The School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) Laboratory Library's collection includes books, journals, electronic resources and other media selected to meet the needs of the SLIS teaching, learning, professional and research communities. The SLIS Library houses a physical collection of almost 65,000 volumes related to libraries, archives, the history of print culture (especially library history), documentation, information science, and information technologies. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of LIS, users are encouraged to explore the resources of the entire university library system.


The General Collection (blue-green stack signs) is the largest collection in the library. It consists primarily of books, reports, and pamphlets related to the practice, theory, and research of: librarianship, archives, and other information access and curation work; print culture, reading, information retrieval and information science more broadly defined. The SLIS Library call numbers look different than those in most other libraries on campus because we use the Dewey Decimal classification system rather than Library of Congress classification in order for SLIS students to get more practice with that system as well. (Seventy plus percent of our general collection is in the Dewey range .020 to .029.)

Print Journals (orange stack signs, shelved alphabetically by title) can be found on the east side of the library, near the windows. Recent issues are housed at the far end of the journal stacks, in out-facing shelving. The SLIS Library currently receives over 150 research and professional periodicals in the field of library and information studies for use within the library. We have complete print runs of many titles that are invaluable for library history research . Print journals do not circulate.

Online Journals may be accessed through the Library Catalog or browsed via the E-Journal Title List. We offer the UW-Madison community full-text access to selected articles from most of our print subscriptions and, increasingly, to full journal content. Subscriptions are increasingly to electronic content only. Other databases also provide access to content that we do not receive in print, or no longer receive in print. Please note that a university ID is not required to use journal material from a computer in the library.

Children's Picture Books (lavender stack signs, call numbers prefixed with C++) are on the west side of the library, near the classroom door. They may be checked out for one week with no renewals. Two special non-circulating collections are housed on the same shelving unit: Mother Goose books and runs of the Newbury and Caldecott winners.

Children's and Young Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction (lavender stack signs, call numbers prefixed with C+) are also near the classroom door. While new books used in courses at SLIS are added regularly, overall the youth collection is older and we recommend those interested in contemporary children's and young adult literature use the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC). The location is Room 401 in Teacher Education Building.

The Historical Collection (yellow stack signs) is to the right of the Children's and Young Adult Fiction. This is a mostly non-circulating collection of annual reports, newsletters, and miscellaneous publications from library schools and all types of libraries dating back to the 1890s in some cases. Most of this material is not in the online catalog at the present time; contact us for more information on details of the holdings.

Dissertations and SLIS Research Papers (housed in last section of Historical, shelved by author last name) include paper copies of most doctoral theses completed at the UW-Madison School of Library Information Studies. UW-Madison doctoral theses are available online starting with 1997.

A small collection of research papers from past SLIS courses are housed in this collection. Most of the papers are dated from 1950s and '60s; these are non-circulating.

ERIC and other documents (housed in last section of Historical, call numbers prefixed with ED) feature documents from the Educational Resources Information Center that related to libraries. This section also includes reports related to information retrieval from other agencies, with call numbers prefixed with AD. The majority of documents we house are from the 1960s and 70s.

Book Reviews (yellow stack sign) include complete historical runs of titles such as Book Review Index, Book Review Digest, Choice, Kirkus Reviews. These and the Reference Collection (mustard stack signs) are non-circulating. Encyclopedias, indexes, dictionaries, bibliographies, guides, handbooks, and statistical compilations related to library and information studies are housed here. The print editions of the indexes Library Literature and Information Science and LISA: Library and Information Science Abstracts (subscription cancelled after 2009) may be found in Reference.

The Library Workers Zine Collection (housed with current periodicals near the windows) is a unique collection of alternative print publications that shows a perspective of library workers not represented in mainstream library literature. The collection was started in spring of 2006 and now contains issues of over 40 zines written about the field of librarianship, or written and published by librarians. The collection is for in-library use only. More information about the Library Workers Zine Collection can be found here.