, there is a reduction in furniture and study spaces. To ensure there is equal opportunity to access space, we will allow appointments to be made for study space with a limit of one (1) appointment per day per individual.

Cleaning Protocols

Cleaning will take place routinely throughout our spaces by staff and we are providing easily accessible cleaning materials for our visitors to clean spaces before and after use.

Ask a Librarian – Help Services

Our staff are ready to respond to your reference questions via chat, email, or by virtual consult with invaluable expertise that will enhance your understanding and ability to use the resources we offer. Reference questions that arise during a visit to the libraries will be routed to chat, email, or phone to maintain physical distancing. We also hold a depth of expertise via subject specialists who are available for personalized attention and  are familiar with your discipline. (more info)

Services by Appointment at Library Locations

Materials Pick-up

  • Memorial
  • Steenbock

Collections access

  • AMP Library
  • Art Library
  • Business Library
  • College Library
  • Gender & Women’s Studies Library
  • Geology Library
  • Memorial Library
  • Mills Music Library
  • Social Work Library
  • Special Collections
  • Steenbock Library
  • UW-Archives

Computer Use

College, Memorial, Steenbock

  • 9:00AM – Noon, 1:00 PM – 5:00PM, 6:00PM – 10:00PM (Mon-Thu)
  • 9:00AM – Noon, 1:00 PM – 5:00PM (Fri)
  • 1:00 PM – 5:00PM (Sat-Sun)
  • Closed from Noon – 1:00PM and 5:00 – 6:00PM for cleaning

Business (Huber Undergraduate Computer Lab):

  • 7:30AM – 7:00PM (Mon-Thu) 7:30AM – 5:00PM (Fri)

Study space


  • 9:00AM – Noon, 1:00 – 5:00PM, 6:00PM – 10:00PM (Mon-Thu)
  • 9:00AM – Noon, 1:00PM – 5:00 PM (Fri)
  • 1:00PM – 5:00PM (Sat-Sun)
  • Closed from Noon – 1:00PM and 5:00PM – 6:00PM for cleaning


  • 9:00 – Noon 1:00 – 5:00PM, 6:00PM – 10:00PM (Mon-Thu)
  • 9:00AM – Noon, 1:00PM – 5:00PM (Fri)
  • 1:00PM – 5:00PM (Sat-Sun)
  • Closed from Noon – 1:00PM and 5:00PM – 6:00PM for cleaning


  • 9:00AM – Noon, 1:00PM – 5:00PM, 6:00PM – 10:00PM (Mon-Thu)
  • 9:00AM – Noon, 1:00PM – 5:00PM (Fri)
  • 1:00PM – 5:00PM (Sat-Sun)
  • Closed from Noon – 1:00PM and 5:00PM – 6:00PM for cleaning

Business – will offer study space appointments – no evenings or weekends. Hours TBD.

Virtual learning rooms – designated for students to participate in online classes

  • College, Memorial, and Steenbock instruction classrooms

Reservable individual study rooms

  • College, Memorial, Steenbock, Business

Walk-in services

  • Check-out: course reserves and laptops/equipment at service desks
  • As noted above, Business, College, Memorial and Steenbock will offer full onsite services. The other locations will provide limited services.

Services at professional libraries and Wisconsin Historical Society

Ebling Library

  • The Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC), including Ebling Library, is open 24/7 for health science students, staff, and faculty only.
  • Visitors must use Wiscard/UWHealth badges for access and must wear face coverings and maintain 6 ft distancing at all times.
  • The Ebling Library is maintaining minimal onsite staff Noon – 4:00PM (Mon-Thu) providing limited services.
  • No laptop and equipment check-out.
  • All reference and instruction services will be conducted remotely.
  • Requests can be made via Ask a Librarian or directly to designated librarians for groups or units via liaison librarians.

Law Library

  • The Law Library is limited to law students and will require reserved seats in the library using Springshare’s Libcal Seats module.
  • Beginning August 31, the Law Library is open to law students from:
    • 7:30AM-8:00PM (Mon-Thu)
    • 7:30AM-6:00PM (Fri)
    • 1:00PM-5:00PM (Sat)
    • Closed Sundays
  • Hours are subject to change.
  • Law students can check out materials, browse the stacks, and reserve quiet study space or remote course participation.
  • Materials will be request-able by non-law students for pick up at Memorial Library.

Media, Educational Resources, & Information Technology (MERIT)

  • MERIT will be closed to the public through the fall semester.
  • All reference, instruction, and liaison services will be provided remotely
    • 8:00AM – 9:00PM (Mon-Fri)
    • 2:00PM –8:00PM (Sun)
  • Collections will be request-able for pickup at the open locations.

Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives

  • The Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives will be open to the general public and the UW-Madison community by appointment.
  • The WHS library and Archives are available by appointment.
    • Library: 9:00AM – Noon (Tue-Thu)
    • Archives: 9:00AM – Noon, 1:00PM – 4:00PM (Tue-Thu)
  • The building is closed to allow access for patrons with an appointment.
  • Appointments are made through LibCal for both the library and the archives.
  • For the archives, appointments must be made at least a week in advance.
  • The library will not be available for general study space.
  • A limited number of microfilm readers and scanners are available for use during appointments.
  • Hours are subject to change.
  • More information can be found here on the WHS site.
  • WHS materials are request-able by anyone with a NetID or WHS community library card.
  • Materials can be picked up at Memorial Library.
  • WHS will continue to provide reference assistance through email at and
  • WHS is providing free document delivery for library materials for UW patrons and archives copying services for a fee for patrons unable to visit the archives.