Services & Equipment Available

Accessibility-related assistance

The Library offers a number of services and resources to assist you in general library use. Specific services are listed below. Don't see what you need? Let us know! Contact Susan Vega García, the Library's coordinator for accessibility services. 

Book Retrieval Service

You now have more ways to get assistance in getting the library books you need pulled from the shelves for you!

1. Library Material Delivery: For those of you working from home / off-campus due to the pandemic, you can still check out our print books!  See our instructions on how to request delivery and have books mailed to you! See also more information on the service, the checkout period, and how to return items to the library. Easy!

2. "Pick from Shelf" Service: This service is great when you have up to 10 items that you need and you can come to the library to pick them up. Library staff will pull the books for you, and they will be available for you to pick up at your choice of ISU Library locations, including Parks, Design, Vet Med, and even the Storage Building! 

Here's how it works: On the Library website, login to your Library account - just click the My Library Card link in the top right corner of the Library website's home page, and login with your ISU NetID (your Iowa State email address but without the "" portion) and your password. Once you're logged in, search Quick Search for the book(s) you want. When you find a book you want, open the book's record by clicking its title.  Find the Request Options area of the record and choose the Request link. In the popup window that appears, choose your Pickup Location (Design, Parks, or Vet Med), and click the Request link. Done!  For more information including when you can pick up your items, see More details

3. Book retrieval service in Parks Library is available during Library open hours. Contact Main Desk staff to arrange for this Book Retrieval service: Call (515) 294-3961.  You can also bring a list of the items you need to the Main Desk.

  • Every effort will be made to retrieve your material quickly. However, immediate retrieval cannot be guaranteed. If you have an extensive list of materials, you may also be asked to prioritize those you need first, and so on. Full-time staff are available Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. For evenings and weekends, limited services are available. You may wish to contact us before your evening or weekend visit for more assistance. 

HathiTrust Print Disabilities Access

ISU Library is now a partner in HathiTrust's Print Disabilities Access service, which allows ISU community members who have verified print disabilities to request digital files of in-copyright material in HathiTrust be sent to them for use with assistive technology. HathiTrust is a digital library with more than 15 million full-text books, journals, and other material. Their collections include public domain open access material (available to everyone) and in-copyright materials. The in-copyright materials are available only to patrons at the university that contributed that specific item to HathiTrust. However, the Print Disabilities Access service allows eligible patrons with print disabilities to access ALL materials in HathiTrust.


HathiTrust defines "eligible patrons" as "an affiliated user at a Supporting Institution who has a print disability for which access to digital copies of library books is a reasonable and appropriate accommodation."

HathiTrust requires that a patron's eligibility be verified by the institution before any in-copyright materials can be downloaded for use by the patron.

HathiTrust defines "print disability" as "a visual impairment, learning disability, physical disability, or other disability - that impedes a person's ability to access print in the standard way."

How do I participate?  

All materials in HathiTrust are full-text, but in-copyright materials are available only to the university that contributed that specific item to HathiTrust. This means their full-text will not be available to patrons at other universities. When you find in-copyright material of interest within HathiTrust and which ISU did not contribute (i.e., the full-text is not available within HathiTrust for ISU), eligible patrons may login to ISU Library's Interlibrary loan service. Fill in the information for the in-copyright item you want. At the bottom of the request form, find the "HathiTrust Print Disability access requested" statement and select YES. Submit your request. Library staff will need to verify your eligibility by contacting ISU Student Accessibility Services staff for students or University HR staff for faculty and staff. If you do not wish to disclose your disability or have it verified through these ISU disability services channels, you will not be able to make use of HathiTrust's Print Disabilities Access service. After verification, Library staff will download the files and deliver them to you, again through ILLiad. These copyrighted files are for your use only and should not be shared, posted, or stored for anyone else's use.  This service is available only to verified eligible patrons - see "Definitions" above.

How to search HathiTrust and how to request Print Disability Access

HathiTrust is a huge repository of more than 15 million digitized books, journals, and other resources. Please read our brief documentation on how to search HathiTrust effectively, and how to use ISU Library's ILLiad software to make a Print Disability Access request. Our documentation file is formatted as an accessible PDF.

If you need assistance searching HathiTrust, please contact Susan Vega García at

If you need assistance with ILLiad, please contact Resource Sharing staff at or phone 515 294-8073.

Lower Distraction Furniture

Need less visual distraction or more sense of privacy? Try out one of our Brody chairs with built-in desks and wrap-around walls! Some are positioned for more privacy than others. You'll find these in various locations on Floors 1, 2, and 3. In addition, on Floor 1 south in the Collaboration Corridor, you'll find assorted arm chairs with high backs and wrap-around sides. These also serve to block some visual distraction plus give a bit of privacy. From the Library entrance, you'll find the south end of the Collaboration Corridor immediately to your left upon entrance. 

For increased lower-distraction, add a pair of headphones (either your own or from Tech Lending) while you sit and work at these furniture options. Tech Lending is located on Floor 1, Room 117, near the Library entrance and the south windows area of the Collaboration Corridor.

Need Research Help?

Do you have questions about using Quick Search or our other research databases? Please consult with staff at the Main Desk, use our Ask Us! service, or call us: (515) 294-3642.

