Help us improve the Cowles Library facility!

November 18 2016, by Bruce Gilbert

We want your input to make Cowles Library a better place!

Cowles Library adopted a new Strategic Plan a year ago that envisioned the Library as the University’s “hub for learning and scholarship.” Since that time, important steps have been taken in that direction, including using position openings to hire a new STEM Librarian, as well as a new Campus Engagement Librarian. To take our efforts to the next level, however, we need your help!
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Cowles Library is revising its Master Facility Plan to guide future functional arrangements and renovations in the facility. An architectural firm has been retained for the planning project and the development of a concept layout. This is where you, our users, come in:  We’d love to hear your thoughts on what features/services/resources/spaces you’d like to see in an updated library facility!

We have completed our first round of “formal” input sessions (including focus groups and an online survey).  However, we’d still love to get your input if you missed out on the earlier opportunities. Please fill out the VERY short form below, and thanks for the input!


Help Improve Cowles Library
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Cowles Library endorses ALA statement on inclusion and diversity

November 16 2016, by Andrew Welch

American Library Association president Julie Todaro recently issued a statement on libraries, diversity, and inclusion. Cowles Library fully endorses this statement, which reads:

“After a contentious campaign season filled with divisive rhetoric, we are now hearing from our members and in the news media about incidents of bigotry and harassment within our communities. From children acting out in schools to adults participating in violent acts, it is clear that our nation is struggling in the wake of this election.

During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues. Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds, and promote inclusion and diversity.

As an association representing these libraries, librarians, and library workers, the American Library Association believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to our mission. As we have throughout our 140-year-long history, we will continue to support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work.”

CQ Press Voting and Elections

October 27 2016, by Bruce Gilbert

This is the twelfth in a series of “Resources and Services” posts from the Faculty of Cowles Library, intended to increase awareness of the quality resources and services (many of them new!) available to Drake students, faculty, and staff. Earlier posts are listed at the bottom of this page.



Cowles Library has a subscription to CQ Press Voting and Elections Collection.  This database integrates a wealth of data, analyses, and historical material to provide a powerful research and reference tool on voters, political parties, campaigns and elections, historical and modern races for Congress, the presidency, and governorships.  It also includes the ability to generate customized data about candidates, voter turnout, party control, and more!

This research and reference website is organized into six categories:

  • Presidential Elections includes explanations of the presidential electoral process, analyses and data for historical and modern presidential elections, modern voting behavior, key events and issues, and biographies.
  • Congressional Elections provides explanations of the congressional electoral process, including reapportionment and redistricting; data for historical and modern congressional elections; analyses of modern congressional elections; modern voting behavior; modern district profiles; key events and issues; and biographies.
  • Gubernatorial Elections presents explanations of the gubernatorial electoral process and data for historical and modern gubernatorial elections.
  • Campaigns and Elections explores the American system of voting and elections, electoral process and reform, media, interest groups, and the impact of money.
  • Political Parties covers the party system in America, including party strength and control, and profiles Democratic, Republican, and third parties.
  • Voters and Demographics covers expansion of voting rights, voter turnout, voting behavior, modern county census data, and modern district profiles.

Check out CQ Press Voting and Elections!


Previous Resources and Services announcements:

1) New York Times Digital Subscription
2) Chronicle of Higher Education
3) Oxford Very Short Introductions
4) Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily
5) Business Expert Press
6) Statista – Statistics for the Rest of Us
7) Bibliography of Native North Americans
8) JoVE Biology (and JoVE Neuroscience)
9) Filmakers’ Library Online
10) Springer Books and Journals
11) NEW version of RefWorks

The University Archives hours

October 10 2016, by Katherine Lincoln

This week, The Drake University Archives facility will close on Thursday (October 13) at 1:45 pm, and be closed all day Friday (October 14).

RefWorks – New Version!

September 26 2016, by Bruce Gilbert

This is the eleventh in a series of “Resources and Services” posts from the Faculty of Cowles Library, intended to increase awareness of the quality resources and services (many of them new!) available to Drake students, faculty, and staff. Earlier posts are listed at the bottom of this page.


We here at Cowles Library encourage our users to check out the “new” version of Refworks. This bibliographic citation manager is already in use by many at Drake, so this new version offers a seamless transition and importing of your existing citations. There is an extensive YouTube site if you want to watch some short videos to understand the advantages of the new version.

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Refworks allows users to create, import and update bibliographic information in all required and standard academic styles in use at Drake. Create a personal account with your Drake email address on first use and use RefWorks to track citations and create bibliographies. This account remains active even after you leave Drake. More information and training can be found at http://proquest.libguides.com/newrefworks.


Previous Resources and Services announcements:

1) New York Times Digital Subscription
2) Chronicle of Higher Education
3) Oxford Very Short Introductions
4) Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily
5) Business Expert Press
6) Statista – Statistics for the Rest of Us
7) Bibliography of Native North Americans
8) JoVE Biology (and JoVE Neuroscience)
9) Filmakers’ Library Online
10) Springer Books and Journals

Cowles Welcomes Sam Becker!

