Coronavirus (COVID-19): Libraries-specific issues

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During this time, users can access resources by following these instructions: 

  • UI faculty and staff can prepare by setting up off-campus access to work computers. Follow this checklist for working off campus. 
  • All users with a HawkID can access the following e-resources: e-booksonline articlesstreaming videos, and e-images. It may be necessary to follow these instructions for making links work from off campus 
  • All users with a HawkID can still request online delivery of print articles and print book chapters through the Article Delivery Service if access through HathiTrust is not available.
  • Physical books can be shipped to library users with a HawkID.
  • Interlibrary borrowing is affected by library closures and other efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 virus. Physical delivery of books/items through Interlibrary Loan will be delayed or cancelled. Electronic delivery will be substituted when an online version is available. If you have questions, please contact your library liaison, who can help you get access to the items you need in this rapidly changing situation.
  • For short consultations, use the Libraries’ online chat at, which is staffed from 9:00 am through 5:00 pm Mon – Fri.  
  • For complex research assistance, call or email the appropriate campus library (see list above). You can also send a direct email to the library liaison who works with your academic field of study. 


  • Keep all items (including interlibrary loan) until our buildings reopen. Please renew materials online. The links for checking your account and renewing materials are at
  • Please keep library materials until the Libraries reopen or mail them to University Libraries, 125 West Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52242-1420.
  • The Libraries will waive all fines and automatically renew due dates. Materials currently checked out to:
    • Faculty and P&S staff are now due  June 7, 2021.
    • Graduate and Undergraduate Honors Students are now due June 28, 2021.
    • Undergraduate Students and Community Borrowers are now due September 1, 2020.


University of Iowa students can return items to the UI Libraries from afar by dropping off items at 45 participating libraries across the state and region.

The UI Libraries has spearheaded this special service to help students living far from campus due to the pandemic. With the aid of partnering public and academic libraries, the UI Libraries will offer this service until May 31, 2020.

This network of libraries is participating in an unprecedented cooperative project to assist library users who are sheltering far from the library from which they borrowed items. Each library in this network will accept items from the other participating libraries and return those items at no cost to the borrower.

Students who have University of Iowa library books to return can check here for a list and map of drop-off locations in the state and region. Students without access to a drop-off library and those who need to ensure the safe return of tools or electronic equipment such as laptops can request a UPS shipping label.

Students living near campus are encouraged to return books at the Main Library drop box (125 W. Washington Street) or the Hardin Library drop box (600 Newtown Road). Students with tools or electronic equipment should schedule a drop off to ensure the security and safety of the items.

Before returning library items, please observe the following safe-handling practices:

  • Do not clean, disinfect, or microwave library materials before returning them. For example, do not use water, Lysol, or any other cleaner on materials.
  • If you or your family members are sick or have been sick, seal materials in a zip-lock style bag if possible before returning.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before handling library materials for return


All UI campus libraries and several library units are offering virtual hours. Get the complete list.


Effective immediately and until normal access to physical collections resumes, students, faculty, and staff at the University of Iowa have online access to a large portion of the University Libraries’ print collection—volumes that would have been difficult to access from library facilities that are closed due to COVID-19.

Reading access to digitized copies of print volumes has been granted to the UI by HathiTrust, a not-for-profit, collaborative digital library that holds over 17 million volumes digitized from academic and research libraries. The UI Libraries, in collaboration with the Big Ten Academic Alliance, is a founding member of HathiTrust.

This means that any books available through HathiTrust that are also in the UI Libraries’ collections will be available online without the additional step of requesting a digital scan. HathiTrust’s online collection contains nearly half of the UI Libraries’ book collection for an additional 1.6 million volumes now available online for our campus community.

To take advantage of this resource:

  1. Visit HathiTrust and click the yellow “LOG IN” button.
  2. Select “University of Iowa” and log with your HawkID.
  3. Use the site to locate the item you wish to view.
  4. Click on the Temporary Access link at the bottom of the record to check out the item through the Emergency Temporary Access Service.
  5. You will have 60 minutes of access to the book during any session. If you remain active in the book during any session, access time will be extended.
  6. Please note that it is not possible to download books from HathiTrust. This is to protect authors’ rights.

HathiTrust has provided detailed instructions, including how to use the service on a phone or tablet.

For help with access to these and other digital resources at the UI Libraries, please contact us.


Laptop checkout – No laptops are available for checkout from the UI Libraries at this time. The Dean of Students is coordinating student computer needs. Students with technology questions related to online classes should consult the Keep Learning at Iowa website.  The ITS Help Desk is still open for business; students contact the ITS Help Desk for individual help with tech questions. 


Library liaisons will work with directly with faculty to accommodate faculty requests for library instruction for online classes. To request assistance, faculty can call or email their library liaison and set up a time to discuss the best way to deliver library instruction to a specific class.


E-delivery for journal articles or book chapters—If you need a PDF of a journal article or book chapter, please submit a request through interlibrary loan. Instructions on how to upload a PDF to ICON are available online.

Online video – If you need a video to be placed online, please contact Main Library Course Reserve staff at as soon as possible. They will do their best to obtain an online version.

For a full list of resources, please see:


For faculty, staff, and TAs — Distance and Online Education, ITS/Office of Teaching Learning and Technology, and the Libraries are working together to provide support at the following website:  Critical information for teaching online is available under the following categories: 

  • Technology Solutions  
  • Communicating with and Supporting Students 
  • Delivering the Course 
  • Facilitating Activities and Assignments 

For students — The UI has developed this website to help students with online learning:  The site has lots of helpful information on how to prepare for online learning, access your course content online, and complete activities and assignments online.  It also features study skill and time-management resources that may be helpful. 


General inquiries: 

Other inquiries: university librarian John-Culshaw@uiowa.eduassociate university librarians and