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Winter Break Hours

If you are in town during Winter Break you can stop in and see us! Just make sure to check our hours below:


Dec 18 – Dec 22 Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm 

Dec 25 – Jan 1 Closed 

Jan 2 – Jan 12 Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm 

Jan 15 Closed 

Jan 16 Normal Hours Resume with weekends 


If you need to get in touch with us outside of these hours you can reach us at and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Finals Week in the Engineering Library!

We are here for you for Finals Week! The Engineering Library will be open late and also be serving a variety of hot drinks including coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. Group study space is upstairs and quiet study space can be found on our lower level.

If you need study tools you can check them out from our Tool Library. You can also find earplugs, textured calming strips coloring books and more on the counter next to the printers. If you need help finding anything just ask at the service desk, we are happy to help!

If you need someone to talk to about the stress of Finals Week, you can find help at the IMU, where they are hosting drop-in hours at Student Care and Assistance Monday-Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 123 IMU. No appointment necessary. The IMU’s full Finals Week schedule includes therapy dogs, yoga, and a meditation room.

Lichtenberger Engineering Library Finals Week Hours 

Sunday (12/10) 2 p.m. – midnight 

Monday (12/11) 8:30 a.m. – midnight 

Tuesday (12/12) 8:30 a.m. – midnight 

Wednesday (12/13) 8:30 am – midnight 

Thursday (12/14) 8:30 a.m. – midnight 

Friday (12/15) 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

You’ve Got This!

Turkey Day patents

Happy Thanksgiving! Have you ever thought about all of the intellectual property that goes into your Thanksgiving feast? From roasting ovens to catchy jingles, intellectual property is everywhere.

Have you ever gotten stuck on mashed-potato duty and just couldn’t bring yourself to do all that boiling and mashing? This Automatic Mashed Potato System could be just the thing you’re looking for! Just put in potatoes and water and this machine will boil, mash, and season the perfect spuds just for you. The potatoes will still need to be peeled by hand.

Remembering to baste the turkey while juggling the rest of the cooking can be difficult. This fancy roasting pan patented by Joseph Mathy in 1906 can help! Specially designed to encourage steaming, is pan will ensure your turkey stays moist while you’re putting together the green bean casserole and sweet potatoes.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Should you leave the leaves? Check out these selections from the Engineering Library to see for yourself

Fall is a beautiful time but very few people enjoy raking all of the beautiful leaves that collect on their lawns. Experts now say that raking every single leaf may not be necessary. When left in place, leaves serve as habitat for several types of wildlife, retain moisture in your yard, and can even help suppress next year’s weeds!

If you have a very thick layer of leaves all over your yard, consider raking most of them and composting the ones that you pick up or moving them to a garden bed to work as a natural mulch. If you have a moderate layer (50% of yard cover), you can run your lawn mower over them to help them break down more easily but otherwise leave them in place. If you have a scattering of leaves on your lawn, you can just “leaf” them alone!

Want to learn more about the ecosystem in your own backyard? Check out these books from the Engineering Library collection:

Learn all about the impact of trees on the world in The Tree by Colin Tudge

The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They  Matter eBook : Tudge, Colin -

Interested in skipping the grass altogether? Check out Lawn Gone! by Pam Penick. Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive  Alternatives for Your Yard: 9781607743149: Penick, Pam: Books

Want to learn other ways you can engineer using the world around you? You may like Organic Management for the Professional by Garrett, Ferguson, and Amaranthus. Organic Management for the Professional: The Natural Way for Landscape  Architects and Contractors, Commercial Growers, Golf Course Managers, Park  ... Turf Managers, and Other Stewards of the Land: 9780292729216: Garrett,  Howard,


Alfuth, Diana. “Leave the Leaves. to Rake or Not to Rake?” Wisconsin Horticulture, 13 Sept. 2023,

Bauer, Sam. “Good Question: Do You Really Need to Rake All Those Leaves?” Good Question: Do You Really Need to Rake All Those Leaves?, University of Minnesota Turfgrass Science,

Chiu, Allyson. “Why You Should Be Lazy and Leave Your Leaves in the Yard.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 14 Oct. 2023,

Doubek, James. “Why Experts Say You Shouldn’t Bag Your Leaves This Fall.” NPR, NPR, 25 Oct. 2022,

Tumin, Remy. “Why You Don’t Need to Rake Leaves.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 Oct. 2023,

Happy Open Access Week!

