Submit a Suggestion
Submit a suggestion through the form below or use the suggestion box in the Law Library Copy Center (room 5306).
Have a suggestion for the Law Library?
Previous Suggestions & Responses
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When I came back for 2L year, I was sad to see that the carrels on the 3rd floor by the windows were gone. This was my go-to study spot because it was quiet, cozy and not as depressing as being in the windowless rooms. Is there a plan to bring these back? I would love to see this study area come back. (9/26/23)
Thank you for your suggestion. We agree – that is a nice area in which to study. The library is currently working with the Law School to convert some areas on other floors to offices. That third floor space will be impacted by the changes so we had to move the carrels to the first floor. We are working with a design team to find new, comfortable seating for the 3d floor space. Hopefully you’ll like the space even more once it’s complete.
I would use the reading room more if the windows at the top were open. Could you open them? (4/28/22)
Unfortunately we are not able to raise the blinds as the mural in the Quarles and Brady room would be damaged by the sunlight. We have investigated window coverings that exclude UV light but these have proven either unworkable practically or not aligned with our insurance coverage. I’m sorry this is a disappointing response, but we will continue to investigate options for lighting in the room.
Suggestion: The blinds in the mural room were open the other day (Sunday 2/16). Was curious if it would be possible to open them more often? (Received 2/24/20)
We’re so glad that you enjoy the quiet dignity of the Mural Room (formal name: Quarles and Brady Reading Room)! Sadly, the blinds being open on February 16th was an accident. We have to keep the blinds closed at all times for one very important reason: the Freeing of the Slaves mural cannot handle being hit with direct sunlight. If there is sunlight on the mural, then it will deteriorate and we’ll lose not only the lovely ambiance of the room but also the historical mural itself!
We’ve always thought of the Quarles and Brady Mural Room and the Habush, Habush, and Rottier Reading Room as two sides of the same coin. If you prefer a more modern and bright room, then the Habush room is the way to go. If you’d prefer a more traditional, historic and slightly darker room, then the Quarles Room is your jam. Thank you for your suggestion and we hope you continue to enjoy the Mural Room and that you understand why those blinds must remain closed.
Suggestion: Fix the "Simplex" brand wall clocks so they don't loudly click every minute. The sound is distracting to those trying to study! (Received 2/20/20)
We feel your pain – the loud click can be very distracting. Unfortunately, those clocks are controlled and overseen by Campus at large and not the Library (or Law School). So we can’t remove them or fix them to be quieter. However, we do have earplugs for free at our circulation desk. Just ask the staff for them. I’d suggest grabbing a few of those so you aren’t as distracted. There also may be quieter areas lower in the library farther away from the loud clocks. Try the first or second floors for fewer people and fewer clocks.
Suggestion: Please either keep the undergrads quiet or out OR put a large sign at the entrance of the library. (Received 10/9/19)
We appreciate you sharing your frustration with us about the noise created by undergraduates in the Law Library. We strive to maintain our reputation as one of the ‘quietest libraries’ on campus and want to provide our law students with an environment that allows them to focus on their studies without interruption.
To this end, if you notice any distracting or inappropriate behavior in the library, please notify staff at the reference or circulation desk right away so that we may address the problem. The students creating the disruptions may be more receptive to changing their behavior if a staff member speaks with them. You don’t even have to leave your seat to contact us – you can notify us via chat from our homepage.
Also, be aware that the Law Library’s limited access period begins four full weekends before the first proctored law exam. This semester it begins on Monday, November 11. During this period, access to the Law Library is limited to law students, law faculty & staff, as well as to individuals needing to do legal research or use our collection. Undergraduates cannot use the Law Library as a general study hall during that time. More information is available on our policies page under Limited Access Periods at https://library.law.wisc.edu/policies/
Regarding your suggestion of placing a large sign at the Law Library entrance, if only signs were as effective as we would like them to be. We have signs throughout the library on almost all of the tables, and yet, as you have experienced, not everyone notices them or abides by them. Furthermore, we have a large sign at the library entrance informing patrons of the Law Library hours, which is crucial information.
