The opening of a library at the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center in 1981 represented a joint effort between the Department of Meteorology and SSEC. The two organizations shared growing research and information interests in the expanding fields of atmospheric science and environmental remote sensing. It was formally dedicated the Werner Schwerdtfeger Library on Nov. 15, 1983 upon Professor Schwerdtfeger’s retirement from the Department of Meteorology to honor his achievements as faculty member, researcher and mentor.

A true bibliophile during his lifetime, Schwerdtfeger “took loving care of the Meteorology Department’s reading room.” From modest beginnings, and with the help of colleagues, he prepared for the establishment of a library within what is now known as the Atmospheric Oceanic and Space Sciences building.

Some 40 years hence, the library has grown in scope, services and collections and since the early 1990s, has been integrated with the UW-Madison Libraries and beyond so that its resources are discoverable to a global community. In August 2022, the library was renamed the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Library.