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Current Availability of Library Services

We are committed to the health and safety of our staff and the public, and are working closely with the City of Madison and Public Health of Madison and Dane County to be proactive and take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

All Madison Public Library buildings are currently closed to the public.  Due dates of checked out materials will be extended to August 1.  

Available services

Curbside pickup service
Beginning May 11, curbside pickup service will be available by appointment between the hours of 11am-7pm Monday through Friday and 12-5pm Saturday.  Place holds in LINKcat or call 608-315-5151 for assistance in finding books on the shelves for curbside pickup at all libraries except Alicia Ashman Library, currently under renovation.  Learn more about curbside service​​​ and how to make appointments.

Beginning May 26, all Madison Public Libraries will begin accepting returns of library materials.  All items checked out on or before March 17 are due on August 1.  No fines will be assessed before August 1. Central Library’s materials return will open at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26 and remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the Fairchild Street entrance.  The Mifflin Street materials return will be closed to accommodate social distancing for curbside pickup service. Madison’s eight neighborhood libraries will accept returns on a limited basis, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.  At these libraries, library customers are asked to place returns in temporary carts near the permanent book drop.  These temporary return carts allow for touchless return and easy quarantining of materials.  Return service may be temporarily suspended in case of inclement weather.

Reference assistance and help with resources
Have a question not related to your library card, or specific to using our online collections like Libby/OverDrive/Wisconsin's Digital Library?  Ask our reference librarians via email and they'll respond as soon as they are able, or call our centralized telephone service line at 608-315-5151.  The line is staffed 11am-7pm seven days a week while we are closed.

Using your library card
You can use your library card while we're closed to place holds in LINKcat or use our many online collections.  If you need assistance with an expired card or a PIN number, fill out this email form  or call 608-315-5151 (11am-7pm, seven days a week) and a library staffer will help.  Don't have a card?  Request a virtual library card if you are new to using the library.

Online collections and programs
With your library card, you'll have instant access to over 71,000 ebooks and audiobooks through Wisconsin’s Digital Library, over 50 online magazines through Flipster, as well as Mango Languages, Consumer Reports, the New York Times, and many more free online resources. We are also beginning to offer a few online programs - visit our calendar for upcoming events.


Unavailable services

Building access
Libraries will be closed to the public until we can safely open. We have not yet set a reopen date and will await guidance from local and state officials before doing so.

Events and meeting room reservations
All in-person public events, public meetings, and private meetings have been cancelled until further notice. We do not know when we will reopen; when we do reopen, we do not expect to be open at full capacity right away.  It is better for everyone to make reservations when we know for certain that we can accommodate all expectations of groups who want to meet in our spaces and that we can ensure their safety.

Tax assistance
The library was hosting three VITA and AARP tax assistance sites this year at Central, Lakeview, and Sequoya libraries. This service was postponed by the providers and customers have been notified.  Income tax filing and payment dates have been extended to July 15, 2020, by the IRS.

Appliance stickers
The library serves as a site for purchasing appliance recycling stickers for the City of Madison Streets department. You can still purchase these online, by mail, or by phone.


Visit our Library @ Home page to learn about all the ways you can still interact with Madison Public Library during our closure.

Message from the Director

To the Madison Public Library Community,

Since we closed our library buildings to the public on March 17, Madison Public Library has been working to restore and reconnect our patrons to library resources and services.  We have increased our online resources and connected more people to those resources through our virtual library card program.  We established a centralized reference service to restore our phone services, address questions about broadband access, and now assist our patrons with curbside delivery of library materials. 

We are following the directives of Public Health Madison and Dane County, and Mayor Rhodes-Conway to move forward with services that we can provide safely for library staff and the public.  Curbside pickup service and limited book returns are now available.  All returned library materials will be placed in quarantine to make sure they can be safely made available again to the public.

Madison Public Library is continuing to plan and prepare our library buildings for when we will be able to reopen our doors. Our top priority remains the safety of library staff and the public.  In order to maintain that level of safety we initially will have very limited access to our library spaces.  Our priority upon reopening our facilities is to reconnect our patrons to broadband access.  We will be modifying our space to accommodate for social distancing, and each of our libraries will vary as to how many patrons can be scheduled to use our public workstations.  We will not have a date for when we will open for broadband access until we know we can do so in coordination with public health orders for the safety of library staff and our computer users. Access to our material collection will remain available only through our curbside service.  And when delivery services are restored, we will be able to provide materials from other libraries.   

We know how important the library’s services and programs are for our community.  We miss serving you in person and seeing so many familiar faces.  And we will do so again when we know we make that happen as safe as we can.  In the meantime, thank you all for your patience and understanding as we work together through the current COVID-19 crisis. 

Greg Mickells,  Library Director
(updated May 26, 2020)

Be Informed about Coronavirus

Know the Facts

  • Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.
  • People who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or people who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread are at an increased risk of exposure.
  • Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
  • You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  • There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.

Source: CDC

Be Proactive

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Source: CDC