The Ames Library

Ames Library Fall Semester FAQ

The Ames Library is now open to current students, faculty and staff. The FAQ below will be updated as needed, and updates will also be posted on our Twitter and Facebook pages. 

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:

  • Masks will be required while in the library, including in open areas and classroom spaces. Users who do not have a mask will be offered one. If a user refuses to wear a mask, they will be asked to leave. In short, masks are non-negotiable. 
  • We 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 fall semester hours for the library? Are there other study spaces open on campus for late night study? Hours for the fall semester are:
  • Monday - Thursday: 7:45 a.m. - 12 midnight
  • Friday: 7:45 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12:00 p.m. - 12 midnight
Due to reduced seating capacity in The Ames Library, access to the building will be limited to current students, faculty, and staff via card swipe. 

Late-night study space for current students is available in State Farm Hall for the following days/times: Mondays - Thursdays until 1:30 a.m., Fridays - Saturdays until 10 p.m., and Sundays until 1:30 a.m.. Access to State Farm Hall is via card swipe for late night and weekend hours.
Who can access the library?  Due to reduced seating capacity in The Ames Library, access to the building will be limited to current students, faculty, and staff via card swipe. We look forward to welcoming back our alumni, emeriti faculty, and community members, hopefully in the near future.
How do local students from CARLI institutions pick up materials requested via I-Share? Students living in the area who attend other CARLI institutions can pick up items requested via I-Share by  requesting access to the Library Services Desk by calling 309-556-3350 when they arrive at the library. This exception is for item pick-up only. 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. 
Are the Writing Center, the Thorpe Center, and the Help Desk open? The Writing Center will be online this semester; students can book appointments with Writing Center tutors online starting on August 24. 

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 in the fall to help students with research and information requests? Yes, library faculty will be available to students for online consultations Monday - Friday from 1 pm - 4 pm. You can also contact your library liaison to set up an appointment and to view their office hours.
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 fall semester. 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. 

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.

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 in Fall 2020.
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.