Suggestion Responses

Below are some suggestions that we have received from our users, either from our online form or in our suggestion box (located in the Copy Center, Room 5306) Each suggestion is followed by a response from the Law Library staff.  Thank you for sharing your suggestions and voicing your concerns!


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/about/policies/limitedaccess.html.

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: The charging station in the Copy Center isn't working. (received 3/14/17)

Response: Thanks for letting us know that the charging station is acting up! We are looking into several options for repair or replacement, possibly with portable chargers. Stay tuned for more information.

Response Update (5/17): Instead of repairing the stationary charging stations, we’ve decided to phase them out in favor of a more mobile solution. Two types of charging cords will be soon be available for checkout at the Law Library Circulation Desk. You can either charge your mobile device directly from your laptop or from a desk or wall outlet with a USB power adapter, also available for checkout.


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 asklawref@law.wisc.edu 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: Computer to accompany the scanner in the Copy Center

Response: We went around on why you might have requested this and came to the conclusion that is to be used in conjunction with the printers rather than the scanners, so you can quickly print out something without having to use the computers near the reference desk. The committee that decided technology purchases (e.g., computers) has opted not to purchase a new computer for this but we are looking at repurposing a computer we already have. Stay tuned!


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 capactiy 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.


Suggestion: WHY are there so many undergrads in the Law Library? WHY don't you follow your own rules? (received 4/27/16)

Response: The Law Library has recently received several complaints from law students regarding undergraduate use of the Law Library during the weeks surrounding final exams.  Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

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, law faculty & 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/about/policies/limitedaccess.html.

Currently, our monitoring hours are 11:00 am to 9:00 pm every day during the limited access period.  We recognize that there have been some gaps in coverage this semester and we are working to correct them.  For the next several weeks, our staff will also conduct periodic walk-throughs of the most heavily used areas of the Library and ask that students who don’t appear to be studying law to leave the Law Library.  We will also address those who are violating our policies on food or noise as stated at http://library.law.wisc.edu/about/policies/index.html.

We would also like to enlist your help.  It is very difficult for us to find students willing to staff the monitor desk.  These students routinely encounter resistance and sometimes anger from those wishing to enter the Law Library.  This includes undergraduates and other non law students who are turned away, but it also often includes law students who don’t want to or cannot produce their student ids.  For example, law students frequently leave their ids in their lockers and then get upset with the monitor when they are told that they need to go get it to enter the Library.

To help make the experience more positive for everyone, we’d appreciate it if law students could be patient and cooperative when asked to show their id and remind you that our monitors are there at the request of the SBA.

In addition, we were recently informed that some library users have been observed violating library policies on food and noise.  We will attempt to address these concerns with our walk throughs.  We also ask law students to notify library staff right away if they notice inappropriate or distracting behavior.  This will allow us to address the problem behavior in a more timely manner.  You don’t even have to leave your study areas to contact us - between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm, simply click the “Chat Now” link on the library home page to speak with a law librarian - http://library.law.wisc.edu/.

The Law Library staff will continue to explore additional ways to improve the study and research atmosphere for law students, particularly around exam time.  Thank you for your suggestions and for your cooperation. (posted 4/28/16)


Suggestion: I'd like the Law Library to purchase a book on law systems theory.  It is called: "Observing Law through Systems Theory" by Richard Nobles.  Hart Publishing, 2013. (received 4/27/16)

Response: Thank you for your purchase suggestion.  We have reviewed it and agreed that it is a good fit for our collection.  We ordered it and asked that you be notified when it is available.  (posted 4/28/16)

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