Campus News

New library plan aims to reconstruct Memorial Library for more multi-purpose use

Memorial Library is one of the UW-Madison libraries that will see changes in the coming years.

Image By: Brandon Moe

UW-Madison’s new Libraries Facilities Master Plan will restructure library facilities within the next 20 to 25 years to make them more multifunctional and accessible to the public.

A key piece of that plan will be restructuring Memorial Library, one of the biggest facilities in the library system. According to a university press release, the library will be completely reconstructed beginning in 2028.

Natasha Veeser, head of communications for the library system, said renovations and an “extensive overhaul” of Memorial Library are necessary to make the facility more open to the community.

“Physically reconstructing Memorial Library will allow us to create a more open environment that will also match the needs of our campus in many different dimensions moving forward,” Veeser said.

Similar to the architecture of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the ground floor of Memorial Library will be opened up in order for the building to be more welcoming to the public.

Veeser said reconstruction of Memorial Library will make the facility more useful for both students and the campus community.

“[Memorial Library] is actually many buildings pieced together,” Veeser said. “We essentially would be digging out the center of it to create spaces that would allow for more multipurpose use.”

The Facilities Master Plan also includes reducing the number of libraries on campus into six distinct hubs. Veeser said consolidating the libraries into hubs is “transformative” by allowing the library environments to be “more flexible and multidimensional.”

She explained study rooms and multidisciplinary classrooms will be added to the libraries in the hubs, including Memorial Library. The idea was initiated by an increased demand for digital resources on campus.

According to Veeser, one of the most important goals of the Master Plan is to meet the needs of the campus community through a variety of these multifunctional spaces.

“This will drastically change the landscape of campus libraries,” Veeser said. “We’re thrilled about being able to share this with the campus and the prospect that it holds for the community’s future.”

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