COVID-19: Library updates & resources

Hours, Spring 2021:

Special hours: May 15 - 23

      Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

      Saturday - Sunday: CLOSED

 Summer hours: May 24 - August 13

      Sunday 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

      Monday - Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

      Thursday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

      Saturday: Closed

For special hours during Finals week and holidays, see our hours page.

The Murphy Library building is open for our regularly scheduled hours. Please note our contact-free pickup service is unavailable while the building is open. We encourage all of our library patrons to continue seeking help virtually, by phone, or by scheduling appointments ahead of time when possible.  

We will expand access to Murphy Library as campus and public health guidelines allow and will continue to do our best to ensure access to the many resources and services that support campus research and instructional needs.  

For all available services and resources, see below. Any questions not addressed on this page can be directed to Please continue to monitor this page for any updates, and we appreciate your patience during this time.  

Additional Safety Precautions expanding section

The following safety measures are currently in place to protect the health and safety of our patrons and library personnel. These include:  

  • Face masks must be worn when in the building. Please ask at the Circulation Desk if you need a disposable mask. 
  • Seating capacity has been reduced to allow for adequate physical distancing between patrons. 
  • Hand sanitizer has been placed throughout the building. 
  • Plexiglass shields have been installed at service points. 
  • Physical library materials will be quarantined for 24 hours after being returned. 
  • The library will be cleaned frequently by UWL custodians following COVID-19 protocols. 
  • In-person staffing has been reduced, and many library personnel will continue to work remotely whenever possible.  
Study Room Availability expanding section

Library seating and study room capacities have been reduced and masks must be worn when in the building, including in study rooms. In planning your library visit, please note the following room capacities in addition to physically distanced collaborative spaces. If a study room is not listed then it is unavailable for use.  

  • First floor:  
    • No study room availability. Collaborative seating in the common area is physically distanced to one or two seats depending on table size. 
  • Second floor:  
    • Room #202, 203, 206, 207, 275, 276 = maximum capacity of 2 people 
  • Basement group study room #:  
    • 12 = maximum capacity of 7 people 
    • 13, 27 = maximum capacity of 2 people 
    • 17, 29 = maximum capacity of 4 people (2 tables in a shared room) 
    • 25 = maximum capacity of 8 people  
Reference Services expanding section

Librarians are available in a virtual capacity this fall to help support the research needs of our campus community. Reference services are available to all UWL students, faculty, and staff. Please allow extra time for responses to questions and requests.

Fall semester reference services available during our regular reference hours include:

Library guides offer research help curated by librarians and tailored toward various subjects, courses, topics, and research tools & strategies.

Library Instruction expanding section

For the fall 2020 semester, all information literacy instruction will be offered online via Canvas and Collaborate Ultra.  

Instructors needing library instruction for their classes should submit a request using the Library Instruction Request form.  

Once a request is submitted, instructors will receive a confirmation e-mail from within four business days. The e-mail will include the name of the librarian providing the instruction and a link to access a Canvas course specifically created for each class that is requested. Instructors should share this link with their students who will then need to self-enroll in the course. Within the Canvas course, you will have access to the Collaborate Ultra room set-up for your requested instruction day and time, as well as asynchronous resources like tutorial videos and modules covering an array of information literacy and research concepts that we believe will be helpful to students in every discipline. 

The library has also developed learning materials for students, staff, and faculty to use as a supplement to information literacy instruction. These include:  

  • Subject Guides - offer guidance on how to find and use discipline-specific resources like research databases, reference materials, and reliable websites 
  • Murphy Library Research & Information Seeking Tools guide – This guide contains general resources on how to use the library as well as how to get started on the research process. Please share this with your students in addition to the course or subject guides most relevant to your class.
  • YouTube channel - students can watch short videos on forming a database search strategy, using advanced search techniques, and how to use Search@UW. 

 If you have any questions, please e-mail us at

Request E-books expanding section

The library is working to support an online learning environment by making e-book editions available to students and faculty. If you have a request for a particular book title, fill out our Request Library Materials form and we will see if it is available in an e-book format. Although the library cannot purchase every item requested, all requests will be considered.

Contact-Free Pickup Service expanding section

This service is not currently available.

Requesting Materials expanding section

Resource Sharing - UWL faculty, staff, and students are welcome to resume use of Resource Sharing to borrow materials from other UW libraries.

To request materials from other UW libraries:

  • Find the item in Search@UW 
  • Click the link “Use Get It to Request.”
  • Sign in using your NetID.
  • Click “UW Request,” verify the information and click the “Request” link.

Please contact with any questions.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) of physical materials has resumed. Specific physical items may be unavailable or take longer than usual, but requests for electronic materials (articles, scans, etc.) should be back to normal. You can submit requests via your ILLiad account. Please allow extra time for requests to be filled. You can contact with questions or concerns.

Due Dates & Returning Materials expanding section

Due dates for all library materials have returned to normal. If you plan on being gone after Thanksgiving, please return or renew any items you have checked out.

Any fines accrued during the 2020-21 academic year will be waived. Please contact with any questions.

Online Resources & Databases expanding section

Online resources are available to all students, faculty, and staff from on and off campus with their UWL Net ID, and we encourage all instructors to integrate this content into your courses to supplement instruction.

Some vendors are also temporarily offering expanded access to their e-resources. More information on these resources can be found here.

See our webpage for information on how to connect to the library’s electronic resources from off campus.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Collection Development Librarian Pam Cipkowski ( or E-Resources Librarian Katherine Fish (

Murphy Learning Center expanding section

Most tutoring sessions will be via Collaborate Ultra and can be accessed via the MLC course inside Canvas. To access the course, follow the link below. You will also need to sign into Canvas.

Visit the Murphy Learning Center webpage for more information.

Special Collections & Area Research Center expanding section

Summer 2021: May 17 - September 3

      Monday - Friday: open by appointment only

      Saturday - Sunday: CLOSED

In our commitment to public health and safety, we ask visitors to please call (608) 785-8511 or email ahead of your visit to schedule an appointment. Additionally, please wear face coverings inside our facilities and maintain proper physical distancing. 

General service updates:

  • Continued, limited services via email as possible. Please note that response times may be delayed due to high volume of requests.
  • Additional archival resources are available online at: Murphy Library Digital Collections.
  • Transfers of archival materials from the Wisconsin Historical Society and other Area Research Centers have been suspended for the fall 2020 semester and possibly beyond due to COVID-19.
  • Please note, SC/ARC is closed on holidays and maintains reduced hours during university break/intersession periods such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, January-term, spring break, and summer.