Branch facilities

May 11, 2006

Although the University Library system is highly centralized, with the vast majority of its collections housed in the Parks Library building, the system does include four branch facilities providing specialized services across campus. If you haven't yet visited one of these library "outposts," drop by when you're in the neighborhood, and explore the unique collections and services they have to offer.

The Design Reading Room is located on the first floor of the College of Design. The facility houses books, journals, and other informational resources that support the Departments of Architecture, Art & Design, Community & Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture. The collection consists of nearly 13,000 volumes, including current subscriptions to approximately 200 journals. Staff in the reading room are happy to provide assistance in using the Library Catalog, the on-site collections, and a wide variety of e-Library resources. The reading room also serves as a designated campus media satellite for the Instructional Technology Center, and makes equipment for teaching purposes available on request to faculty in the College of Design.

The Physical Sciences Reading Room (PSRR) is housed in room 208 of the Office and Laboratory Building--the building that links Gilman and Physics Halls. PSRR houses journals, books, and other informational resources that support graduate and faculty research and study in the Departments of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Physics & Astronomy. The room's journal collection includes 25,000 bound volumes and current subscriptions to over 300 titles, none of which is duplicated elsewhere in the ISU Library system. The room's book collection includes encyclopedic sets, handbooks, dictionaries, procedure manuals and other reference materials. Staff in the reading room provide reference assistance and access to course reserve materials along with numerous online full text databases, including Sci-Finder Scholar and Crossfire.

The Mathematics Reading Room, located in room 401 of Carver Hall, is maintained primarily for the benefit of faculty and graduate students in the Department of Mathematics, although all university students, faculty and staff are allowed access to the resources available in this room. The collection consists of over 6000 volumes and includes current subscriptions to approximately 100 journal titles. For many of these titles, the most recent ten years are housed in the reading room, while earlier volumes are shelved in the General Collection of the Parks Library.

The Veterinary Medical Library (VML), located in room 2280 of the Veterinary Medical Building, serves primarily the students, faculty, and staff of the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), but is also open to the entire ISU Community and the general public as well. A map of the Vet Med Building that includes the library can be viewed from the VML Web site. Library visitors should use either the main (courtyard) entrance to the building, or the "fish tank" entrance near the bus stop. Due to building security concerns, access for library visitors not affiliated with the College is 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visitors who cannot make the trip during these hours will need to call the library service desk ((515) 294-2225) to discuss other arrangements. The Vet Med Library's printed collection consists of approximately 34,000 volumes and 700 journal titles, covering veterinary science and the related subjects of comparative and human medicine, animal science, and zoology. Of course, a vast number of the library's resources are now available online, via the e-Library. Because of the Vet Med Library's distance from central campus, the Library offers a free, two-way delivery service called VetMed Express, providing deliveries five days a week between the Parks Library (including the Library Storage Building) and the Vet Med Library.

Three of the library's branches--the Design Reading Room, the Physical Sciences Reading Room, and the Veterinary Medical Library--are considered "full service" facilities with permanent staff on site during all open hours. These facilities also provide public computer workstations that are networked to laser printers and/or digital photocopiers, as well as wireless access for patrons using personal laptops. Items checked out from any of these full-service branches can be returned or renewed at any other full-service branch. Each of the Library's branch facilities also maintains its own page on the World Wide Web, accessible via the ISU e-Library website (at Just follow the e-Library homepage link from Service Areas to Branch Facilities.