Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Letter to the editor: Libraries are vital for all students at UW

Archives, records gives access to millions of items
Herald archives

“No one ever graduated from a library … but no one ever graduated without one.”

Where the quote originated admittedly has been lost to time. But if you ask any librarian to complete that quote, chances are they’ll enthusiastically indulge you — and then tell you why it’s true.

While University of Wisconsin libraries, along with our counterparts around the country, are experiencing off-the-chart usage, the discussions we have with students and staff show there continues to be some mystery around how the libraries can help “beyond the books.” Libraries are so much more than books — they are resources for every type of student. Libraries are vital to UW and here’s why:



Yes, stuff. We obviously have books. But UW Libraries have even more. UW Archives and Records Management Services, UW Digital Collections and Special Collections gives you access to millions of items, both physical and digital.

UW Libraries special and archival collections are some of the strongest in the country. And when you need a break from research, College Library has a collection of recreational materials in the Open Book Café that support students’ extracurricular interests.

Equipment? Everything from green screens and cameras, to laptops and poster printing, libraries are experts in figuring out ways to get the things you need into your hands. You can also check out gaming consoles (Xbox 360, Wii and PS4) from the College Library computer lab. And if there is something you need the libraries don’t have, let us know. We’re happy to take purchase suggestions and do our best to add them to our collections.


We have innovative and active spaces created to advance your educational experience. Don’t get us wrong, we love the cages of Memorial Library as much as the next person. But providing students with collaborative study areas and technologically advanced work space is a focus now more than ever.

Spaces like BioCommons in Steenbock Library were built to spark collaboration and innovation. With nearly 25 percent of UW undergraduates studying some area of bioscience, BioCommons offers students a place to build community with similarly focused peers.

It’s a venue where members of campus can offer biology-related services, guidance and events. The “living walls” of plants, aquariums and nature images make it a popular student retreat. Other areas like the Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning space in College Library and Wendt Commons also provide active and student-centered learning environments.

If hunkering down in the stacks is your thing, we have you covered, but we also know you need more. The UW Libraries continue to refine our buildings to meet the growing demand for active learning areas.


Our librarians can help you leverage the vast resources available to you. Take advantage of the many library services designed to make your educational and research experience at UW as convenient as possible.

Request a book to be delivered to the library of your choice. If we don’t own the journal you need, we’ll use our Interlibrary Loan system to get that article emailed to you within just a couple of days.

The Business Library can even help you find the number of coffee shops in a particular zip code, and help you determine which demographic is more likely to purchase their coffee at Starbucks or more likely to brew their coffee at home.

From market research reports to industry trends to opinions from Wall Street analysts, the Business Library can help you find the data you need. We also help teach the basics of academic research.

Perhaps a librarian teaches a session within your class to help with that specific assignment, and if not, you can always stop in for help or get online assistance with the click of a mouse.

 Quick Facts about the UW Libraries

  • UW Libraries’ website is second in usage only to the UW campus website.
  • UW Digital Collection is used 21,738 time per day and 8 million times per year. Talk about the Wisconsin Idea in Action!
  • From our online databases, users make 773,063 requests for content daily.
  • Users utilize UW’s top 30 online databases 13,071 times a day — that’s equivalent to one in five UW faculty members, employees and students using the library daily to access research databases.
  • UW System Libraries delivered 664,500 books and other printed items across the system in 2014.

Carrie Kruse and Natasha Veeser are UW Libraries staff members.

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