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 Calatalog 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 My 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 My Library account.

For complete and detailed information on how to retrieve materials see Retrieve from the Shelf.

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.

Open Return logo

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. Applications may be made at the Card Application Window located in the lobby of Memorial Library and is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.

If you have any questions about any of the cards that are issued please feel free to call the Circulation Office at (608)263-7360.

  • 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 library materials. To enter the building students, faculty and staff from other UW campuses must obtain a day pass or Reference Pass.
  • OCLC and CIC faculty from other institutions must bring a photo ID and the card given by the home institution to the Card Application Window at Memorial Library to obtain a borrowing card. UW Faculty who wish to borrow from OCLC or CIC institutions need to contact Dineen Grow.

The following patron categories of users must obtain a Memorial Library issued borrowing card. Proof of affiliation and photo ID (with current address information) are 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. Card renewals begin on June 1st each year. NOTE: A General Library System card does 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 (with proof of employment)
  • Faculty and Students at Madison Area Technical, Edgewood and Beloit colleges. MATC, Edgewood and Beloit students need to bring a form from their college librarian.
  • Private college faculty in the State of Wisconsin (with proof of employment).
  • Donors to the library.
  • Wisconsin K-12 Public School educators (with proof of employment)
  • The spouses, domestic partners and children (ages 12-17) of UW-Madison faculty, staff and students.

Annual fee cards

These cards are issued to Wisconsin residents. Two proofs of Wisconsin residency are required, one of them a photo ID as well as a $40.00 annual payment ($20.00 for residents 62 and older). Checks and credit cards (no cash) are accepted at the Card Application Window.

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.