There really isn’t room for another one without cluttering up the entrance.
That said, let’s work together to create an environment conducive to Law School success. Please let us know via chat or in person when someone is being disruptive and we will respond to the situation directly.
Suggestion: One of the fans near the french windows in the Habush, Habush, and Rottier Reading Room makes continuous noise. I assume that there may be some loose screws inside so the blade makes noise. Even though it is not loud, it is continuous. I really hope it can be repaired. (6/10/19)
Response: Thanks for the heads-up about the noisy fan. We’ve reported the issue to our building crew so they can see if it can be fixed. It is possible that the noise is caused by the air conditioning turning on for the summer and may go away on its own, but it is worthwhile to have an expert check the fan to see if it is loose screws or another problem. In the meantime, check out some of our other extremely quiet locations for studying in the library. The staff can show you some truly peaceful places on our other floors so you can really focus. Thanks again for letting us know!
Suggestion: Put tissues on every table in the main (Habush, Habush and Rottier) Reading Room. This will help stop people from sniffling every 2 seconds and distracting others. (4/4/19)
Response: Thanks for letting us know about the serial sniffling. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to provide tissues at every table in the Habush, Habush and Rottier Reading Room. We do have tissues available at the circulation and reference desks as well as scattered around our more heavily-used public areas. If the noise is bothering you, we also provide earplugs for free at our circulation desk. That may help alleviate the noise and allow you to bear down on your studies for these last few weeks. We can also suggest a few spots in the library where there are fewer people, which may also help provide an even quieter atmosphere. Just let us know!
Suggestion: Put a computer in the Copy Center so people do not have to leave their belongings at the public workstations while they go to get their print jobs. (2/14/19)
Response: Great idea. We know that our printing setup can be a bit awkward at times, since you have to leave the computer you are using to retrieve the materials you have printed. While we do not have much space in the Copy Center, we were able to add a table with a computer designed just for “quick print” jobs (meaning five minutes or less). So no email, no social media, and no “camping out” – just printing! Hopefully this provides everyone with a more efficient way to quickly print out your materials without leaving your stuff at one of the public workstations. Thanks for the suggestion!
Suggestion: Our group would like more privacy in the newest study room (2390). Can the windows be covered? (1/10/19)
Response: We understand the need for a more private setting for studying and for moot court practice. For study room 2390, which has several large windows in it, we have ordered translucent covering for the window in the door that will ‘frost’ the glass, providing more privacy. For the larger window that looks out into our Shared Study Space, we have ordered blinds that can be raised and lowered to provide the appropriate amount of privacy. Happy studying!
Suggestion: I have a hard time finding books that are in the stacks. Can you help me navigate this maze? (11/15/18)
Response: We admit, the library is not the easiest one to navigate. We share your concerns about finding materials here in the library. The library staff is working on better signage so you can find the books you are looking for. While we work on getting improved signage, you can use our maps, available in print at the circulation desk, to find your way around, or simply ask us for help. We’ll get you to what you are looking for.
Suggestion: Please bring back the hand sanitizer in the print room? (10/24/18)
Response: You’ve got it! There are now two hand sanitizers available in our copy center, where our printers and scanners live. We’ll do our best to keep those available throughout the winter. If you see them empty or missing, please let us know!
Suggestion: Guys, the Reading Room is depressing as all heck - why not open those blinds to let in some sunshine/some sense of the outside world? It's a tomb in there! Free the Reading Room! (10/24/18)
Response: You are right – the Quarles and Brady Reading Room is a bit more…reserved…than some of our other rooms. We hear you about the lack of natural light in that room, but that is by design. Our beautiful mural, the Freeing of the Slaves, cannot be exposed to sunlight or it will deteriorate. To that end, the room must remain under only artificial light. It is still a great room! If you need a sense of the outside world, we suggest studying in our sun-kissed Habush, Habush, and Rottier Reading Room!
