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 the June 11 IWU Update:

  • In small, private indoor settings on campus, if colleagues are fully vaccinated or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days, and all are in agreement, masks will be optional for those individuals. Please be respectful of each others' comfort levels.
  • Masks are still required in all indoor settings for unaffiliated groups of 12 or more and where non-employee members of the public may enter. 
  • Masks are available at the Library Services Desk for any user who needs one.
  • 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. The library looks and feels much different, which may be disconcerting. 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 by about 60% 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 11, including the instructor), and Beckman Auditorium (capacity 11, including the instructor). Group study rooms will be limited to 1-2 users and are reservable online. We will be posting signage about room capacity in each space.
What are the Summer hours for the library? 


Hours for Summer Sessions are:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED
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 will be online over the summer sessions; 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. Access to these spaces is by appointment only. Please see the ITS home page for current schedule and availability.

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 summer sessions. 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 summer/fall.

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. Due to the limited capacity of Ames 129 (capacity 11, including the instructor), it may be necessary to rethink how we deliver library instruction. 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 encourage users to use our patio for food and drink. In the case of inclement weather, we will require 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?
We will only offer electronic reserves through Moodle for the summer sessions Print reserves services will not be available. All print items returned to the Ames Library will be quarantined for three days at the minimum. This means that once an item is returned, it cannot be checked out again for three days. This puts both students and faculty at a disadvantage, and puts our frontline library staff at risk since they handle items as a part of their daily work. So, it is our determination that we do not offer print reserve services for the upcoming semester, and instead offer a more robust set of digitization services or investing in ebooks and other materials to provide access to course materials. 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?
We have access to significantly more ebooks than we did a year ago, thanks to CARLI, who negotiated access to ebooks collections from Wiley and from Oxford University Press over the summer. These and other 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, please see the instructions on the streaming video collection webpage.)

It is also 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?

"Breezeway pick up" of print, and other physical materials, is available at the entry level of the Ames Library. Please see this announcement for additional details if you wish to request materials from the library collection. If you need a chapter or article scanned from Ames Library materials, please request through your ILLiad account.

I-Share borrowing and lending is now available at about 40 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.

Due dates for library materials checked out from Ames and I-Share libraries prior to June 2020 were automatically extended to 2/1/2021* by CARLI. Please return these materials as soon as possible. Items checked out from Ames and I-Share libraries beginning in June 2020 will have the due date as assigned by your status (student, faculty, staff, etc).

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

*updated 9/16/20

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. With the beginning of the new fiscal year, we will continue prioritizing requests for e-books and other digital materials to ensure support for hybrid, HyFlex, and online-only course delivery options.
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.