April 2012

This Was a Great Academic Year!

We wrap up a great academic year with this edition of the Cowles Newsletter!   This year, we’re on track for record attendance at the library – and hits on our virtual site.   If use is an indicator, then Cowles Library continues to be a vital and special service for the Drake community. This edition covers some very significant milestones for the library – the release of a brand new and dynamic web site.  And the pending renovation of the Lower Commons area of the library.  Plus the ongoing resources, activities, and services that make up a great library. We’ll be back in August with a special pre-semester edition of the Newsletter!


Rod Henshaw, Dean Cowles Library Carrie Dunham-LaGree, Librarian for Digital Literacy
Claudia Frazer, Coordinator, Digital Projects

Renovation of Cowles to Start this Summer

Cowles Library is pleased to announce the first major renovation in the Library since 1998’s restoration of the Reading and Atrium. The “Lower Commons/After-Hours” project focuses on student success by providing a quality study space designed to facilitate social learning in a comfortable and safe environment. The renovation will commence this summer, pending final administrative review.

What is this project?

Funded by generous donations and matching funds from Drake, the Lower Commons project builds on the success of the study space near Cowles Cafe. Additional amenities — restrooms and a drinking fountain — are brought into the immediate cafe area and … Read More

New Web Site Launched

After an extensive one-year development and testing process, the Library launched a new website March 20. There are actually “four sites in one” in the new architecture.

The “Research, Study and Learning“ site is the core service and access component at library.drake.edu. This site focuses on providing resource access for Drake students and faculty, research assistance to Drake students, faculty and staff.

“Our Purpose, Our People,” located at purpose.library.drake.edu, covers the practice of librarianship at Cowles Library.

Our extensive digital projects and special collections documenting the history, traditions, scholarly output and unique holdings of Drake University and Cowles Library are finally brought together in a single site as “Collections at Cowles” at collections.library.drake.edu.

Read more

Washington Portrait to Meredith School

On Saturday morning, February 25th, some twenty eager middle-schoolers from Des Moines Meredith Middle School, visited the “Many Faces of George Washington” exhibit at Cowles Library.

Picture of Meredith students with Washington Portrait

Each institution hosting the exhibit from the Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens also received a beautifully-framed replica of Rembrandt Peale’s famous “porthole” portrait of Washington. … read more

Research Guides

In the first three months of 2012, there have been 18,594 visits to the most popular Research Guide: Pharmacy. What is it pharmacy students (and faculty) know?

Research Guides are an invaluable resource provided by Cowles Library. Librarians have developed Research Guides for each department and school at Drake. There are numerous guides designed to help students in particularly courses and with particular assignments. There are event guides designed for First Year Seminars and the Engaged Citizen experience. Each guide was created by a librarian who is an expert in that field and contains links to both Cowles Library resources and relevant information sources available online. These guides are not static, however, as librarians are frequently updating    … read more

See What’s in Research Guides:


Compact Shelving Project Completed

Cowles Library was pleased to announce reopening of the closed portions of the lower level and completion of the compact shelving renovation project. Portions of the building were closed in mid-January to permit mechanical and electrical repairs to the compact shelving. The project was completed one month ahead of schedule and within budget.

Compact shelving is a high efficiency storage method which moves entire sets of shelves on tracks. Bound periodicals, housed on the shelving that was the focus of the project include journals, magazines and other publications not currently available in electronic formats and extending back into the 1800′s.

 For details, visit the project web site.