It’s as easy as one-two-three: Three ways you can return your library materials

May 12, 2020

Whether you’ve returned home, relocated to a new city, or sheltered in place in Ames, IA, the University Library has made it easier than ever to return borrowed materials.

We understand that this has been an unprecedented semester for the Iowa State community, and the library has expanded return options to support students, faculty and staff, regardless of physical location.  

Here are three ways to get borrowed materials, including books, CDs, movies and bound journals, from your hands to our library.

1. Parks Library book drop

We encourage those who live near campus to return materials to the Parks Library book drop – located southwest of the entrance. This will ensure that we receive your items as quickly as possible.

2. Request a return label and ship your materials

To ship borrowed materials back to the library free of charge, email to obtain a pre-paid return label. Please be prepared to provide the weight of your items.

Within 24 hours, except on weekends, you will receive your return label. Library users must print labels within 24 hours, or they will have to make a new request.

3. Drop off items to one of 45 libraries across the state and region

Iowa State students, faculty and staff can return items to the University Library by dropping off materials to one of 45 libraries featured on this map. We’re proud to partner with academic and public libraries throughout our region to support those who are sheltering far from the library from which they borrowed items.

If you’re sheltering near Iowa State, but borrowed a book from one of the other 44 participating libraries, we invite you to use the Parks Library book drop. We will deliver the materials back to the appropriate location free of charge.

This service is available until May 31, 2020.

Regardless of the return method you choose, please observe the following safe-handling practices:

  • Do not clean, disinfect, or microwave library materials before returning them. For example, do not use water, Lysol or other cleaners on items.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before handling library materials for return and again after you have completed the return.

For additional information and questions about our return process, please contact our Main Service Desk at or 515-294-3961, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. All voicemails are returned as soon as possible.

Please note: This does not include equipment borrowed from Tech Lending. For additional information about Tech Lending returns, click here.