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Rooms and Other Spaces: Carrel Reservations

COVID-19 Carrel Alert

To ensure proper social distancing, some library seating, including carrels, will not be available for normal use. 

Carrel Use Parameters

For 2020-21 there are two kinds of carrels.

  • Carrels for traditional use can be used for storage and for the student to sit at to study. Because all library seating, not just carrel seating, is limited with social distancing, if you have a carrel for traditional use, that is where we will expect you to sit when you are in the library (unless you are meeting with a group, working in Journal, etc.). In other words, please do not use open table seating or study rooms if you have a carrel reservation. Also note that the university is currently requiring mask use indoors, which will include when you are studying anywhere in the library. The reservation slips for traditional use carrels are white.
  • Carrels for storage use can only be used for storage. Students should not sit at these carrels.The reservation slips for traditional use carrels are blue.

Reservations will be made for the entire year. However, we will adjust if university guidelines change. For instance, if by spring semester social distancing is no longer required, storage carrels will likely be converted to traditional use. 

3Ls who did not complete the carrel survey this summer will be able to request a storage carrel at the Law Library Information Desk starting Aug. 27 at 9 a.m. You can also call the desk at 515-271-3189. (See calendar for library hours.)

2Ls who did not complete the carrel survey this summer can request a storage carrel by emailing Karen Wallace between Aug. 27 and Aug. 30 and indicating the locations you would prefer. Please also indicate if you would rather go without a carrel than be in a particular location. 2L reservations will be made starting Aug. 31; the reservation order will be determined by a random number generator.

1Ls: There are many law library STORAGE carrels left. These provide a reserved place to keep items in the library, but you cannot sit and study at these carrels. Note that items stored in library carrels are not secured, as they would be in a law school locker. 1Ls who would like a storage carrel can now request one by emailing Elicia Ropte. Please note that for 1Ls these reservations will expire at the end of the semester in which socially-distanced seating is no longer required in the library. If you have questions, please email Elicia Ropte.

Dates to Know

Clean out date for May grads extended to Aug. 3. Carrels will not be assigned as is typical in fall. Instead, see document in top box for details.

March 1 - Cleanout Deadline for August & December graduates

Aug 1 - Cleanout Deadline for May graduates

First three days of fall semester - LLMs & 3Ls can request a new or first carrel reservation at Information Desk

First Thursday of fall semester, 3 p.m. - 2L & 2nd year MJ Carrel Lottery

Early Sept. - 1Ls and 1st year MJs should check library signage for information about remaining carrels

Please clean out your carrel by the cleanout deadline!


Location Overview:

No. Location
1-8; 213-234 1st floor


Far north end of floor


Northeast windows
9-102; 213-222 2nd floor


Iowa Wing


Tax Room


North rail


Near study rooms


East windows


AV room


Top of stairs  
103-171A 3rd floor


By rail


Near study rooms


East windows


South wall


By rail
172-212 Lower level

2L Lottery Numbers

After everyone has a slip, we will use a random number generator to determine the order in which your number will be called.

About Carrel Reservations

Carrels will not be assigned as is typical in fall. Instead, see document in top box for details.

Carrel reservations are taken the first week of classes each fall semester on a tiered basis, with LL.M. students and 3Ls having the first opportunity, followed by 2Ls and second-year M.J. students, and then, if any carrels remain, 1Ls and first-year M.J. students.

Carrel reservations extend through a student's Drake Law School enrollment. For May graduates, carrel reservations end the following Aug. 1; for December and August graduates, carrel reservations end the following March 1.

Students must remove all items from their carrels by the last day of their reservation. Library staff will dispose of items left in carrels after that time. Graduates who do not need to keep their carrels through the bar examination are encouraged to contact Information Desk staff to release their carrel reservation, making the carrel available for another student.

The reservation of Law Library carrels is a privilege. To retain carrel privileges, students must follow the Carrel Usage Guidelines, including keeping carrels in good order, using non-damaging adhesives (e.g., Post-It Notes or Blu-Tack) to affix items to the finished wood, refraining from the use of items with exposed heating elements, and properly checking out all library materials kept in the carrel.

Lockers in Cartwright Hall are available to all law students to secure personal belongings. The Law Library is not responsible for the loss of any personal items from carrels.

Note: Textbooks and laptops left in carrels are among items that have been stolen in the past, so you are advised to secure your belongings. Laptop locks are available for check out at the Information Desk.

For more information, ask the Information Desk staff or see the Carrel Reservation Policy.

Fall Reservations: 3Ls and LLMs

Carrels will not be assigned as is typical in fall. Instead, see document in top box for details.

LLM students and 3Ls may reserve carrels for immediate use during the first three days of classes of the fall semester by asking at the Information Desk during library hours.

Note: If you were on the 2018-2019 waiting list, that was only for last year. You will need to request a reservation.

LLM students and 3Ls who currently have a carrel but want a different one should make these arrangements with Information Desk staff during this same time period. If you want to keep your current carrel reservation, you do not need to do anything.

Fall Reservations: Second-Year Students

Carrels will not be assigned as is typical in fall. Instead, see document in top box for details.

2Ls or second-year MJ students who want to keep a current carrel reservation do not need to do anything. All others should follow these instructions.

Students, or a proxy, must attend the carrel lottery meeting on the first Thursday of the fall semester, at 3:00 p.m. in Opperman Hall, Lower Level 19, to enter their names and select a carrel.

If this is not possible, send an email to by 1 p.m. on the day of the lottery, and library staff will put your name in the lottery and randomly assign a carrel to you when your name is drawn.

The app Lottery procedures:

  • Before the meeting, check out the Carrel Floor Map and Carrel Photos to get an idea of where you would like your carrel to be. The meeting will go much faster if everyone is ready to select a carrel when it's their turn.  
  • As you enter LL19, you will put your name on a numbered slip. If you are representing one or more other students, be sure to enter their name(s), each on a separate slip, and stay in the room until the names of everyone you are representing have been called. Bring the slip up with your when your number comes up.
  • A random number generator will determine the order in which students can select a carrel.
  • Come to the front in the order in which your number comes up. If you do not come up when we call your number, we will assume you no longer want to participate in the lottery.
  • Carrel selections will be made at the meeting. Please bring your Drake ID and the slip of paper with you. The carrel you choose will be checked out to you in the library circulation system; however, ignore the listed due date in favor of the reservation period described under "About Carrel Reservations."
  • Students may swap carrels through Monday, Sept. 9; both students must email to request the swap. If a student wants to give up a carrel but not make a swap, it will go to the next person on the waiting list. Starting Sept. 10, all carrels given up will be reassigned using the waiting list.
  • A student can add his or her name to the carrel waiting list if the student does not get a carrel reservation. Students may choose to go on the waiting list rather than take an unacceptable carrel reservation. However, students may not be on the waiting list if they already have a carrel reservation.
  • The carrel waiting list is only for the current academic year, so students on the waiting list who do not get a carrel before May graduation will need to follow procedures to request one the following fall. Note: You can only ask to be put on the waiting list on or after the date we begin taking reservations for people in your class.

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