Ames Library FAQ

The FAQ below will be updated as needed, and updates will also be posted on our Twitter and Facebook pages. 

Please note that our hours are updated online. Please refer to the information below about services and contacting library faculty and ITS.

Updates on the university's response to the coronavirus, as well as answers to many frequently-asked-questions for students and faculty and staff, are available on the university's coronavirus site. This site is being updated frequently, so please refer to the university resources for the most up-to-date information about our campus plans.

What health & safety practices are being put into place in the library?

Continuing normal library operations (e.g., keeping the building open, purchasing materials, digitizing media, and much more) depends on our library staff staying safe and healthy:

In accordance with updated campus policies (emailed to students, faculty, and staff on March 24 2022):

  • As of Friday March 25, mask wearing is optional in open, public spaces in the The Ames Library. However, "Masks continue to be required in all mandatory class activities (e.g., classrooms; labs)." Masks are required during classes in the Ames Instruction Lab (room 129) or in Beckman Auditorium. 
  • "Mask requests by individuals in small groups must be honored by all members of the group. For example, if you are in a small group or 1:1 environment and request masking, the other party must comply. This gives you control of small meetings or gatherings in your personal space. If you choose not to wear a mask when asked in a small group, you must leave the meeting and/or request a virtual option. Some meetings may not be possible virtually. Refusal to mask upon request in a small group may be considered a violation of the Titan Pledge."
  • "Masks are recommended in indoor group activities larger than 50 participants."
  • "Event sponsors may choose a more restrictive group masking policy and will publish mask expectations in advance."
  • Masks are available at the Library Services Desk for any user who needs one.
  • Non-classroom areas are back to 3' social distancing; please comply with our signage about capacity for study tables and study rooms.
  • We also have a limited amount of cleaning supplies for users to clean their areas before use. Please inquire at the Library Services Desk for masks or cleaning supplies.
Has the setup of the library changed because of social distancing?
Yes, very much so. Please know we made these changes with health and safety in mind. Physical Plant has installed plexiglass barriers at our main service points, and library seating has been decreased to promote social distancing. We ask that users not move the remaining seats to protect the socially distanced seating plan we have established. This extends to all library spaces - open areas, study rooms, the Information Commons, the Instruction Lab (capacity 27, including the instructor), and Beckman Auditorium (capacity 34, including the instructor). Group study rooms will be limited to 2-4 users and are reservable online. We will be posting signage about room capacity in each space.
What are the spring semester hours for the library? 


Hours for spring semester are:

  • Monday - Thursday: 7:45 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.
  • Friday: 7:45 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.
How do local students from CARLI institutions pick up materials requested via I-Share?
During the regular semester, students living in the area who attend other CARLI institutions can pick up items requested during regular library hours. IWU students living near an open CARLI library can also request items to pick up at their local institution. This agreement is across the CARLI consortium. Please consult our hours page for updated information before visiting campus.
Are the Writing Center, the Thorpe Center, and the Help Desk open?
The Writing Center is open for appointments; students can book appointments with Writing Center tutors online via WConline

Faculty members preparing their courses for online delivery may schedule appointments to make use of resources available in the Thorpe Center, including the One-Button Studio, Light Board Studio, and Podcast Studio

Requests for technology assistance, both general (e.g., password re-set) and specific to online learning (Moodle Courses) can be submitted through the ITS Help Desk.

Please visit the ITS home page for updated information on virtual help and consultation sessions being provided by ITS staff and faculty colleagues.
Will library faculty be available to help students with research and information requests?

Yes, library faculty will be available by appointment during the fall semster. Please contact your library liaison with any questions or to set up an appointment.

Faculty, please email your library liaison for assistance with setting up instruction and/or book purchasing for the fall semester.

Can faculty request information literacy instruction for their class?
Yes, we encourage faculty to contact their library liaison so students learn how to access the rich collection of resources we offer. Library liaisons are happy to visit your classrooms in person or online. Please contact your liaison to plan ahead.
Are food and drink allowed in the library?
Yes, however, we ask that users to use study tables for food and drink. Eating/drinking at the computers in the Information Commons and Instruction Lab means additional cleaning, which leads to additional wear and tear to keyboards and mice, as well as requiring additional staff time to clean and repair. In accordance with campus policy, food and drink are not allowed in our classroom spaces (Beckman Auditorium and the Instruction Lab/Ames 129).
Can faculty request print or electronic reserves for their classes?

Both print and electronic reserves will be offered for the spring 2022 semester. Please see our reserves page for more information.

If you need assistance with identifying electronic course materials, please contact your liaison. We strongly recommend using our rich collection of ebooks and/or streaming video collections (see below), requesting scanning of print chapters or sections of books in our collection, or exploring the many Open Educational Resources now available. 

Please note there may be some materials we are unable to procure as electronic reserves, such as textbooks. For background on this issue, please see statements from the University of Guelph and Grand Valley State University

How can I find ebooks in the Ames Library catalog?
Ebooks can be found through the Ames Catalog and can be linked from your Moodle course to share with students. We continue our on demand purchase program through JSTOR, and can also purchase ebooks from other publishers; please contact your liaison if you have a specific title/titles to request.

For instructions on how to find and access ebooks, please see our quick guide. 

If you have any questions about finding and accessing ebooks, please contact your liaisonWe also have access to many digital archives that can be integrated into your courses or into student projects. Please visit our Curated Digital Resources Guide for more information.
What are my options for streaming video?
We have also invested significant resources into streaming video collections (Kanopy,  Alexander Street Press,  Academic Video Online,  Films on Demand). Please use the "Everything at Ames" search to locate streaming videos in our collection, or contact your liaison for assistance. (To request a film from Swank or Kanopy, please see the instructions on the streaming video collection webpage.)

It may be possible for us to digitize some materials for the students enrolled in your course. Please contact your liaison librarian with a list of the titles you need for your course and the dates you plan to use each title in your classroom, and we will work to find a legal source of access. Please know that digitization takes time and we need this information as soon as possible to ensure we have the staff time to do this work. It is increasingly difficult for us to honor last-minute requests; early communication about your needs is greatly appreciated.
Can I borrow materials from the Ames Library? What about I-Share?

Yes, we are lending materials, and I-Share borrowing and lending is now available at many CARLI institutions throughout the State of Illinois. Please use the I-Share catalog to request materials. Your request may take longer than expected due to staffing changes and delivery delays.

If you have items to return, please do not return any library materials to the external drop boxes on Ames Plaza, as these are locked. Library materials may be returned to the drop box located inside the library entrance. Please do not leave library materials outside a drop box or on the Ames Library loading dock.

We will continue to process requests for interlibrary loan. ILL requests should be submitted through ILLiad, and are subject to the availability of materials and services from our partner libraries. For information on how to submit a request through ILLiad, please visit our ILL guide

Can I request library materials for purchase?
If you need to place a request for the library to order materials for course use, please contact your liaison librarian
Who do I contact with questions?
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Stephanie Davis-Kahl, University Librarian, at

This listing of library services will be updated as needed.