Check out the Tool Library

Have you checked out anything from our tool library? There are over 275 tools available for you to check out. Last year, there were 394 total loans. Here are the top items that were checked out the most last year. 

4 is a tie between the Multimeter/Voltmeter and the Tape Measure, each with 18 checkouts.

Multimeter/VoltmeterTape Measure

3 is the Canon PowerShot camera, which was borrowed 19 times. This camera has a zoom that allows you to take photos up to 50x.

Camera: Canon PowerShot

2 is our hot glue guns (we have 2!), which have been checked out 24 times. Great for sticking this to that, our hot glue guns come with several glue sticks. 

Hot Glue Gun

And the most checked out Tool Library item of last year is… the calipers! With a range of 0 to 6 inches and a resolution of .01mm/.0005inch and an accuracy of .02mm/.001 inch, this tool helps you get the precise measurements you need! 


In addition to our tools, we also have cables and chargers available for you to check out. From phone and laptop chargers to HDMI cables and adapters, we can help! Last year, our cables were checked out 1,264 times.

Explore the Creative Space!

One of our favorite spots in the Engineering Library is the Creative Space. It’s packed full with almost everything you would need to get an idea off the ground. If you need something else, just ask – we might have a way to get it for you or get you in touch with someone who can! But what is a Creative Space?

Developed several years ago, the Creative Space is our version of a makerspace. A growing trend in academic libraries like ours, makerspaces provide students with tools and machines that they may not have easy access to. Here at the Engineering Library you can check out over 275 tools (more about our Tool Library in tomorrow’s post), as well as use of several machines. Let’s take a moment to take a closer look at them.

First up is our Matter & Form 3D Scanner: This scanner stays put in the Northwest Corner of the Creative Space under the sign that says “3D Scanning Station,” and can measure items up to 9.8″.

Right next to the Matter & Form Scanner is the Cricut. Able to cut, draw, engrave, and perforate over 300 materials, the Cricuit Maker 3 is a great tool for when you need precision. Did you see the tags we made for our Blind Date with a Book event? Those were cut and written with our very own Cricut! If you want to use it, you will need to bring your own materials, but we’re happy to help you learn the software.


The newest addition to the Creative Space is a MakerBot 3D Printer. Gifted to us by our friends at the Engineering Electronics Shop, our 3D printer is part of a pilot program. It can print items up to 4″x4″x5″ and is free to use. Users are limited to 1 print per day, and full policies can be found here. If you want any large or highly precise prints, you’ll still need to contact the Engineering Electronics Shop, but our MakerBot can help you try out a print or create a prototype with less risk.

If you want to create a prototype with something other than 3D printing filament, check out our prototyping station. The materials you find there may change from time to time, but right now they include construction and tissue paper, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners. Stop in and check out what else we have on hand for you.

We also have two Virtual Reality stations, one with an HTC Vive and one with an Oculus Rift. Controllers for the systems can be checked out at the front desk. 

The Creative Space is also a great place to study! There are several tables and plenty of outlets to keep your computers and phones charged. two computer stations with collaboration tables so you can work together on one screen. You can also use any of the glass panels on the walls to work through a calculus problem together.

When you stop in, you may find a friend hanging around. Don’t worry about him, he’s a (skele)ton of fun!

Study in the Stacks

We’re coming to the end of the semester, which means that you might be looking for a new place to study. We have several options here for you!

Need to get that group project done? Come on in! You may be surprised to know that you don’t need to be silent in the library. Come in any time during our open hours, and you can use any of our spaces. On our main floor you can stop in and use our tables or computers anytime – no reservation needed! 

If you need a little more privacy for solo or group work, you can reserve one of our two Pods. You can fit 4-5 people in each room, and easily share content from your phone or computer onto the screen with the Solstice device (details on how to do that are in that link). Last year, our Pods were reserved 1,606 times! 

If independent quiet study is more your style, head downstairs where you will find several options. You can study at a  desk (also known as a carrel), in front of an “aquarium” or “fireplace,” in a comfy chair or beanbag. 

The Creative Space is also a fantastic place to study, but we’ll take an up-close look at that tomorrow!

