Skip Sub Menu

Borrowing Books

This page provides information and instructions on borrowing books from the library.

Who May Check out Materials?

Drake students, faculty, and staff (from any part of the University) may check out circulating materials using their current Drake ID card.

Members of the Iowa bar and Drake University graduates in good standing may also obtain an individual Drake Law Library card by bringing a completed application for individual checkout privileges and a current photo ID to the Information Desk.

Download the ‌ or pick one up at the library.

Other users wishing to borrow materials from the collection may request them via interlibrary loan from their public library or the library where they are an enrolled student.

In rare cases, the library director may authorize other users, such as visiting scholars, to check out a limited number of materials. To initiate that request, bring a completed application for individual checkout privileges and a current photo ID to the Information Desk.

Law firms or legal departments that wish to establish institutional, as opposed to individual, borrowing privileges may complete the application for institutional checkout privileges. This form requires that the firm or department designate an individual as the responsible party who, along with the organization, will be responsible for all use of this account including lost, overdue, or damaged material borrowed from the Law Library.

Download the .

Checking Out by Proxy

Drake faculty members may authorize one or more other people to check out library materials for them on the faculty member's account. This authorization is usually extended to students who are assisting the faculty member in his/her research.

Library materials are checked out on the faculty member’s card and receive faculty loan periods. The length of the authorization is through the end of the academic year unless otherwise specified by the faculty member.

The faculty member is responsible for all library materials checked out to his or her account, including those materials that his or her proxy checks out.

A faculty member wishing to authorize someone else to check out materials in his/her name should download a .

The form may be submitted via email to, or the faculty member may turn it in at the Law Library Information Desk. If submitting the form in hard copy at the desk, the faculty member should bring his or her Drake ID for identity verification. Forms will be processed during regular Drake office hours; for forms submitted electronically, a confirmation email will be sent when the proxy is established.

To check out library materials for a faculty member, the authorized proxy must tell the person working at the Information Desk that he/she is checking out materials as a proxy for the faculty member.


Law students may borrow a variety of equipment, such as chargers and laptop locks, from the Information Desk.

See a complete list of Law Library equipment.

Collection Resources and Loan Periods

Much of the Law Library's collection is non-circulating and may only be used in the library. This includes codes, citators, reporters, digests, form books, loose-leaf services, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, indexes, microforms, and general reference materials.

Drake faculty members, including adjunct faculty, and staff members may check out most print items for the academic year. The Drake Law Review and Drake Journal of Agricultural Law may check out circulating items for the academic year by following the library's special circulation procedures for student journals. See information for student publications.

If another patron needs an item checked out on extended loan, the library may contact the current borrower and ask him or her to return the item as soon as possible.

Loan Periods

Two Hours, In-Library Use Only:
Reserve materials, including course reserve copies, current (unbound) journals and other periodicals, most recent study aids, high-use treatises, and reference works.

Five Hours:
Study room keys (for Drake Law School students only). May be renewed as long as rooms are still available for other students.

Library Closing Time, In-Library Use Only:
Headphones and, for Law School students only, laptop locks, and foot rests.

Library Closing Time:
Phone and laptop chargers may be checked out for the day by Law School students. These items may be taken out of the library but should be returned the same day before the library closes.

In rare circumstances, some reserve materials may be checked out overnight, to be returned no later than one hour after the library opens the next morning. To request an overnight loan, speak with a library staff member at the Information Desk during regular business hours.

One Week:
Bound periodicals (for Drake faculty/staff or Drake Law School students only), circulating audio CDs and tapes, feature film DVDs and videos, circulating flash cards (typically the older sets, which are all labeled as circulating), records and briefs of the Iowa Supreme Court, and study aids shelved in the stacks (not on reserve).

Four Weeks:
(For attorneys, alumni, and undergraduates only) – Treatises, whether single or multi-volume, CD-ROMs and other computer discs, and federal and state documents (when circulating, as indicated by a charge pocket).

(For Drake Law students and other Drake graduate students) – Treatises, whether single or multi-volume , CD-ROMs and other computer discs, and federal and state documents (when circulating, as indicated by a charge pocket).

Note: No library materials may be taken from the building or stored in reserved study carrels unless they have been properly checked out.


The reserve collection includes select course materials and other heavily used items, including the most current issues of legal periodicals and law reviews. Users may check out reserve materials for two-hour, in-library use by asking staff at the Information Desk.

The reserve room also houses some audiovisual items that can be taken out of the library, such as older sets of flashcards and study aids on CD. Users may obtain these items by asking staff at the Information Desk.

SuperSearch, the Drake University Library online catalog, will show the location of reserve items as either Reserve or Information Desk. Note: Materials placed on reserve for a specific course can be most easily searched by changing the search scope from Everything to Course Reserves using the drop-down arrow by Everything.

Law Library Gates

Law Library materials have security sensors. If the alarm sounds when you are leaving the library, return to the desk so that circulation staff may ensure any law library materials you have are properly checked out.

Renewing Library Materials

With the exception of overnight loans, a checked-out item may be renewed as long as no one else has requested it.

You may request renewals online using the My Account feature (see below), in person at the Information Desk, via email (, or on the phone (515-271-3189). Staff will indicate if any items could not be renewed and provide the new due dates for successfully renewed items.

Returning Library Materials

Hand checked-out reserve items to Information Desk staff. Other checked-out materials should be placed in the book return at the Information Desk. Materials checked out from Cowles Library need to be returned directly to Cowles Library.

The borrower is responsible for the proper return of library materials.

Overdue, Damaged, or Lost Library Materials

Patrons are responsible for returning or renewing materials by the due date. As a courtesy reminder, an overdue notice is sent to a borrower when one or more library items are not returned by the due date. If one or more items remain overdue, a second overdue notice will be sent, and we will suspend the patron's checkout privileges. All library materials must be returned to reinstate these privileges.

If one or more items still remain overdue, a variety of recourses may be pursued until all materials are returned or replacement costs and fees paid, including:

  • Placing a hold on a student's record
  • Referring the matter to the Honor Board as a violation of the Drake Law School Code of Student Conduct (B. 11)
  • Referring the matter to law enforcement as a violation of section 714.5 of the Code of Iowa
  • In the case of an attorney, referring the matter to the Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board

Patrons who lose or damage library materials should promptly contact library staff in the Circulation Department in person, via email (, or phone (515-271-3189).

Charges for lost items include the replacement price for the item and a $25 processing fee. If the lost item was a paperback that had been bound, a binding charge of $10 also may apply. The fee assessed for damaged items depends on the extent of the damage.

If a patron finds a lost item within 30 days after paying for it, the library will refund the payment if a replacement copy has not yet been ordered or the order can be cancelled.

Requesting a Checked-out Item

Library users eligible for Law Library borrowing privileges may request an item checked out to another patron. Library staff will place a hold on the item so that it cannot be renewed; when the item is returned, it will be checked out to the first person on the waiting list. If the due date of the requested item is more than four weeks away, library staff will ask the patron with the item to return it as soon as possible.

You may request that a hold be placed on an item that is currently checked out through the online catalog. You may also request a hold at the Information Desk in person, via email (, or phone (515-271-3189).

See instructions for requesting a hold

When the item is available, you will be notified by email that you can pick it up at the Law Library Information Desk.

Managing Your Account Online

Our SuperSearch guide provides instructions on how to sign in to your account, renew materials, place holds, and more.

If you have additional questions about the Law Library's circulation policies, call the Information Desk at 515-271-3189 or email, or contact Karen Wallace, circulation/reference librarian, at 515-271-2989 or

Note: For information about interlibrary loans, contact Jessie Neal at 515-271-3759 or or visit the Interlibrary Loan webpage.

See the Cowles Circulation Services webpage for information about circulation at Cowles Library.

Law School Events
September 25, 2018
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
September 26, 2018
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Law School News
September 12, 2018
The Drake Agricultural Law Center is hosting a statewide conference Sept. 19 titled “SOIL 2018: Turning Our Vision for Iowa’s Water and Land into Action" featuring experts in agriculture and the environment.