Letter to College of Engineering about Changes at Wendt

June 13, 2016

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,


As many of you know, Wendt Commons is soon to see the addition of several exciting new spaces to support the “next generation of education”.  These include the Grainger Design Innovation Center (makerspace) on the 2nd floor, a data visualization center on the 1st floor, and a state-of-the-art instructional space that will support active learning on the 3rd floor.  Building on the success of the Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL) and the CoE’s Undergraduate Learning Center, Wendt Commons will enhance its role as a hub for student learning, collaboration, and innovation.

Wendt Commons Library will continue to provide access to collections and the services of expert librarians to promote student learning, research and innovation.  In order to accommodate these new spaces, all library services, collections, and staff will be moved to the 1st floor.  The library will maintain actively used collections at Wendt, moving most of the print collection to one of the UW-Madison shelving facilities, Special Collections or to the University Archives.  Collections in the shelving facilities will be available upon request.  There is also an ongoing effort to enhance UW-Madison’s access to and ownership of digital collections.

We recognize that these changes represent a significant shift in how some of you access these collections.  As the UW-Madison Libraries  “Managing Physical Collections” website notes, “we want to be clear that we are not losing access to any unique materials. Familiar locations, formats and logistics may change but [the Libraries] are unwavering in [their] commitment to get content into the hands of students, teachers and researchers as quickly and effortlessly as possible.”

What is the broad timeline?

  • By the end of 2016 – Print collections designated for shelving facility will be moved.  Library services will be moved to 1st floor.
  • Late October / Early November  2016– Demolition and early construction begins
  • Winter/ Spring / Summer 2017 – Construction on 2nd and 3rd floors;

For more information on this project and regular updates on how it may impact you, please check out the Wendt Commons Library website.  Library staff are also available to help you locate materials while collections are being moved to the shelving facility and during the renovation as needed.

We would also like to take this opportunity to announce that as of July 1, 2016, Wendt Commons Library will become part of the General Library System and Deborah Helman will become Director of Science and Engineering Libraries.  We believe this transition provides the UW-Madison Libraries an opportunity to strengthen and expand the support for learning, teaching and research to the science and engineering community on campus.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Deborah Helman, deborah.helman@wisc.edu, 608.262.7980.



Jake Blanchard, Executive Associate Dean, College of Engineering

Deborah Helman, Director of Science and Engineering Libraries