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What health and safety measures are in place at the Law Library?

The global COVID-19 pandemic requires that we take extraordinary steps to keep ourselves, our campus, and our community safe. The Law Library has enacted the following health and safety measures:

  1. Access to the Law Library is limited to Law students, staff, and faculty.
  2. All users are required to wear a face mask. Students who refuse to wear face coverings appropriately or adhere to other stated requirements will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and will not be allowed to return until they agree to comply with the face covering policy. 
  3. The number and density of seating and spaces in the library has been reduced to allow for recommended physical distancing.  Furniture may not be moved.
  4. Individual seats in the Law Library are available by reservation only.  Law students may go to to place a reservation.
  5. In addition to normal cleaning, custodians and library staff will focus on cleaning high-touch surfaces. Individuals are responsible for cleaning their immediate area and any equipment used. As we are able, cleaning supplies will be made available at the Reference Desk and Copy Center. 
  6. Library materials will be quarantined for a period of three days between check-outs.

When is the Law Library open?

Who may access the Law Library?

Any current faculty or staff may enter the library to use the printers, scanners, or copier, check out materials, or consult with a librarian. However, if you wish to study or attend a remote course, seat reservations are required beginning August 31, 2020 (see FAQ below on how to reserve a seat). Any current law student may use the library regardless of whether your courses are in-person or remote.

As of January 19, 2021, we are unable to extend on-site access to non-law school users. However, the Law Library remains committed to remotely supporting our campus and community members to the best of our ability. Please contact the library at or 608-262-3394 for assistance.

Undergraduate and other non-law students looking for a place to study may make an appointment at one of the other campus libraries at

How do I reserve a seat in the Law Library?

Law students may go to to reserve either a quiet study seat or a remote course participation seat in the Law Library.

Are study rooms available?

Yes, however, the availability of study rooms has been reduced to allow for recommended physical distancing.  Please note that most study rooms may only accommodate one student; some two (at most). For more information, see

Are food and beverages allowed in the Law Library?

No. As has been our policy for many years, food is not permitted in the Law Library. Beverages are also not permitted at this time. Students who may need access to food and beverages are asked to briefly leave the law building to take care of this need. Students who have received a formal accommodation from the McBurney Center regarding consuming food/beverages should consult with Asst. Dean Emily Kite.

Can I still use and check out Law Library materials?

Yes! Current law students, faculty, and staff may continue to browse our physical collection and to check out library materials at the Law Library Circulation Desk. No reservation is required. A plexiglass barrier has been installed at the Circulation Desk for safety. Note, however, that print course reserves have been temporarily suspended (see course reserves FAQ below). Also, materials from the Law Library collection may no longer be placed on hold for you at the Circulation Desk.

Current law students, faculty, and staff who would prefer to pick up Law Library materials by appointment at Memorial Library, see:

Law faculty and staff that would prefer to have physical Law Library materials delivered to their Law School mailboxes, contact Jay Tucker at

Non-law school users, see FAQ  on using the Law Library collection below.

Many library materials can also be accessed online. See FAQ on electronic library materials below.

If I'm not a current law student, faculty, or staff, may I still use the Law Library collection?

Yes. You may request that Law Library materials be sent to Memorial Library for pick up.  See

Can I still get materials from other libraries?

From other UW-Madison campus libraries: Yes! Law students, faculty, and staff may request that materials from several other campus libraries be sent to Memorial Library for pick up by appointment. See:

From libraries outside of UW-Madison: It depends. Although it is difficult to inter-library loan entire books from other libraries at this time, we may be able to get journal articles and chapters or specific pages from books delivered electronically.  For more information or to place a request, contact

Will library materials be made available electronically?

Many library materials can be accessed online through the library cataloglaw databases list, and our research guides.  You can also request a scanned copy of a print article or book chapter (see FAQ on requesting a scan below). Law students can also access 60 days of complimentary access to Bluebook Online. The library is working with instructors to provide course reserve materials electronically for inclusion on course pages.

Not finding what you need? Use the Law Library’s Ask a Librarian Chat service for real-time assistance or contact us at

Can I request a scanned copy of a Law Library book chapter or article?

