Google Scholar is, above all, a search tool. It's a tool that can be used to search across disciplines and tools to locate scholarly research.
SOME FULL-TEXT CONTENT
Some articles found using Google Scholar are freely available to read and, in some cases, download because they are in the public domain (or out of copyright).
However, the vast majority of content will be behind what's called a "paywall," or a block that requires a paid subscription to remove.
This system is what governs services like Hulu vs. HuluPlus. You can watch a portion of content on Hulu for free, but the rest is only accessible if you pay a monthly access fee.
LINK to LIBRARY ACCESS
Google Scholar allows you to link your university credentials with their searching. If you link your account, then when you click on a search result that lives in a database or journal to which Iowa subscribes, then you won't hit the paywall.
Go to Google Scholar, and select Settings. There's an option for "Library Links", and you can search for the University of Iowa and add it to your links.
SEARCH FOR FREE
Google Scholars' search interface is freely available to any with an internet connection. The content may not be free, or complete, or even available for purchase, but at the very least, you can walk away with some bibliographic information and be on your way to finding an item, either in print or online. It's also a tool you'll be able to use after you graduate and are no longer a student at Iowa.