Corn Monument Fan Favorite Tournament

If you’ve been in the library this week, you may have noticed the bracket on the wall between the stairs and the pods. Make sure to stop in often to keep an eye on our Corn Monument Fan Favorite Tournament! It’s a tournament-style format, and you can find info on the brackets and how to participate here 

What do you know about corn monuments? The corn monument, built by engineering students and placed on the Pentacrest, has been a University of Iowa Homecoming tradition dating back to 1913. We have found photos of 62 of these monuments and now you have a say on which one you like best! Each one is a snapshot into the current events on campus and around the world at the time they were created. Check out the corn monument history page for general history about fun facts about many of the monuments.

Voting for the first-round is already underway, and ends Monday, Oct. 10, at 8 a.m. A champion will be crowned at the start of Homecoming. Vote now and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on the winner of each round! 

 Schedule for Voting:  

  • All 62 images: Voting ends Monday, Oct. 10 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Top 32: Monday, Oct. 10 @ Noon to Wednesday, Oct. 12 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Sweet 16: Wednesday, Oct. 12 @ Noon to Friday, Oct.14 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Elite 8: Friday, Oct. 14 @ Noon to Monday, Oct. 17. @ 8 a.m. 
  • Final 4: Monday, Oct. 17 @ Noon to Wednesday, Oct. 19 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Final 2: Wednesday, Oct. 19 @ Noon to Friday, Oct. 21 @ 8 a.m. 
  • Champion Announced Before Homecoming: Friday,Oct. 21 @ Noon 
  • 2022 Corn Monument will be placed on Pentacrest: Sunday, Oct. 23 (weather permitting) 

LEGO in the Engineering Library

Getting worn out by school? Take a break and talk LEGO with us! We have many (many many) LEGO books to help you build a variety of things.

If you’re just getting started and want to learn the terminology, tips, and tricks before you begin to build, check out The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide by Allan Bedford

If you’ve been building with LEGO for a while, adding in more complicated components like motors, computers, and remote controls can really up your building. Try Practical LEGO Technics: bring your LEGO creations to life by Mark Rollins or Arduino and LEGO Projects by John Lazar.

If bringing your precious LEGO collection to your dorm doesn’t appeal to you, there are virtual options! Try Building with Virtual LEGO: getting started with LEGO Digital Designer, Ldraw, and Mecabricks by John Baichtal.

Check out some really cool and unique builds with Beautiful LEGO: Wild! by Mike DoyleExtreme Bricks: spectacular, record-breaking, and astounding LEGO projects from around the world by Sarah Herman, or The Art of LEGO Scale Modeling by Dennis Glaasker and Dennis Bosman.


If you don’t feel like building but are still interested in learning about LEGO, check out The Cult of LEGO by John Baichtal and Joe Meno. 

Now go get building!

E-Books on the Shelves!

If you go browsing through our shelves you might see something you’re not expecting – a VHS case! No, we did not start bringing videotapes into our collection, you’ve just found one of our physical e-books.

Physical e-books can be found on the shelves with other books

We’ve chosen a few of our most popular e-books to have physical representation on the shelves. This way, when you’re browsing for a subject you might run across a helpful e-book you wouldn’t seen before. Getting the book is very simple, just use your phone to scan the QR code!

QR Code is on the spine

 If you want to remember the book but don’t have time to read? Open the case and take a flyer! The flyers have information on the book along with a QR code so you can find it again when you have time. If you take the last flyer please let us know at the front desk so we can put more in. 

Flyers can be found inside the case

Check the shelves and try it for yourself!

Kicking off Creative Kick-Start!