If the material you need is required for a course, ask your instructor to contact to request the scan.

Send non-course-related requests for chapter or article scans to Turn-around time is approximately 2-3 days.

Please provide:

  1. For a book chapter: chapter title and author, book title and author, page numbers, and edition or publication date.
  2. For an article: article title, journal title, volume, page numbers, and publication date.

All scanned copies must comply with current copyright laws but during this crisis some of the page limit restrictions have been temporarily lifted. Please do not share copies that have been scanned for you with others.

Will print materials be available on course reserve?

In order to provide a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff, the Law Library transitioned to electronic-only reserves for the 2020-21 academic year. The library is working directly with instructors to provide materials for inclusion on course pages. Contact with any questions.

Instructors: due to copyright restrictions and staff availability, scanning requests should be limited. Alternatively, the Law Library may be able to locate an electronic equivalent or scan a portion of a print text for you to post to your course page. Please contact to explore course reserve options.

Are materials being quarantined upon return?

Yes. Materials returned to the campus libraries will be quarantined for a period of at least three days between check-outs. This means that returned items may stay on your record for the period of this quarantine and some amount of time after the quarantine period, as it will take some time to process all the returned materials. Note that any overdue fines generated during this time will be waived.

How do I return library materials?

Current law students, faculty and staff may return library materials to the book return at the Law Library Circulation Desk. Others should use the drop box at Memorial Library’s State Street entrance. Most due dates have been extended to December 30 for graduate students and staff. Check your library account for details at

If you are not able to get to Madison to return items, they may be returned via postal service to Memorial Library. It is recommended that items be tracked and insured before sending via USPS, as patrons are responsible for materials until they reach the library.

Address items to:

Memorial Library, Room 166
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Contact with any questions or concerns you have about returning library materials.

I already returned this item. Why is it still showing up on my library account?

Materials returned to the campus libraries will be quarantined for a period of at least three days between check-outs. This means that returned items may stay on your record for the period of this quarantine and some amount of time after the quarantine period, as it will take some time to process all the returned materials. Note that any overdue fines generated during this time will be waived.

How can I get help with a research question or finding a source?

Law Library reference staff can help you find answers to your research questions. Whether it’s finding a source or an in-depth research consultation, we can help!  Use the Ask a Librarian Chat service for real-time assistance or contact us at Law faculty and staff may also contact their library research liaison. Not sure who your liaison is? Contact

Are librarians still available to help law faculty and staff showcase their scholarship?

Yes! Our librarians are eager to work with law faculty and staff to showcase your scholarship by posting it to the UW Law School Digital Repository and SSRN, help curate your author profiles for HeinOnline, Google Scholar, ORCID, and more. Contact for more information.

Will Law Library journals still route to law faculty and staff?

Law faculty and staff may request to have print journal issues to which we subscribe routed to you. This service, which was temporarily suspended in spring, will resume on August 31, 2020.

If you are interested in having any journals routed to you, contact or Routed materials will be delivered to your mailbox. You may return materials to the Law Library mailbox or place in the book return at the Circulation Desk.

If you already have materials routed to you and would prefer to cancel or postpone routing until another time, contact

Where can I print, scan, or make copies?

You may still print, scan, or make copies in the Law Library Copy Center on the 5th floor (maximum occupancy of 3). No reservation is required. To facilitate physical distancing, one of the printers has been moved to the reference desk. Some equipment on other floors has been removed.

The Law School Digital Print Center (2nd floor, room 2115) also offers printing, scanning, and copying services.

For more information on library technology, see our general Law Library FAQ at

Are any computers available at the library?

Yes.  Several public computers are still available on the 5th floor of the library.  Public computers on other floors have been temporarily removed.  Computers in the computer labs have also been removed to provide more reservable seats for remote course participation. 

Laptops may be available for check out at the Memorial Library Computer Lab or from the DoIT Help Desk.  See

Have a question that we haven’t answered? Use the Ask a Librarian Chat service for real-time assistance or contact us at

For additional general Law Library FAQs, see: