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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 Madison & 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 with the exception of computer use, printing, and curbside pickup and returns. On May 6, the Library Board will vote on our in-person service expansion plan.


Call our centralized reference line at 608-266-6300 10am - 6pm Monday - Friday or 12pm - 5pm on Saturday. Leave us a voicemail if we're not available and we'll call back during open hours. Call this number for more information about any of the following services.

Available Services

Public Computers, Internet, and Printing/Copying

By appointment: call 608-266-6300
Walk up use: available on a first come, first served basis
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat (Central, Goodman South Madison, Hawthorne, and Meadowridge Libraries only) 12-4:30pm
Weekday service available at all libraries except Monroe Street Library; Saturday service available at some libraries

For more details about this service, visit our Internet and Computer Access page.

Curbside pickup of library materials

By appointment: call pickup library to schedule an appointment
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 12-5pm
Available at all libraries 

Place holds in LINKcat or call 608-266-6300 for assistance in finding books for curbside pickup. All curbside pickup service requests require an appointment. Call the pickup library to schedule an appointment once you've been notified of a hold or schedule your curbside pickup online. For more details about this service, visit our Curbside Pickup Service​​​ page.


Hours: Book drops are now open 24/7 for returns.  At the Central Library, only the Fairchild Street book drop is open.

After a long extension of due dates due to COVID-19 last year, regular due dates and checkout periods will now apply. All items checked out at Madison Public Library are now fine free. Please contact our Circulation Department at 608-266-6357 for questions related to returns or fines.

Reference assistance and help with resources

Call 608-266-6300
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 12-5pm

Call to schedule a computer use appointment, place holds on library materials, ask questions about online collections like Libby/OverDrive/Wisconsin's Digital Library, or other questions. Or, ask a question via email.

Using your library card

Use your library card 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 608-266-6300.   Don't have one? Apply for a card online.

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.

Madison Public Library has made the decision to go Fine Free

Updates: Madison Public Library is now fine free!

FINES:  While we are no longer assessing overdue fines on materials checked out at Madison Public Libraries, you may still see some fines on your library record.  Those fines will be for Outerlibrary Loan items, from materials checked out at libraries that still charge overdue fines, or for items that are overdue more than 29 days and are considered "lost."  In the meantime, if you have questions or need fines waived to place holds, please call the library at 608-266-6357.

Learn more about our decision to go Fine Free.

Unavailable Services

Building access

Libraries will be closed to the public until we can safely open, with the exception of library computer services at all libraries except the Monroe Street Library.

Events and meeting room reservations

All in-person public events, public meetings, and private meetings have been canceled until further notice and we are not accepting room reservations at this time. 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.

Appliance stickers

The library previously served 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, but we are not able to sell appliance recycling stickers in our buildings at this time.

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,

As pandemic conditions improve, coupled with increased vaccination, and with new guidance from the Forward Dane plan, Madison Public Library is actively planning to expand in-person access to our libraries. 
When COVID caused the closure of our libraries to the public in March 2020, we began to pivot from our traditional in-person access to resources and services. By May 2020, our libraries began offering curbside pickup service of library materials. And seeing the tremendous need in our community to maintain access to broadband, in June 2020, we reopened our doors to limited in-person use of our libraries for public computing while remaining in compliance with public health orders. We increased access to online collections, restored telephone reference, and expanded direct delivery of books to daycares and home bound residents. In the past year, we also repurposed library staff to assist the needs of other community groups and city agencies.  
Expanding in-person access to our libraries will require us to transition more staff from alternative services. Plus, due to pandemic conditions and cost-saving measures, we incurred increased staff vacancies requiring hiring and training of new employees; and we continue our work to prepare our spaces for a safe environment for staff and the public. Madison Public Library is hard at work to resolve these logistical challenges. I am encouraged by the progress we are making and expect to announce soon our plans to expand in-person access.
I know the wait to get back in our libraries has been extremely long and it is frustrating not to return sooner than later. Despite the alternatives available, we can all agree it does not replace that sense of personal discovery and being able to take full advantage of your libraries.    
It has been extraordinary times full of loss and uncertainty, but it did demonstrate the resilience and innovation of our incredible staff. I am grateful to them and immensely proud of their dedication and hard work during these difficult times, and the courage they displayed in this past year.
From the Madison Public Library staff and me-- we sincerely miss you, our patrons, and reconnecting with our community. 
Thank you for your patience and patronage. 

Greg Mickells,  Library Director
(updated March 17, 2021)

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