Visit the library from your couch!

wisconsin-digital-libraryBy Blog Coordinator Meghan Randolph

If you’re like me, you’re flying through books at the speed of light these days! If you’re in a position to purchase books, I highly recommend Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Miracle Creek by Angie Kim, and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. (For my money, the Little Fires Everywhere book is infinitely better than the current TV adaptation.)

But not everyone wants to keep buying books, and the library is a great resource for so many titles. Public libraries are currently closed, but we have good news!  A virtual library card is now available from the Madison Public Library and reaches into Green, Sauk, Columbia, Adams, Portage, and Wood counties.  This allows you to borrow e-books, audiobooks, and more to read on your electronic device, including laptop or desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, and e-readers. If you don’t currently have a library card, you can use the form on the above website to get one. If you do have a card, follow the easy steps below to browse and borrow! (Note: You’ll need to know your library card number to use this feature.)

  1. Visit You might want to bookmark that page (find out how to do that with your browser here) so you can easily return to it. You can also search for “Wisconsin Digital Library” and it will show up.
  2. Browse the categories and subjects. The virtual library has access to audiobooks, e-books, and even videos.
  3. Find the item you’d like to check out. If it is available, click “Borrow.” If there is a waiting list for the item, you can click “Place a hold.”
  4. The next page will ask you to select your library from a long dropdown list. Find the library you usually go to by scrolling down and selecting it. (You should only need to do this once. Your browser should remember your library the next time you visit.)
  5. You’ll need your library card for the next part: Enter the library card number.
  6. Select how you’d like to receive your item, how long you’d like to borrow it for, and enjoy!


Bonus: You don’t even have to worry about returning it on time! The system will just take it back when your time is up!

If you need help with this process, feel free to call SAIL during business hours at 608-230-4321.

Tip: To see items that are definitely available, on the home screen, click “Collections” in the top left-hand corner and then click “Available Now.” 

Libraries sometimes have newer titles set aside, but often there’s a waiting list for those hot new books.  Here are some suggestions for great books to seek out or revisit. These might be a little easier to find.

100 must-read classic books
42 banned books that are still powerful today
Best Agatha Christie books
Best short stories and collections everyone should read
100 best nonfiction books of all time
12 best books for a long read

Let SAIL know how the virtual library card is working for you, and feel free to call or e-mail us for book recommendations at 608-230-4321 or!

One thought on “Visit the library from your couch!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.