Suggestion: Please clean or replace the right computer’s keyboard in print room – it’s viscerally disgusting to touch. (10/1/18)
Response: Thank you for pointing out the keyboard that was clearly unclean. We have replaced the keyboard with a brand-new one and have asked a staff member to periodically clean both keyboards and the monitors on the print release stations. We pride ourselves on our welcoming environment and we will strive to keep our common areas and the technology in those areas clean. Thanks again for your suggestion!
Suggestion: Patrol the “reserved for law student” tables. Non-law students are relatively easy to spot. They don’t look so haggard. This frees up the best tables in the library and lets undergrads know they can’t ignore signs without getting chastised by the staff. (3/7/18)
Response: Thanks for letting us know about this problem. We agree. Those tables provide a great view of the hill. We try to keep an eye on the people using the library but appreciate the assistance of students who notice problems so we can address them right away. Between 8am and 9pm (M-F), you can click “chat now” from our home page (under “Ask Us”) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. It’s anonymous and we’d appreciate letting the reference librarian know so they can talk to the student right away.
Suggestion: Please limit library use to law students and faculty only. (received 9/28/17)
Response: Thanks for taking the time to contact us. Unfortunately, as a public university and member of the UW-Madison campus community, we simply cannot limit the use of the Law Library to law students and faculty only.
Although we understand that this may cause frustration at times, there are distinct advantages for law students faculty and staff in the Law Library’s cooperative relationship with campus community. Just as undergrads and others are able to use the Law Library, so are Law School students faculty and staff welcome to use the services, spaces, and collections of the many other libraries on campus. And use them they do.
That said, we do limit access to the Law Library to law students faculty and staff at certain times and in certain areas.
- Year round availability to law students/faculty/staff only
- Several tables in the main 5th floor Habush Habush & Rottier Reading Room are reserved for law students only. These are the tables closest to the windows.
- Law Library study rooms are available only to law students, faculty, and staff. Law students may also reserve Law School classrooms at https://law.wisc.edu/calendar/reserve/.
- Finals time availability to law students/faculty/staff only
- In order to provide adequate study space for law students, the Law Library does have a limited access period which begins four full weekends before the first proctored law exam and remains in effect until shortly before the last law exam date. During this period, access to the Law Library is limited to law students, faculty, and staff, as well as to individuals needing to do legal research or use our collection. More information is available at http://library.law.wisc.edu/policies/.
If you notice that other library users are engaging in inappropriate or distracting behavior, please let library staff know so that we may address the problem. You don’t even have to leave your seat to contact us – between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm M-F, simply click the “Chat Now” link on the library home page to speak with a law librarian – http://library.law.wisc.edu/. Outside of those hours, please email us.
Suggestion: Are you aware that people are beating the system re the study rooms? People are signing up for rooms one hour at a time but leaving only 30 min gaps in between with the hope that no one will reserve them thus extending the 4 hour limit to 5.5 hours. Its a violation of the rule and makes others unable to sign up for a room. (received 4/28/17)
Response: Yeah, we’ve recently noticed this little trick also. Although it’s not technically a violation since other students are able to reserve the rooms during the gaps, we agree that it does violate the spirit of our study room policy: “So the study rooms are available to as many law students as need them, each student is allowed to reserve four hours of study room time (in up to two hour blocks) each day.”
Out of respect for your classmates, we ask that law students not attempt to extend their study room time in this way. We are exploring ways to address this problem for next year, including placing a limit of two reservations per day and/or setting a minimum time in between reservations. We welcome your feedback on this issue.
Note that Law School classrooms are also available for law students to use for take-home exams. To make a reservation, go to https://law.wisc.edu/calendar/reserve/.
Response Update (8/17): We’ve put a new policy in place starting Fall 2017 that should prevent these short gaps in between study room reservations: “Multiple reservations by a law student for the same room must either fall immediately one after another or have a minimum of one hour between reservations.”
If you have any additional concerns about study rooms, please contact us.
Suggestion: Daily "wipe" of files on the 6 research computers. (received 2/17) Files still not wiped daily from the computers. (received 5/17 and 8/17)
Response: We talked to our hard-working IT folks about this and they agreed! In fact, our library public computers should already be getting wiped overnight. They will check to ensure that everything is working properly. It’s possible that the files you’re seeing may be from earlier in the same day.
