University Library COVID-19 Response

Welcome to the University Library!

The library continues to execute a comprehensive plan for the use of workspaces and public areas. We have taken precautions based on the latest Iowa State University campus policies, consultations with the ISU Office of Risk Management, health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), other public health organizations, and staff input.

We remain committed to the health and safety of library visitors, and our goal is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible. With that in mind, we have plans in place to help mitigate possible spread, while maintaining access to library facilities and services on which the campus community depend. 

All library hours can be found here.

Bookends Cafe closed Sept. 1, 2020, and will remain so until further notice. Please stop by The Roasterie at the Hub or visit the ISU Dining website for information about a campus cafe location near you.

The Fireplace Reading Room is open.

Cyclones Care

The university worked with Ames and Story County on a coordinated social responsibility campaign – “Cyclones Care,” and this message is conveyed uniformly around campus. You will see coordinated signage in Parks Library, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Design Reading Room, and it reinforces the campaign's four key behaviors:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash or sanitize hands often
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet (2 meters)
  • Stay home when ill

The University Library provides services and access to building facilities and resources. For updates and more about the library, please bookmark this page. For information about the university's COVID-19 response, please visit the campus safety page.

We appreciate your patience and understanding with these ongoing adjustments to the use of our facilities.

Face covering, red on gold background

Face coverings

Cloth face coverings are required at all times throughout library facilities and must be worn correctly (over mouth and nose). Patrons who choose not to comply will be asked to leave the library. Please review the university's COVID-19 face covering policy, which includes information about face shields and other mitigation measures that must be pre-approved by Student Accessibility Services (for students) or University Human Resources (for employees). 

Student Safety Ambassadors walk through Parks Library regularly, encouraging adherence to the library’s face covering and social distancing policies through positive reinforcement.

Face coverings are available for purchase at the ISU Bookstore, located in the Memorial Union. Individually wrapped disposable face masks are available in vending machines across campus, and in the five markets operated by ISU Dining:

  • Memorial Union
  • Hawthorn
  • West Side
  • South Side
  • East Side

Two shapes representing people with an arrow between to show physical distance.

Physical distancing

The library has rearranged areas and relocated seating, to facilitate physical distancing while accommodating the need for student study spaces. One example is the addition of a substantial amount of study tables in a reconfigured area on the third floor, north of the glass wall.

Stickers note for visitors which individual seats and table spaces are unavailable.

Signs are posted to guide and simplify physical distancing.
Be on the lookout for these directional signs:

  • Keep to the right – on staircases and at the Main Desk.
  • Floor decals mark the route to Classroom 198.
  • Entrances and exits are noted for classrooms and meeting spaces.
  • Some computers are marked DO NOT USE.
  • Room capacity is noted and limited.
  • Elevator capacity is modified for social distancing.

hand with droplet to represent sanitizer  spray bottle   hand with cloth and scrubbing bubbles

Enhanced cleaning

Hand sanitizer, spray cleaner, and paper towels are available on tables throughout library buildings, and frequent use is encouraged.

We ask that library visitors utilize the materials provided to disinfect computer and table surfaces before and after use.

Enhanced custodial and cleaning procedures are in place in campus buildings including library facilities.


Have questions or need additional information? While in the library, visit the Main Desk located on the first floor.

For remote and virtual assistance, connect with us by phoneemail, or Ask Us Live Chat

For campuswide COVID-19 updates and responses, visit the Iowa State University COVID-19 page.