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"The university today is very different from the one twenty-five years ago, or fifty or one hundred or two hundred and fifty years ago, and yet it is not that different. It is still a constant conversation between young and old, between students, among faculty; between faculty and students; a conversation between past and present, a conversation the culture has with itself, on behalf of the country. The university lives through all its voices..."

A. Bartlett Giamatti
A Free and Ordered Space

Gifts to the UW-Madison Libraries

Nowhere within the university is the sound of those voices more alive and more accessible than in its libraries. The number of students, teachers, and citizens using both physical collections and the new "electronic library" is large and growing.

Demand for breadth and depth of coverage, for timeliness, and for information in all formats has never been greater. The combination of expertise, knowledge, and technology that UW-Madison Libraries provide offer the continuing opportunity for teaching, research, and lifelong learning.

Over the years thoughtful donors have significantly enriched the libraries through gifts of books and journals and through the establishment of special funds for projects and purchases. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of our benefactors and offer the following information for those who may be considering monetary gifts or gifts-in-kind to libraries. Your help has never been more important.

Monetary Gifts

The libraries welcome gifts to support purchases, services, and programs. Individual gifts can be given to the libraries through the UW Foundation. Unrestricted gifts provide libraries with the flexibility to select areas of greatest need. Donors are also invited to work with the libraries in designating special areas of interest.

The Fund for Books allows donors to remember someone through support of new purchases. For each $50 gift to the program, a donor may honor someone whose name will be printed on a bookplate affixed to a new acquisition. The program provides an opportunity to make birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and retirements especially memorable occasions.


Endowed funds provide the principle means of ensuring the excellence of today's libraries. Endowment gifts are invested by the UW Foundation. These funds provide earnings to support the ongoing purchase and conservation of books, journals, and other materials. They also enhance programs and services.

Named endowments may be established, beginning at $10,000, through outright gifts, assignment of stocks, planned giving, or annuities. Development professionals are available to help integrate a major gift to the libraries into your financial planning.

Endowments are commemorated by the addition of donors' names to the list of major benefactors prominently displayed in the lobby of Memorial Library. Specially designed memorial plates placed on purchases also acknowledge the generosity of donors.

Friends of the Libraries

The Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries is one of the oldest university library friends groups in the nation. In the 60 years since its founding during the university's centennial, the organization has supported the continuing excellence of campus libraries.

The Friends provide support by enriching the collections, purchasing needed enhancements, and contributing time through volunteer projects. They support exhibitions, sponsor a monthly lecture series, conduct book sales, offer grants-in-aid for use of collections, and publish an annual magazine and a tri-annual newsletter. The membership cost is modest and is considered a contribution.

Contact Us

For more information about gifts to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, please contact Lis Owens.

Gifts to the libraries are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

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