Response Update #1 (5/17): After checking the computers, IT staff found that some files were indeed not being wiped overnight. They installed a fix and will continue to monitor those computers to ensure that they are behaving properly. We’ll also be installing a restart button on the task bar of our Law School public computers. This will allow you to more easily manually restart those machines thereby wiping downloaded files right away.
Response Update #2 (8/17): Wiping the files proved to be trickier than our IT folks had anticipated. They’ve taken another crack at it and hope that the issue is now resolved.
All files should be removed when the computer restarts each morning. If you notice that this is not happening, please do let us know. We appreciate your help in monitoring this issue and for your continued patience as we work to fix it.
Suggestion: Bring back the laptop ban to Quarles & Brady Reading Room. (received 8/18/17)
Response: Thanks for contacting us. Although we did once have a policy discouraging laptop use in the Quarles & Brady Reading Room, we removed that restriction in 2013. We conducted use counts of the room while the policy was still in place and found that the space was being very little used. Since we removed the restriction, usage of the room has increased greatly.
If you find that the Quarles & Brady Reading Room is not conducive to quiet study, note that there are other locations in the library that may suit your needs. The first and fourth floors are particularly quiet. Ear plugs are also available at the Circulation Desk.
Suggestion: Please put signs to encourage those on the 2nd floor (near computer lab & open area by the stairs) to keep their voices down. It is quite normal to hear loud laughter or conversations while in the reading rooms (3rd & 5th) coming up from the 2nd floor. (received 5/12/17)
Response: You’re very right – voices by the labs do tend to carry up the stairs. We’re sorry for the disturbance. We’ve followed your suggestion and will post a sign asking folks in that area to keep their voices down.
Suggestion: Last year you had “for law students only” signs on far tables closest to windows [in the Habush, Habush, & Rottier Reading Room]… Please reinstate. (received 3/15/17)
Response: Ah – good reminder! Glad you appreciated those signs. We’ll work on getting them back up soon.
Suggestion: Lots of folks eating in Library main room -- maybe you need bigger signs.
Response: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” Similar to the Jaws situation, we’re not sure a bigger boat/sign will help. We do try to change out the signs, so when they are new, people might actually read them. We are asking staff to do a walk-thru the Library and enforce the policy. 30 minutes after asking for staff help on this, a staff member reported asking 2 people to leave with their lunches. And you can always email email@example.com or use the chat function on the Law Library home page to report carrot crunchers and celery munchers. We know you don’t like the noise and we don’t like the pests attracted to the leftovers.
Suggestion: Re-install a machine to put money on print cards.
Response: If you have a Wiscard, you can add money online using a credit card at http:go.wisc.edu/print. You can add money to be used strictly for printing (no fees) or money to be used for various campus purchases (2% fee). We get it that not everyone wants to use their credit card but the machine that enables people to put money on a separate print card using cash is $ 10,000! Ouch! That is why there is only one, located on the 2nd floor of Memorial Library.
Suggestion: The printers should provide the option for double-sided printing. (received 2/22/17)
Response: We have checked our institutional memory on this and the computers had been set to default to double-sided printing in the past (the printers are capable of it) but we got complaints about paying for double-sided printing when single-sided was requested, so we switched the default to single-sided printing. You can easily change this but you must do it before leaving the computers in the reference area. There are instructions posted in the carrels on how to switch to double-sided printing. You may do so on either the PDF or Microsoft Word print pages.
Suggestion: It would be great to get a high capacity stapler that can handle 25 pages. (received 2/14/17)
Response: Our apologies, we should have had a sign up a while back indicating the location of the heavy duty stapler. We do have a very swank, heavy duty stapler that can staple up to 80 pages. It is located at the Circulation Desk. We decided to put this stapler at the Circ Desk because in the past the heavy duty staplers have tended to go on walkabout. The Circ Desk Assistant can put in the particular size staple cartridge you need for the number of pages you have.