The Learning Commons is a tech-infused, comfortable, flexible learning space with a one-stop academic help center in the UI Main Library. There is a café, Food for Thought, and many reservable rooms and areas for learning and teaching. Come check it out!

Open hours


Where are we?

The Main Library Learning Commons is located on the first floor of the Main Library.


Contact us

Main Library Service Desk

Main Library Service Desk

A student checks out a laptop from the Service Desk.

  • Laptop & Hardware Checkout
  • Check in/out library materials
  • Pick up Holds & ILL Requests
  • Basic reference support and direct referrals to librarian
  • Help navigate the stacks to find that one book you are looking for
  • Directional help

Research Consultations

Librarian helps student at one of the research consultation stations.Connect with one of our knowledgeable and friendly librarians at the Research Consultation Stations, located near the Main Library Service Desk. Librarians are available for drop-in consultations or via our instant messaging chat service Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.

You may also request a research consultation appointment. 

One Button Studio

obs-steps-02The One Button Studio is a user-friendly way to practice presentations.

There are 5 SIMPLE STEPS

  1. Load your background or PowerPoint slides on to the PRESENTATION COMPUTER (we will have several backgrounds to choose from if you don’t bring your own)
  2. Plug your own flash drive into the RECORDING COMPUTER to activate the lights and camera
  3. Record your presentation with the touch of a single BUTTON
  4. Stop recording by pressing the BUTTON
  5. Remove your flash drive

NOTE: To use the One Button Studio, you will need to bring a USB flash drive. To give you an idea of the size of flash drive you’ll need, 1GB USB drive can hold about 25 minutes of recording.

Group Spaces & Technology

The Learning Commons has 24 group spaces for students to reserve online and in person! We’ve got 18 private group rooms and 6 open group areas, all with writing surfaces and monitors you can hook a laptop up to for collaborative work!

Find out how to reserve a group space here!

You can find a variety of technology resources and support in the Main Library to help complete whatever project you’re working on! Find a list of resources on our Technology webpage.

Main Library Events

Food for Thought Café

Woman pours herself a cup of coffee at the café.The cafe features paninis, pre-made deli sandwiches, Oasis falafel products, salads and fruit, and a wide variety of hot and cold beverages made-to-order. Food for Thought Accepts Hawkeye Dollars, UI Charge, Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Flex Meals are accepted open to close, Sunday thru Friday.

Please note that Food for Thought Café is open fewer hours than the Learning Commons. Check the Café hours and more on the University Housing & Dining website.

Seating, Spaces & Services

Lounge seating and movable tables can be found throughout the first floor of the Main Library. Furniture can be moved to create any configuration that suits your needs.

Electrical outlets can be found on throughout the first floor of the Main Library on the floors and along walls.

New Books Display can be found on the first floor of the Main Library inside the Library Collections. Please see the Main Library Service Desk for directions.

Course Reserves can be found on the first floor of the Main Library inside the Library Collections. Please see the Main Library Service Desk for directions.


A student reads in one of the many, sunlit areas in the Commons.