ISU Library Resources

The ISU Library is committed to serving students, staff, and faculty and providing for their information needs. Whether you are a resident student, enrolled in a distance course, doing a study abroad, the ISU Library can provide the resources you need when you need them!

Access Online Resources

Get connected to the library’s electronic databases from anywhere. If you’re on campus or not using campus internet access, sign in with your ISU Net-ID.  

ISU Library’s on-campus workstations provide access to a large collection of databases whether you have an ISU Net-ID or not.

For more information, visit the Access Online Resources page.

Getting Started

Instructor Resources

Research and Course Guides (LIBGuides)

Subject librarians have developed subject and course specific research guides in many different areas, as well as information literacy guides to help your students get started with their research projects. You can always refer your students to these guides on the Library website or embed the guides into your Canvas course.  View the list of published guides or embed a Library Resources page into your Canvas course.

Course Reserves

Work with the Course Reserves staff to make required course materials available directly through Canvas.  Course Reserves staff will manage relevant copyright issues (including fees) related to posting or distributing this material, freeing instructors to focus on the classroom.  Most resources are available electronically to students 24/7, and they will save money on purchasing course packs. Instructions for creating Reserve items within Canvas are available via the Course Reserves.

Request a Course-Specific Guide

Course guides are usually tailored to your courses and include resources specific to the topics and projects discussed in your course. If you would like to request a course-specific guide, please contact your subject librarian. 

Find your liaison librarian! Select the By Subject tab and find your subject area from the drop-down menu. Contact your librarian and let them know your interest in creating a course guide!

Pressbooks for Open Educational Resources

Pressbooks is provided by the Iowa State University Digital Press to support the publication of open textbooks and other educational resources by Iowa State faculty and staff. Visit the Pressbooks for Open Educational Resources page to learn about Pressbooks, as well as plugins H5P (interactive elements), MathJax and QuickLaTeX (math encoding).

Streaming Video Collections

The Library’s Streaming video collections include thousands of documentaries, news programs and news clips, instructional material, and selected feature films on many subjects. Many of our streaming video platforms provide closed captions searchable transcripts and allow instructors to annotate specific clips for student use. See the Streaming Videos Guide or embed streaming video into your Canvas course.

Course-Related Instruction Sessions

You can collaborate with your liaison librarian to teach or co-teach an in-class course-related instruction session. These sessions focus on introducing students to discipline-based research materials relevant to their class or discipline and learning the best means to gather and evaluate information from them. To arrange for an in-class course-related instruction session, please contact your liaison librarian!

Special Collections & University Archives

Special Collections and University Archives is home to Iowa State University Library’s rare books, manuscripts, photographs, audio recordings, film, artifacts, archival records, and other historical documents. Our collection covers a large range of areas, including agriculture and rural life, life sciences, engineering, technology, and Iowa State University history.

You can request instruction, view guides we have created to help navigate our resources or email us at for additional questions.

Student Resources

Research and Course Guides

Library’s research and course guides can help you get started with your research projects. These Guides also identify the expert librarian for your subject area, along with their contact information.

Article Indexes and Databases

Find an index in your subject area by using the drop-down menu on the Articles & Databases page. If you know the name of the specific index you need, just type the index name in the search box at the top of the page.

Course Reserves

If your instructor has placed any items on Course Reserves, you will find those resources in your Canvas course. Just click on Course Reserves link on the left menu in your course.  For more information on how to use course reserves items, visit the Student Information and FAQ page.

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

If you need library materials (books, articles, etc.) from another location, you can request these be sent to you via the online Request Form. You’ll need your ISU Net-ID to login. You may receive some materials (such as scanned articles) within 24 hours!

Special Collections & University Archives

This will help orient you to researching primary sources (manuscripts, photographs, audio recordings, film, artifacts, archival records) and rare books in Special Collections & University Archives. You can view the guides that will walk you through what to expect when you visit us in person or online. You can also email us at for additional questions.

Services for Distance Learning Students

This guide will help you learn about the services and resources available to our distance learners.

Learn Through Instructional Videos and Tutorials!

Library instructional videos & interactive tutorials on how to find resources.

Find Your Librarian!

We are your primary contacts to learn about library collections and research databases in your subject areas and reference services.