Main Library Category


Celebrate Pi Day (belatedly) at the Libraries on March 19

Pi, Greek letter, is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. Pi = 3.1415926535…. Pi is used in many different fields and can be seen in our everyday lives. It may be seen in art, structural design, body mobility, navigation, and probability. To celebrate the versatility of this number, the various campus libraries will celebrate at the same time, showing how pi is used in their subject areas.

Due to March 14th being during spring break, the celebration will take place next Monday, March 19th at 3:14 p.m.

Events will be held at the following libraries: Art, Pomerantz Business, Lichtenberger Engineering, Hardin, Main (near the Information Desk), Music, and Sciences. Join us at any of these locations to learn more about pi and have some apple pie bites.


Books are on the Move…

As we prepare to renovate the Main Library – to build the Learning Commons on the first floor and create staff space on the fifth floor, we will be moving books and shelving in the building.

We will be shifting the entire collection in the Main Library. A stream of books from the Z call numbers has begun moving from the 4th floor to the 2nd floor west shelves just vacated by the Art Library.

Once all equipment and shelving is in place, the pace of the book move will accelerate and books will be moving to and from different parts of the 4th and 5th floor collections simultaneously.

At this point we don’t expect anything to be off the shelf for more than a few hours and we will send out regular updates on the move status and other logistics as the project progresses.

If you have questions or need help locating materials, please contact the information or circulation desks on the first floor.


Famine in Historical Context

Looking for primary resources for your speech or paper, but don’t have lots of time? This month’s focus is on locating primary documents that report on famine, food security, and humanitarian aid.

Learn transferable skills that can be applied to nearly all topics. These mini-workshops are like veggies for your brain!



On the Move in the Main Library

If you’ve been in the Main Library recently, you’ve noticed some activity. We’re getting ready for beginning of construction that will transform the first floor of the Main Library into a learning commons. There have been movers pushing carts of books around and now student employees are dismantling bookshelves on the east side of the second floor and the old graduate student carrels on the east side of fourth floor. As you can guess there is a certain amount of noise involved in these projects. If you are looking for some quiet study space, check out:

  • west side of the second floor (where the art, music and East Asian collections are located)
  • north study lounge on the second floor overlooking the north entrance and the exhibition hall
  • east side of the third floor in the journal stacks
  • west side of the fourth floor
  • fifth floor

If you have some other suggestions for good study space in the library post it on our Work Smarter, Not Harder tumblr page.


DSPH Pecha-Kucha! October 26

The Digital Studio for the Public Humanities – DSPH – invites you to attend  “DSPH Pecha-Kucha!,” our first public event , on Wednesday, October 26 – from 5 to 6:30 pm at the DLS | DSPH space in the northwest corner of the The University of Iowa Main Library on the ground floor.

We’ll have a half dozen or so pecha-kucha presentations [six minute and forty second PowerPoint presentations of twenty slides displayed for twenty seconds each] showcasing a range of public digital humanities projects on campus.

We hope to have a spirited mix of faculty, staff, grads and undergrads, and community members in the house.

Following the more formal part of the event, we’ll have some hang-out time to allow for more informal public digital humanities conversation. We hope you can attend and we encourage you to invite others for whom this might be of interest.

Popcorn and pop will be served.


Teetotalers vs. Bootleggers – the 100-year road to Prohibition

Looking for primary resources for your speech or paper, but don’t have lots of time? Join librarian Marianne Mason for 15 minutes of “brainfood.” This week’s focus is on primary resources documenting the Temperance Movement, the passage of Prohibition and its repeal.

Learn transferable skills that can be applied to nearly all topics. These mini-workshops are like veggies for your brain!

Thursday, October 13
12:00 – 12:15 p.m.
Main Library, rm 2032 (next to ITC)

Snacks provided.



Organize your citations and learn to use RefWorks in two workshops

The University of Iowa Libraries will offer two introductory workshops on RefWorks. RefWorks is a web-based service that enables you to save bibliographic citations from the library catalog and other library databases. Both workshops will be held in 1015A LIB (1st floor, northwest corner of Main Library, located in the Digital Studio for Public Humanities).

Wednesday, Oct 12, 12:15-1:45 p.m.

Friday, Oct 14, 12:15-1:45 p.m.

In this workshop you will learn to:

* Export citations from a data service

* Create, edit, and delete citations in RefWorks

* Organize your citations and share them with colleagues at UIowa and beyond

* Use RefWorks to easily create and format bibliographies

Librarians will show you how to use RefWorks, and then give you the opportunity to practice with it at the end of the workshop. No registration is required, but seating is limited, so latecomers may be turned away.

Participants should have created personal accounts in RefWorks prior to the workshop. To do this, follow the “Connect to RefWorks” link on the UI Libraries RefWorks web page:

For additional RefWorks training options, including workshops held at the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, see



Thought Balloons: Talking about Comics, Oct 4

Thought Balloons: Talking about ComicsDrop in at the Main Library’s Comic Book Café and share your thoughts about comics: creating them, reading them, collecting them. Tell us what your favorite comic is (and why). Bring your own creations, or listen to others talk about journaling through comics, or the history of comics, or the comic book industry. Learn about the growing collection of comics and graphic novels in the UI Libraries and some of the comics created by the Federal Government. Anyone who wishes can speak for up to five minutes about some aspect of comic books, but when the egg timer rings, your time is up.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011 “Thought Balloons: Talking about Comics”
11:30 a.m – 1:30 p.m.
Comic Book Café, 1st floor, UI Main Library

Drinks will be provided. Bring your own lunch.

Sponsored by the University of Iowa Libraries.



Chemistry: It’s FUN-damental

A demonstration on the Wonders of Chemistry will take be conducted by Lou Messerle, Chemistry Professor

Thursday, September 8th
Main Library North Exhibition Hall

The University of Iowa Libraries has compiled an exhibit celebrating the International Year of Chemistry 2011 as well as emphasizing how fundamental chemistry is and how it can be seen in everyday life. The exhibit will be on display from July to December 2011.

Wherever we look, the work of the chemist has raised the level of our civilisation and has increased the productive capacity of the nation.

— John Calvin Coolidge



Recycle it in the Main Library

Papers, bottles and boxes are cluttering our landfills, when we can easily divert those used materials to a new life by recycling them. With this in mind, 20 large recycling bins were placed throughout the five floors of the Main Library this summer. In addition to providing locations to recycle redeemable cans and bottles, and waste that should go to the landfill; these recycling bins compliment the UI Office of Sustainability efforts at Single-Stream Recycling.

Acceptable Materials

  • Cardboard Boxes
  • Magazines / Catalogs /  Phone Books
  • Newspapers and Inserts
  • Office Paper (Shredded / UnShredded)
    • All White, Colored, and Coated Papers
    • Brochures and Pamphlets
    • Correspondence Papers (Letterhead, Direct Mail Pieces and Advertising)
    • Envelopes (With Plastic Windows or  Labels)
    • Folders (Manila, Coated, or Colored) Manuals with Glued Bindings
    • Paper from Legal Pads, Steno Note Pads
    • Posters / Receipts
    • Scratch, Message, and Memo Pads / Self-Adhesive Notes
    • Soft-Covered Books / Paperback Books
  • Boxboard / Chipboard / Brown Paper Bags
    • Cereal Boxes / Pop Boxes
    • Frozen Food Boxes
  • Plastic Containers #1 through #7 (Except Styrofoam)
    • Plastic Bottles
    • Plastic Food Containers, Yogurt  Containers (Rinsed Out)
  • Aluminum Beverage Containers
  • Steel Food and Beverage Containers
    • Soup and Food Tin Cans