Borrowing & Renewing Items

Cowles Library highly encourages the use and check-out of all of our circulating materials. Library users must:

  • Show a valid Drake University ID card, or a special user card each time they check out materials.
  • If you are not a current Drake student or employee, please visit the Cowles Library information desk to apply for a special user card.

Loan Periods

Items may be checked out based on the following standards and criteria:

Borrower Type Books* (location = “Stacks”) Videos and Audio CDs* Audiobooks & Leisure Reading* Check-out Limits
Undergraduate4 weeks1 week4 weeks 60 total items
(10 videos)
GraduateEnd of semester1 week4 weeks 100 total items
(10 videos)
Faculty & StaffEnd of academic year1 week4 weeks 500 total items
(10 videos)
Alumni & other
Special Users
4 weeks1 week4 weeks 15 total items
(10 videos)

*Unless recalled earlier

Loan periods for reserve materials vary based on the determination of the professor for the class for which the material is reserved. All other library materials are non-circulating, meaning they are not allowed to leave the building.

We strongly advise against loaning your library materials to others. Allowing someone else to use your ID card is prohibited by Drake University policy. All financial responsibility for library materials rests with the person whose ID card was used to check the items out. If you lose or misplace your ID card, contact the Student Life Center (515-271-3711) immediately to deactivate your card and get a new one.


Regardless of the borrower’s status and length of the original loan period, all items are subject to recall immediately if a hold is placed by another patron, or immediately when needed for Reserve. For details, see the policies governing recalled items.

You may renew your items at the Information Desk by telephone (515-271-2111), by emailing, or online.

You may not renew items if they have been requested by another patron. Please review the complete renewal policy for more details.