Last weekend we kicked off football season, but now let’s kick off Creative Kick-Start! Creative Kick-Start is a program created by the Engineering Library and Engineering Technology Center that gives all engineering students a shot at some funding to bring their ideas to life. This year we will be awarding $750 to up to 10 projects. Ready to get started? Here’s the inside scoop:

  1. Come up with an idea. We don’t have any specific parameters, so get creative! It doesn’t need to solve all the problems in the world (but you can do that if you want). If you want some inspiration visit the Creative Kick-Start homepage where you can read about past winners. 
  2. Find a faculty or staff sponsor and have them sign off on your project. Try to find someone who has some experience or understanding in the type of project you’re taking on so you can get some guidance from them. 
  3. Fill out the application. Applications are due Friday, October 28.
  4. Wait. We won’t make you wait too long. Winners are announced soon after the deadline.
  5. Winners will pick up their Kick-Start RedBox and Funds. This box contains resources, contact information, and deadlines for the rest of the program.
  6. Get to making! You’ll need to turn in progress reports January 27th and March 10th to show what you’ve been up to. 
  7. Make a poster highlighting what you have learned. 
  8. Present your project and poster at the College of Engineering Annual Research Open House in Early April 2023. It’s not a problem if your end product doesn’t match your proposal, the goal of this program is to get you to try. If you were able to bring your whole idea into being, that’s great! If not, that’s also great! Either way, you’ll be presenting what you learned at the Research Open House. 

Time to get started! Find full details, past projects, and the application on the Creative Kick-Start Funding homepage

Find your textbooks on Course Reserve!

You’ve made it through your second week of classes – congrats! Did you know that you can check out most of your course textbooks here at the Engineering Library? There’s no need to carry your textbook across campus if you need to work through a few problems during a break in the Seamans Center. You can come in and check it out for up to two hours! Here’s a walkthrough of how to find your books using the example of finding a book for Dr. Murhammer’s class. 

The easiest way to find the book you’re looking for is to search by your professor’s last name in the InfoHawk+ 

You can narrow down your results on the left side of the next screen, including by course name, instructor, and course ID. Narrowing down like this can be helpful, especially if your professor is an author or if someone who shares their last name is.

If we have an item on the shelf for a course reserve, you’ll see a little purple icon that say’s “Course.” If you’ve refined your results by Course ID, then that means it’s for your class. If not, you can find the number, title of the class, and professor’s name above the icon.

If your book is on course reserve you can check it out by asking at the front desk. Just like when you look it up, it’s easiest if you know the professor’s name. You can check out course reserve materials for two hours at a time. 


Celebrate diverse stories with our Untold Stories in STEM Collection!

Welcome (or welcome back) to all students, faculty and staff! Over the summer we did a little bit of reorganizing. This includes a new addition to the remaining shelves on the main floor of the library. Last year these shelves were home to our bound journals collection, but now they hold our new Untold Stories in STEM Collection! In this collection you can find the stories of people who are members of communities who have been historically excluded from the narrative of scientific discoveries.

Some of these books are old favorites we have had in our library for years, like Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt, and Alan Turing: life and legacy of a great thinker by Christof Teuscher. You can also find new books, like Lab Girl by Hope Jahren and The Curie Society by Heather Einhorn and Adam Staffaroni (we think this graphic novel is really cool!) We did our best to gather stories from a wide range of groups, along with books on leadership and ways to improve the world. If you have suggestions on things we should add, please let us know. 

Want to come in and check it out? It’s easy to find! Just come in to the library, walk past the sandbox, take a left, and the shelf will be on your right. There’s a big sign on top, so you won’t miss it. Can’t make it in? That’s okay! Check out our Untold Stories in STEM LibGuide, which has links to the whole collection. You can request an item from the collection to be delivered to your office or closest library. 

Find a study space

Get your study skills ready for the new school year! The Engineering Library has several study spaces available to fit your study style.

Group Study

Even when you’re in the library you don’t always have to be silent. If you have a group project or if you have more success studying with a group, we have options for you! 

For groups of 2 to 4 (or even one person) you can reserve one of our two Pods. These small rooms include a large table, a white board, and a large screen that you can connect to using the Solaris system. Just follow the simple instructions on the screen to easily share your screen. Pods need to be reserved, which you can do here.

Small groups can also use the tables on the main floor of the library for spontaneous quiet study.

If you have a larger group, check out the Creative Space! We have large monitors you can hook up to your computer, whiteboards all around, and tables you can move around to fit your needs. We also have specialized equipment, like a 3D scanner and printer, virtual reality stations, and more (you can see the whole list here.) The space is open for all students on a first come first serve basis, and may sometimes be closed for workshops.

Solo Study

If you study by yourself we’ve got space for you! You can of course always use the areas listed above, but if you want more options, here are a few:

If you need some technology you can use one of our many desktop computers.