September 2 2016, by Bruce Gilbert

Earlier this Summer we here @CowlesLib welcomed our new STEM Librarian (Dan Chibnall). Now we are equally pleased to introduce our new Campus Engagement Librarian, Samantha (Sam) Becker. Sam comes to us from the University of Nevada-Reno. We are very happy to have her as a member of our faculty! Find out more about Sam: http://www.iowaacrl.org/content/node/675

Cowles Library welcomes new Librarian Dan Chibnall

August 2 2016, by Bruce Gilbert

Cowles Library is happy to welcome two new Librarians this Summer. Dan Chibnall (Twitter: @BookOwl ) started on 1 July and is Drake’s new STEM Librarian. Dan is already very active in the Des Moines community (he was at Grand View University prior to coming to Drake) and has a wide variety of interests, one of which was highlighted recently on the Science Center of Iowa’s website: Dan is a volunteer who supports the Center’s “Star Parties.” We hope you get a chance to meet and welcome Dan soon!

P.S. Watch this space for background on the Library’s other new Librarian, coming soon!

Roof repair/other maintenance ongoing at Cowles Library

July 25 2016, by Bruce Gilbert

Cowles Library is having roof repair done this week (from the 25th through the 29th). It’s possible that the noise level may be intrusive during that time; thank you for your patience while this important maintenance is done.

Also, steam line maintenance is being done across campus for the next couple of weeks. This may have an impact on our ability to cool the facility; if that happens, we will post a notice; we will take more serious steps should we lose cooling altogether (which is not anticipated).

Thanks for your forbearance!

The New SuperSearch is here!

June 6 2016, by Andrew Welch

Screenshot of the new SuperSearch

Screenshot of the new SuperSearch

On May 25th, the Drake Libraries completed the migration to a new platform for SuperSearch.

Designed to increase efficiency, the new system should provide faculty, staff and students a more streamlined research experience while also significantly reducing the time required for library faculty and staff to maintain search platforms.

New System Highlights

  • You can simultaneously search the library catalog and SuperSearch in a single interface.
  • Many features remain the same in the new SuperSearch, including the ability to search across print and electronic collections, limit by peer-reviewed content, and export citations.
  • While you can search SuperSearch without logging in, using your Drake credentials to log in allows you to access content licensed by the libraries and provides other options, such as saving searches and accessing and managing your library account.
  • The next phase of this transition, which we hope will take place in 2017, will connect SuperSearch to the print collections of several other libraries in Iowa, including the three Regents’ universities, Wartburg College, Grand View University, and others. Drake users will be able to search across the physical collections of, and place requests for physical materials from, those institutions. This collaboration will not include access to databases and e-journals, but it is nonetheless a major step forward in our access to scholarly content.

Mastering the New System and Migrating Personal Content

  • We hope you find the new system to be fairly intuitive to use. Formal training opportunities will be offered in the fall. Once the system is running, librarians will also be happy to provide individual demonstrations and training upon request.
  • A SuperSearch research guide provides additional information about the new system and how to successfully use it. The guide also has a form for providing feedback, so you can help us continue to improve your experience using SuperSearch. We will be adding more information, tips, and tutorials to this guide in the coming days.
  • The current SuperSearch will be available through June 30, 2016. If you have folders set up under your personal log-in, please sign in to your SuperSearch account, open any folders with content you want, mark the items you want to save, and then use either the save or email options. Contact a reference librarian for further assistance.

New Library Platform Coming Soon

May 9 2016, by Andrew Welch

Screenshot of the new SuperSearch

Screenshot of the new SuperSearch

The Drake Libraries are in the process of migrating from our current library platforms to Ex Libris’ Alma and Primo products. We anticipate going live with the new system on May 25.

Designed to increase efficiency, the new system should provide faculty, staff and students a more streamlined research experience while also significantly reducing the time required for library faculty and staff to maintain search platforms.

New System Highlights

  • You will be able to simultaneously search the library catalog and SuperSearch in a single interface, which will retain the SuperSearch name.
  • Many features remain the same in the new SuperSearch, including the ability to search across print and electronic collections, limit by peer-reviewed content, and export citations.
  • While you will be able to search SuperSearch without logging in, using your Drake credentials to log in will allow you to access content licensed by the libraries and provide other options, such as saving searches and accessing and managing your library account.
  • The next phase of this transition, which we hope will take place in 2017, will connect SuperSearch to the print collections of several other libraries in Iowa, including the three Regents’ universities, Wartburg College, Grand View University, and others. Drake users will be able to search across the physical collections of, and place requests for physical materials from, those institutions. This collaboration will not include access to databases and e-journals, but it is nonetheless a major step forward in our access to scholarly content.

Access During the Transition

  • You will still be able to search the catalog and check items in and out during the May 13-25 transition period. There will be a 2-day period, May 23-24, during which holds and renewals will not be processed.
  • The official transition will occur on May 25, 2016. Until then, the new SuperSearch is available for viewing in preview/beta mode. Keep in mind that any actions you take in this beta version (placing holds, saving searches) will not transition to the new SuperSearch.

Mastering the New System and Migrating Personal Content

  • We hope the new system will be fairly intuitive to use. Formal training opportunities will be offered in the fall. Once the system is running, librarians will also be happy to provide individual demonstrations and training upon request.
  • The current SuperSearch will be available through June 30, 2016. If you have folders set up under your personal log-in, please sign in to your SuperSearch account, open any folders with content you want, mark the items you want to save, and then use either the save or email options. Contact a reference librarian for further assistance.
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