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About the Library

Cowles Library south view

Cowles Library is the largest private academic library in Iowa. Our purpose is to support the educational goals of Drake University by providing services, collections, technology, and learning opportunities that make it possible for faculty and students to successfully access and use information.

We are also a selective Federal Depository Library for government documents, and we are open to the general public during regular building hours. For help with government documents in the library, ask at the Information Desk. For help with online government documents, use our Ask a Librarian service.


Meet our fantastic librarians in the Faculty & Staff Directory—connect with our dedicated library team and discover the faces behind your library experience.

Curious about what's new and what's happening at the library? Explore events, updates, and discoveries that shape our vibrant community.

If you are a Drake graduate, continue your library journey beyond graduation by exploring services and resources we offer to Drake alumni.

Are you a student looking for work? Explore opportunities to be a part of our dynamic library team. Apply now and embark on a fulfilling experience while making a difference in the Drake community. Join us in shaping the future of Cowles Library!

Visit the Library

Find out where we are and when we're open. If you're a guest planning a visit, be sure to check our guest policies and privileges to see what's available to you.

Library Spaces

Whether you need classroom space or a meeting venue, explore room reservation options in the library. Find your ideal place to study, pull an all-nighter in Midnight Hall, or grab a snack and some essential caffeine at the Cowles Coffee Shop.

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The Library is also home to the Drake University Archives & Special Collections, which collects, arranges, preserves, and makes accessible the permanent records of the University and materials that relate to the political and social history of Iowa.

Mission & Planning