Photocopying / Scanning

If you need assistance using the Library's copy machines or scanners for simple / short copying jobs, please contact Space and Stacks Management staff:

  • Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.:  Call 515 294-0444. If no answer, call 515 294-0445.
  • Monday - Saturday, after 5:00 p.m:  Call 515 294-4716.

Advance arrangements are strongly recommended for evening / weekend assistance or if your photocopying request is unusually large. Please call Space and Stacks Management at 515 294-0444.

Do you need entire library books scanned for use with assistive technology?  

Please initiate your request with ISU's Student Accessibility Services Office. That office can then refer these requests to Susan Vega García, the coordinator for Library Accessibility Services, who will route these requests to the appropriate Library units. Alternatively, you may choose to work with ISU Printing Services.

Assistive & Adaptive technology equipment in Parks Library

Computer workstations with assistive technology software

The Library's Accessibility Resources room that was located in Room 106 is unavailable during Fall 2021. 
Please watch this space for further information.

Hand-held Magnifiers

Hand-held magnifiers are available from Main Desk staff. Just come to the Library's Main Desk and ask for hand-held magnifiers there. For larger magnifiers, see our Merlin LCD Magnifier, described below.


Need less distraction? There are comfy Koss Quiet Zone QZPro over ear headphone sets available at the computer workstations in the Accessibility Resources room. These are true noise-canceling headphones, so they should help muffle nearby noise and sounds. Please let us know if you have other suggestions for providing a more distraction-free environment.

Need headphones while working elsewhere in the Library? You can check out the Koss UR20 over ear model of noise-isolating headphones from our Tech Lending service!  Koss KPH7 model on ear headphones can also be checked out there for listening to audio. Tech Lending is located at 117 Parks Library, located in the Collaboration Corridor slightly to your left as you enter Parks Library.

Height-Adjustable Tables

Lobby: Parks Library has many height-adjustable tables in the Lobby, with workstations and adjustable monitors.The front right corner of each table has a tab you can toggle forward and backward to raise and lower the table surface to a height comfortable for you.These tables are located in the central Lobby area and along the south windows, west of the library's entrance doors.

The Accessibility Resources room is unavailable during Fall 2021.  It included height-adjustable tables available for your use, each one supporting various technologies. The Merlin LCD Magnifier is on a height-adjustable table to accommodate your seating or standing needs. Similarly, one height-adjustable table supports a Dell workstation and a Plustek scanner, another supports a Mac and Plustek scanner; the two remaining adjustable tables support a Dell workstation or a Mac. Table height is easily adjustable by using the table's simple up and down buttons.

Computer Classroom 134 has two height-adjustable tables available, each one supporting Dell workstations. Table height is adjustable by using the crank lever located underneath the right corner of each table. When you enter Classroom 134, these tables are on either side of the central aisle, and they are the first computer tables you encounter when you enter enter the room.

Location: Classroom 134 is located on Floor 1, North

On Floor Three, south, there are height adjustable tables available along the windows. These tables are suitable for individual study. There's plenty of space for your laptop, books, notebook, etc. Table height is easily adjustable by using the table's simple up and down buttons. These tables are electronic. If the buttons don't work, check the outlet to make sure the table is plugged in. Some users do unplug the tables in order to plug in their laptop, or other reasons.

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 software is available on all public computers in Parks Library, as well as all laptops and tablets available for checkout through our Tech Lending service. Be aware that this software requires a login and password. All ISU students with Kurzweil as an accommodation through Student Accessibility Services already have their own account. Other patrons wishing to use Kurzweil should inquire at the Main Desk in Parks Library for a temporary account. The Main Desk is located to your immediate left (west) as soon as you enter Parks Library. Please note we are not equipped to help you learn how to use the software. Students with accommodations who need assistance should contact Student Accessibility Services. The Kurzweil Education company does provide a number of video tutorials to help you learn about the functionality and features of Kurzweil 3000.

Merlin LCD Magnifier

The Library has a Merlin LCD magnifier for low vision needs. The Merlin is very intuitive and easy to use.  You can select viewing modes for adjusting contrast and brightness, magnification levels from 2.7 to 85x, color options for the LCD display, and many other flexible features. More details  See also their User Manual and their FAQ. For personal hand-held magnifiers, see our Hand-held Magnifiers, described above.

In addition, the Merlin is on an electric height-adjustable table.  Just use the handy up - down buttons located below the table top's right side to adjust the table and the Merlin to the height you need, whether you're sitting or standing.

Location:  Media Center, Room 2 Lower Level
(The Lower Level and Media Center are accessible via the library elevators located in the northwest corner of the Parks Library lobby.
When you exit the elevator, turn left toward the hallway and the central stairs. You'll find the Media Center directly to your right near the foot of the central stairs. Enter the Media Center and turn right; proceed straight ahead toward the west wall. You'll find the Merlin located on the table nearest the west wall.)


Two Plustek OpticBook 3900 scanners were available in the Accessibility Services Room, Room 106 for producing high quality scans of book content and other print materials. These scanners are designed to eliminate both spine shadow and text distortion, producing a higher-quality and easier-to-read digital copy.
More details

Location:  Temporarily unavailable, Fall 2021