This week is Open Access Week! If you are totally new to the world of Open Access, check out the Open Scholarship Toolkit here. In short, Open Access is the free, immediate, online available of learning materials, research, and creative work. Here are some ways that the University Libraries can help you learn and utilize Open Access: 

University of Iowa affiliated authors can publish in Open Access journals without paying Article Processing Charges (APCs) using the Open Access Agreements negotiated by the University Libraries! We have existing agreements with Wiley, IEEE, Cambridge, and more, along with other agreements and APC discounts. Read more about Open Access Agreements and see the full list here. 

Open Engineering Textbooks are available for a wide range of disciplines including many core engineering subjects. Check out the collection of Open Access textbooks compiled by the Engineering Library Division of ASEE here. 

The University Libraries offer OpenHawks funding for instructors to replace their current textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER). Various award levels are available for multiple levels of OER adoption and creation. Find details and deadlines here. 

Vote for People’s Choice in Capture Your Research Competition!

Vote for your favorite entry in our Capture Your Research: Image Competition!

The submissions will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize in each of the categories for undergraduate, graduate student, or faculty/staff/researcher based on a panel of judges. But, there is also a 4th category that is called People’s Choice. Who wins this award is up to you! Cast your vote here. Voting will close on October 29th.

Come see the winning entries at the Capture Your Research Awards Ceremony and reception, Thursday, November 9th, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm in the Old Capitol Museum.  To see more about the competition, visit here.  

Capture Your Research Submission Deadline is Approaching!

We are so excited to bring back our Capture Your Research art competition! For this competition, students, faculty, and staff can submit one image that sums up their research. In the past we have had entries that were traditional photography, microscopic photography, digital art, drawing, and more!

Get inspired by past submissions here and see full rules and submit your own artwork here! There are four categories for judging: undergraduate, graduate students, faculty/researcher, and people’s choice.

This competition is open to all students, faculty, and staff of the University of Iowa, not just those in the College of Engineering! We would love to see art from all over our campus. Submissions are due by October 8th. Submit your entry today!

Below are a few entries from our 2020 competition to inspire your own entries.

An image of a gloved hand holding a piece of scientific equipment to collect particles for research. The piece of equipment is four metal plates stacked on top of each other with space in between each one.
Nanofibers in Air by Matthew Nagorzanski
A researcher in a lab coat writes on a desk while standing next to a spinning centrifuge with bright colors.
A Researcher Determined by Patrick Henkhaus
A black and white microscopic photograph of an unknown organism.
Anonymity by Evie Holyoake

New Study Aids Available!

This summer we added a new category of tools to our tool library: Study Aids. These tools aim to reduce stress, manage time, and help with your study habits. They are available from the Engineering Library service desk for one-week checkout. If you have any needs or ideas for an additional study aid tool, let us know!

Light Box

Light Therapy Box with 10,000 Lux Brightness, UV-Free Light. 3 levels of brightness, countdown timer, and detachable stand. Light boxes are designed to deliver a therapeutic dose of bright light. Can be helpful in treating depression (especially seasonal effective disorder), and reestablishing a healthy sleep schedule.

A photograph of a white light box
Reader Pen

Scan full sentences or single words of printed text and listen to it being read out automatically via AI-based text recognition. The reader pen can define & read aloud the meaning of any word using built in dictionaries. No external app or internet access is required. 3.5mm headphone jack for use with ear buds or headphones. Helpful for people with dyslexia or who learn better by hearing. 

Productivity Timer

This hexagonal timer helps you break up your work into 5, 15, 30, 45, or 60 minute intervals and can be used silently or with an alarm. Simply turn the timer so your desired interval is on top and get to work! Can be helpful for people with ADHD, time-blindness or lots of projects to manage at once.

Weighted Lap Pad

A lap pad is a sensory tool used to improve attention, focus, and ability to relax by applying pressure on a user’s legs. This 5 pound lap pad can be helpful for people with ADHD, anxiety, or trouble focusing.

Wobble Cushion

Wobble cushion can assist with focus and attention as it provides sensory input which increases body awareness. Each side has a different texture for additional sensory input. It can be used on a chair or on the ground.