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Cowles Library ( is the main library for the University and a vital part of the Drake learning experience. The Library provides extensive print and electronic resources used in class assignments and research; faculty librarians and library staff work with researchers and students; instruction in cutting-edge research methods; and, a variety of quality study environments and cultural opportunities.  Librarians teach several First Year Experience and J-Term classes and offer a specialized course (LIBR 046) which focuses on effective research, information literacy and critical thinking skills.

Cowles Library is the largest private college academic Library in Iowa.  Print resources include over half a million books, government documents and scholarly journals.  A rapidly growing e-book collection of more than 100,000 volumes is available.  For online research, Drake students and faculty have immediate access to nearly 200 electronic databases, covering a wide range of subjects and academic disciplines.  The high quality and broad scope of the Library's electronic resources is a distinguishing feature of the Drake experience.  Cowles was the first library in Iowa to offer a "discovery service," called SuperSearch that accesses multiple databases in a single search.  Cowles Library is a member of the resource sharing Central Iowa Academic Library Cooperative, and also provides interlibrary loan services that link Drake to a global network of libraries. This allows students to obtain any resources they need not found in the library collection.

Students can obtain assistance in person, online or even by text message through our popular Ask a Librarian service at The library supports mobile device access and off campus access for all our electronic databases and e-books.  Subject and class-specific research guides, compiled by librarians and Drake faculty, are found at

The Library provides high-quality study spaces that include quiet study areas, study rooms, group study space, computer collaboration equipment, whiteboards and a popular campus cafe.  An "After-Hours" portion of the Library is open for study when the Library itself is closed.  The Library has the largest general-purpose computer lab on campus, with 55 Mac and Windows computers.   Many campus groups and organizations meet in the Library (including the Student Senate) and a wide variety of cultural events and speakers are supported throughout the academic year.

Cowles Library is being extensively renovated in a multi-year project that began in 2012 and is expected to run until 2016.  In 2012, the After-Hours space, the Lower Commons group study area and the Cowles Cafe were finished.  In 2013, the Cowles Library University Archives and Special Collections project will add an exciting new programming to the Library, providing the opportunity for students to engage in primary research in government, politics, law and society.  In subsequent phases, renovations are expected to include a new computing facility, renovations throughout the quiet study areas and a variety of new group and individual study rooms.

Office of Information Technology (OIT)

The Office of Information Technology provides a range of services to support teaching and learning. Our services include:

OIT Service Catalog

OIT How-To Knowledge Base

OIT Support Center

University News