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Life Hacks for Using the ISU Library

For new and experienced library users: learn how to get the most out of a visit to your library, including tips for finding the right librarian and ways to get in touch.

Tools to make your (research) life easier

Get library materials delivered

No time to come to the library? No problem! You can get library materials delivered to you in a variety of ways:

Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery

If you need access to a paper the ISU Library doesn't have online, use Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery to request a PDF copy. Most requests are filled within 24-48 hours. There's no cost for ISU students, faculty, or staff for this service--so don't pay for access to individual articles!

Interlibrary Loan can also borrow books from other libraries on your behalf. Again, there's no fee for ISU affiliates, but books have to be shipped to Parks Library so it can take several days for a book to arrive.

Pick up at Main Desk

If you want to save time looking in the stacks for the books you need, you can place a request and pick them up at the Main Desk. The best way to know when your item is ready is to check your Iowa State email address for an update.

Materials delivery

If you can't get to campus for an extended period of time for any reason, you can also request items be mailed to your off campus address.

LibKey Nomad

LibKey Nomad is a browser extension that makes it easy to access library materials. It integrates with Wikipedia, PubMed, and many subscription databases to provide one-click access to the full text of articles.

Citation managers

Citation managers make it easier to keep track of papers you want to cite. They collect, organize, and store bibliographic (citation) information for you, often saving it directly from your web browser, and then automatically format references and reference lists in your word processor. You'll have to spend a little time up front getting set up and used to the software, but using a citation manager can save you a lot of time if you'll be writing multiple (or long) papers.

The links below provide information on free citation managers supported by the ISU Library.

Have a question? ISU librarians are always available to help!
Read the guide to learn who to contact and how!