We know that studying can be a long and stressful process, so we have some comfy spaces for you to sit with armchairs upstairs and downstairs. Downstairs you can find armchairs next to our virtual aquarium or fireplace. While you’re welcome to talk freely on the main floor, the downstairs level of the library is silent study space.

If normal chairs aren’t your thing, we also have bean bag and gaming chairs that can be found around the shelves downstairs.

You can also find individual desks (sometimes called carrels) upstairs and downstairs. They include lights to help you see your notes and outlets to plug in your equipment. 

We’re always looking for ways to improve how we the space works for our students. If you have ideas of what you would like to see let us know!

Did you know we have a tool library?

Ready for a new school year? For those of you new to campus, we want to take a moment to introduce some of the unique things here at the Engineering Library. Most of our tools can be checked out for a week, with some exceptions, especially cables (don’t worry, we tell you the due date when you check an something out). You can find everything here, but I’ll highlight a few things you may be happy to find. To check out the items listed here, just come up to the front desk and ask!


We have what you need to keep your day powered. We have phone and laptop chargers available for most devices. You can check out chargers for 4 hours so you can keep your phone or laptop charged while you’re finishing up your homework or studying for your next test. We have Lightning cables and USB-C chargers for your phones, as well as chargers for most MacBooks, Windows Surface, USB-C Laptop Chargers, and a Universal PC Charger with 12 different adapters to fit your device.

Need to connect this to that? We have cables to connect HDMI, USB, USB-C, VGA, Micro HDMI, among others.

Lightning Wall Charger

Hand Tools

Sometimes in life you just need a hammer. Thankfully, we have one for you to borrow! If you’re setting up your dorm or apartment and need a wrench or a screwdriver to put together a chair, come by and get one from us. We have several specialty screwdriver sets, so if something in your PC comes loose during the move you can come and borrow our Computer Toolkit to put everything back in its place. 

Screwdriver: Computer Toolkit

Measuring Tools

Engineering requires precision, and sometimes that requires measuring tools. You can borrow calipers that are accurate to .02 mm and can measure items up to 6 inches. You can measure larger items using our tape measure or laser distance measurer. We also have specialized measuring tools, like multimeters/voltmeters, and an oscilloscope. 



We have several types of cameras available for checkout. We have some that are fit for all of your adventures, like GoPros and a 360 Fly. If you need a camera to record a presentation, we have digital and DSLR cameras. You can also borrow webcams and microphones to make sure you have your best Zoom presentation.

Camera: GoPro

Happy Casual Pi Day!

We love and celebrate Pi Day here at the Engineering Library on or around the traditional day of March 14th (3/14), but did you know that there another Pi Day? Pi can be expressed with the fraction 22/7, so if you’re partial to pastry, you can celebrate Pi Day on July 22nd. You can also call it pi approximation day, if you want to be more formal.

PI APPROXIMATION DAY - July 22, 2022 - National Today

Here’s some fun Pi facts to get you started with your celebrations:

  1. If you don’t want to use the word “pi” or are looking for alternatives, you can use “Archimedes’ constant,” “the circular constant” or “Ludolph’s number.” 
  2. Mathematician William Jones first proposed using the Greek letter as shorthand for the constant in 1706. Before its adoption, pi was referred to by a Latin phrase which roughly translates to “the quantity which, when the diameter is multiplied by it, yields the circumference.”
  3. The world record for memorization of decimals of pi is 70,000 and is held by Rajveer Meena. Meena established this record in 2015 and wore a blindfold for the 10 hours it took him to complete this feat. If you want to try your hand at beating the record, you can use techniques like memorizing smaller groups or spatial visualization techniques.
  4. You don’t need 70,000 digits of pi to make accurate calculations. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses the first 15 digits after the decimal (3.141592653589793) for interplanetary navigation calculations.
  5. The first known algorithm for calculating pi used polygons. Archimedes calculated pi by calculating the perimeters of inscribed and circumscribed polygons. He doubled the number of sides of the polygons, finally reaching a 96-sided polygon and found that pi was between 223/71 and 22/7 (does that number look familiar to you?).Archimedes's Approximation Of Pi - Amazing Discovery Of Mathematics-  Archimedes