Resources at your fingertips

Did you know that with your University of Iowa ID you have access to over 3,000 electronic journals and 400 databases? One of the most powerful tools to further your research is access to InfoHawk+ and our online resources. You can find them in several different ways.

1. InfoHawk+ Search for anything like you would normally search on any search engine. When you get the page of results, you can use the drop down menu on the right side of the search bar. You can then go to “Refine my results” on the left side of the screen and select the “Full Text Online” box. You then have a list of articles and books you can access from your computer! 

2. When you visit the Engineering Library website you’ll find our “Selected Resources” section right under the InfoHawk+ search bar. This section is really great if you’re looking for a standard, patent, journal, or database.

3. Not sure where to start? Try out our specially designed guides by department, found at the bottom of our homepage. Your librarians have handpicked resources for each department, providing you with places to get started.

We can’t resist a good countdown, so here are our top five most accessed online databases:

5. SAE Digital Library

4. ASCE Research Library

3. AccessEngineering

2. ACM Digital Library

1. IEEE Xplore Digital Library

Still not sure what resource is best for your project? Get in touch! You can get in touch with your librarians by visiting our homepage. Contact information can be found in the menu on the right hand side of the page, or just click here. You can call, email, chat, or text us. We’re here and ready to help!

What are our engineers reading?

It’s National Library Week! First celebrated by the American Library Association in 1958, NLW is a way for libraries to highlight and encourage the use of their services and spaces – so we’re doing the same thing! We’re starting up with the thing with you might expect from a library: books. 

Located on the lower floor of the library, the Engineering Library has approximately 45,000 books here for easy access, with an additional 105,000 available offsite at the library annex that you can order to pick up at the library desk. Last year we had 774 checkouts of physical books from our stacks. Here’s a look at what some of the most popular books here at the library, based on how many times they have been checked out. We’ve removed items that are on course reserve, since they are outliers.

#3 is a tie between Microelectronics: circuit analysis and design by Donald A. Neamen and Introduction to Communication Systems by Upamanyu Madhow, both with 4 checkouts


#2 with 5 checkouts is Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainability edited by Geoffrey Lawrence, Kristen Lyons, and Tabatha Wallington

#1 is Chemical Process Safety: fundamentals with applications by Daniel A. Crowl and Joseph F. Louvar with 18 checkouts! 

Come on in and see what we have in store – you may be surprised what you’ll find! 

Check Out a Living Book!

Friday, April 13, 2018 
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Lichtenberger Engineering Library 
Friday the 13th could turn out to be your lucky day!! Why? Because that’s the day we’re having a Living Book event! As part of National Library Week and the University of Iowa College of Engineering Research Week, we are providing the chance for you to check out Living Books!

From 2:00 to 4:00 pm on April 13th, researchers will become “living books,” giving you the chance to check them out for a 10-15 minute period and talk one-on-one about their research! A perfect opportunity to visit with a researcher in your area of study – or explore and entirely different aspect of engineering!

Researchers from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, will be in the Engineering Library eager to share their research experiences!

Amina Grant, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Researching Lead and Copper in Iowa Drinking Water.  She will be available to talk about her research on small or very small water systems in Iowa. Talk with her about her research and her overarching goal of providing a publicly accessible database.

Benjamin King, Dept. of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, will be sharing Researching the Development of Aerosols for Targeted Drug Delivery in the Lungs. His research allowed him to design and synthesize polymer-coated gold nanoparticles functionalized for targeted delivery in the lungs.  Check this Living Book out for 15 minutes and learn about his research dealing with inhaled therapies!

Researching Human Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants like PCBs, Pesticides, and Siloxanes is Rachel F. Marek’s research focus! Her research involves analysis of PCBs, their breakdown particles and other environmental contaminants. Her study involves monitoring pesticides at farm houses, lab experiments with siloxanes, and novel instrument applications for monitoring environmental contaminants to ascertain whether people – especially children – are exposed to harmful chemicals. Don’t miss the chance to explore Rachel’s research with her!

Michael Rendleman, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, will be available to discuss his research: Researching Cancer Outcome Prediction with Machine Learning and Genomics. Tumor characterization is an integral part of personalized oncological medicine. In his research, he applies ” machine learning algorithms and techniques to publicly-available clinical data to infer missing values and to predict positive patient outcomes.” Come visit and learn about how this will provide a new path for clinical decision support!

