Frequently Asked Questions

ID Card

How do I get a library/CUW ID card?

If you are on campus you may stop by the library office to get a card. Students at locations other than the Mequon campus should call the library at 262-243-4330.

How do I set up a new password?

As a new library user, you will receive an email notification from the CUW Library with your username and password (changeme). The password will need to be changed the first time your library account is accessed.

On the TOPCAT homepage, enter the 14 digit barcode number on the back of your CUW ID card or your CUW ID # and the default password (changeme), then click the “Log in” button. Next, click the “change your password” link in the left sidebar. Your new password must be a minimum of SIX (6) characters (case-sensitive alphanumeric or special characters).

What do I do if I can’t log in?

Please complete this form if you are having trouble using your library account. If you have forgotten your password, contact the library and we can reset it to the default password (changeme) so you can set it up again. We cannot tell you what your password is as it becomes encrypted as soon as you enter it.

What do I do if my card no longer opens doors?

If you are having trouble with door access, please come to the library office during the hours our staff is available.

Library Access

Why am I required to log in to look at articles?

Database access is provided by a CUW library subscription. Your log-in is proof of your status as an authorized user. If you get a log in screen other than the TOPCAT log in that requires your barcode/CUW ID # and password, please contact the library for help.

How can I access library resources if I’m not at the Mequon campus?

You may access the library through either the CUW website, the portal, or your Blackboard courses. If you click on a resource and get a TOPCAT log in page, log in with your barcode/CUW ID # and password to see full text resources. Get more information about the library's services for Online and Accelerated Learning students.

What if I find a link that doesn't work?

Please use this form to report a broken link. For help finding alternative resources contact us by phone or email.

How can I get help finding library resources?

You can contact our librarians by phone, e-mail or in person to get one on one assistance with finding resources. See the research help desk hours.

When is the library open?

See a complete schedule of library hours. Changes to library hours will be updated on the portal page and the library Facebook page. Hours always change during breaks for the traditional undergrad students.

How long may I keep library books that I have checked out?

CUW materials can be checked for 28 days. CUW Faculty may borrow CUW books for 180 days, CDs and DVDs for one month. Loans of SWITCH materials are at the discretion of the owning library.

How can I renew my books?

You may renew your books yourself by accessing your library account in TOPCAT. Information about setting up a library account. You may also call, e-mail or bring your items to the library in person to renew. CUW items may be renewed twice, SWITCH items may be renewed once.

Are there fines for overdue items?

Fines for overdue items are no longer calculated by number of days. Overdue item notices are sent via email. After a 10 day grace period you will be charged for the full replacement cost of any overdue items. During the 10 day grace period you may access your account to renew them online.

Library Resources

What is Summon?

Summon is CUW’s discovery service. You can use it to search most of the library’s physical and electronic resources. Learn more about Summon.

What is TOPCAT?

TOPCAT is CUW’s online catalog that is shared with other schools in the SWITCH library consortium.

What is SWITCH?

The Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange is a group of eight academic libraries at schools in the Milwaukee area that share library resources and an online catalog. Member libraries are located at Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Concordia University Wisconsin, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Mount Mary University, Sacred Heart School of Theology, St. Francis Seminary, and Wisconsin Lutheran College.

How can I obtain items from other SWITCH schools?

In the TOPCAT record for the item, click the "Place hold" link in the right sidebar. You will need a valid barcode/CUW ID # and password. Complete the form, then click the "Place hold" button. Items can be delivered and returned to any of the SWITCH libraries. Delivery is usually within two business days. If you do not attend classes at the Mequon campus, see more information.

How can I find an example of a thesis?

A search using the phrase "CUW masters thesis" will find both print and electronic theses written by CUW students.

My professor wants me to use a particular database, like JSTOR, Cinahl, Standard & Poor's. Where do I find these databases?

See an alphabetical listing of CUW's databases.

My professor wants me to read something on Reserve. Where can I find this?

Learn about CUW Library Course Reserves.

How can I see new materials that were recently added to the library’s collection?

To see new materials added to TOPCAT in the past 45 days, see the "New TOPCAT Titles" carousel on the TOPCAT home page.

To see only items added to the CUW library’s collection, use the New Materials link found at the bottom center of the TOPCAT home page under "SWITCH Consortium", then select the link for “Concordia University Wisconsin” under “Home libraries” in the left sidebar.