Special Event Policy & Procedures

Approved by Library Management Council June 2004

Updated August 2009, April 2011, August 2012, May 2014, August 2017, October 2019

Certain rooms in Cowles Library are eligible to be reserved for special events:

  • Reading Room
  • Room 201 (glassed-in room on the second floor)
  • Classroom 45

A primary purpose of Cowles Library is to serve as a study space for the university community.  These rooms may not be reserved for events during midterm or final examination periods.  Events are typically not accepted or scheduled during the last three weeks of each semester.  Events lasting longer than three hours are not usually approved. Generally, facilities cannot be reserved for personal use.  The Library Dean and the Director of Operations have final approval of library space requests.  No events sponsored by organizations practicing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law are allowed.

Please request reservations for space in Cowles Library through Drake’s Virtual Event Management System (VEMS). Room reservation requests should be made a minimum of five working days in advance of the event. For questions, please contact Carrie Dunham-Lagree at 515-271-2175 or carrie.dunham-lagree@drake.edu.

For more information on costs of room rentals, please contact the Drake University Office of Conference & Event Services at roomreservations@drake.edu.

Groups requesting library space are responsible for their own room setup and tear down.  Please try to move furniture back into their previous configuration.

Room Occupancies and Furnishings

  • Reading Room
    • Occupancy is 250
    • 14 rectangle tables
    • 100 chairs
  • Room 201 (glassed-in room)
    • Occupancy is 50
    • 18 rectangle tables
    • 50 chairs
  • Classroom 45
    • Occupancy is 25
    • 24 individual chairs with arm desks

Other furnishing options: There is one coat rack in the building. If the event requires more or different furniture, it will need to be rented at the expense of the event’s organizers. Decorations or attachments to the walls, ceilings, floors, etc. require prior approval.

Audio-Visual Equipment

Audio-visual requirements need to be made at the time of reservation in VEMS. Groups may bring their own equipment as well. 

Library staff does not provide technical support for equipment.

  • Reading Room
    • Screen
    • PA Sound System
  • Room 201
    • Built-in projector, screen and sound support for laptops and composite devices.
    • The library does not provide laptops or video devices.
    • Supported laptop connections are HDMI, DVI, and VGA. The library allows Drake users to check out composite, HDMI, DVI, and VGA cables and Mac mini display port adapters, but does not guarantee that we can provide adapters for all machines.
  • Classroom 45
    • Computer
    • DVD and Blu-Ray with surround sound
    • Flat screen and 2 projection screens
    • Document camera
    • Panopto

Event Guidelines

  • Catering needs must be requested through Sodexo, the university’s vendor. To plan your event, or for assistance, contact Drake Dining Catering Director Brett Lindman at 271-3518 or brett.lindman@drake.edu.
  • Unless performed by Sodexo employees, no preparation of food is allowed to happen in library spaces (eg. Barbecuing, frying, popping popcorn, etc.)
  • Because of the academic nature of the facility, serving alcoholic drinks is not encouraged. At the time of making the room reservation, a separate written request to allow alcohol must be submitted to the Office of Conference & Event Services for approval from the Dean of Students and/or Director of Public Safety.
  • Book signings require using the University Book Store. Please contact manager Katie Wilz at 274-3401 or drake@bkstr.com.
  • Photography is not provided and will need to be arranged by the event’s organizers. Cowles Library reserves the right to take photos of an event for its own archives.
  • Event promotion and advertisement is the responsibility of the event’s organizers. The event will be listed on the Cowles Library Event Calendar.

Reading Room Policy

The Reading Room is first and foremost a student study space.  Special events can happen in the room, but groups should consider other spaces on campus before requesting this space.  Before requesting this space, please consider:

  • The official occupancy of this room is 250, so please do not request this space unless your group is planning to have at least 40 attendees.
  • If the Reading Room is already reserved for 2 events in one week, we reserve the right to decline other reservations.