Researching Artificial Intelligence and Virtual and Augmented Reality to Facilitate Environmental Research is the fascinating topic on which Yusuf Sermet, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is working. A recent project with which he has been involved is “Flood Expert.” Flood Expert is “. . . an intelligent system designed to improve societal preparedness for flooding by providing a knowledge engine that uses voice recognition, AI (artificial intelligence), and NLP (natural language processing) . . . The interaction and delivery channels include voice and text input via web-based systems, agent-based chat bots (e.g., MS Skype, Facebook Messenger), smartphone and augmented reality applications (e.g., Google Now, MS Cortana, MS HoloLens), automated web workflows (e.g., IFTTT), and smart home devices (e.g., Google Home, Amazon Echo). . .

Don’t miss this opportunity to ask questions and visit one-on-one with researchers! Mark your calendars now!

Friday, April 13, 2018 
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Lichtenberger Engineering Library 


It Is National Library Week!

It is National Library Week!!



Do you know how much your Engineering Library has to offer?



The Lichtenberger Engineering Library – YOUR library – has a collection of more than 150,000 books! We also provide access to over 5,000 current electronic journal titles, and over 100 engineering-related DVDs!

On or off-campus, you have access to multiple databases, including Web of Science, Compendex and PubMed.  Compendex is the most comprehensive bibliographic database of scientific and technical engineering research available, covering all engineering disciplines. It includes millions of bibliographic citations and abstracts from thousands of engineering journals and conference proceedings. When combined with the Engineering Index Backfile (1884-1969), Compendex covers well over 120 years of core engineering literature. And that is just one of the available databases!

That’s a lot of information to sift through.  Where do you even start? We have resource/subject guides related to specific departments or resources. Looking for information on patents or biomedical engineering? We’ve got the subject guides to help you get started.  Still at a bit of a loss? Come to us for personal assistance! From locating resources within the library to demonstrations on resources and services for individuals, classes or groups, we can help.  Please interrupt us!

What is a research project or paper without Standards or Patents? We have electronic access to standards from various agencies, including International Standard Organization (ISO), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ASTM International and many others. You also have access to the patents from many different countries – all available electronically!

Even with all these resources, we might not have exactly what you are looking for right here in the Engineering Library. Never fear, there are several ways to get resources to you. If what you are looking for is in another of our on-campus libraries, you may request to have that book delivered to the Engineering Library, ready for you to check out. Is that article or book chapter fewer than 50 pages? You can have it copied and a pdf will be emailed directly to you – for free! That resource in an off-campus library? InterLibrary Loan can help with that.

Pyle PLMT68 Light Meter
Pyle PLMT68 Light Meter


Sometimes you need more than books and articles for an assignment or project. Do you need a light meter, sound meter, eyeball webcam or wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers for that project? We have them, and more! Check out all the tools are available in our Tool Library!




We have two new group study rooms available for you to reserve for those group projects. They both have whiteboard walls and one includes a large-screen TV with laptop connections.  Besides the group study rooms there are several other areas in which to study.  Tables, individual carrels – both upstairs and down, beanbag chairs downstairs, and comfy chairs throughout the library all provide both spaces for collaboration and for quiet study.

When you are ready to pull that research paper or project together we have several software programs available that will create bibliographies and citations in a wide variety of formatting styles. One of the software packages is Endnote and it, along with the others, will help you wind up that paper in style!

Kari Kozak, Head, Lichtenberger Engineering Library
Qianjin (Marina) Zhang, studio portrait
Qianjin (Marina) Zhang, Engineering & Informatics Librarian


Want more information?

Visit our website


call 319.335.6047

or stop in and meet the staff!



Kari Kozak, Head, Lichtenberger Engineering Library:  Collections, Instruction, Reference

Qianjin (Marina) Zhang, Engineering and Informatics Librarian: Data Management, Informatics

Carol Dewey: Library Assistant IV, Circulation, Course Reserves, InterLibrary Loan

Carol Johnk: Library Assistant III, Social Media, PR

Celebrate National Library Week by stopping in and discovering your Engineering Library!