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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.   


Call our centralized reference line at 608-315-5151 (toll free 888-266-7805) 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.

Returns at Sequoya

Photo of returns at Sequoya Library.

Updates: Madison Public Library is now fine free!

HOLDS: Many libraries are operating at reduced capacity.  Please know due to reduced delivery service and quarantine periods, this process takes longer than it did pre-COVID-19.

RETURNS: All items now being checked out have regular checkout periods.  With a 24-hour quarantine on returned materials, we are experiencing longer delays than usual in checking in all materials.

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.  We are in the process of waiving past fines, and when that is complete, any remaining charges will be from 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.

We thank you for your patience while we are all working under health and safety restrictions.

Available Services

Public Computers, Internet, and Printing/Copying

By appointment: call 608-315-5151 or 888-266-7805 (toll free) -or-
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 608-315-5151 (toll free 888-266-7805) 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 use our new online pickup scheduling service. 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. Due to quarantine requirements, items that have been returned on time may show up as being overdue during the 24 hour quarantine period or beyond due to delays in processing. 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 608-315-5151 or 888-266-7805 (toll free)
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

Call 608-315-5151 or 888-266-7805 (toll free)

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 608-315-5151 (toll free 888-266-7805). 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.

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 cancelled 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,

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