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Frequently Asked Questions

How many books does the library have?


What's the WRLC and which universities are members?

The WRLC (Washington Research Library Consortium) is a group of local university libraries that share holdings in order to give their students access to more resources.

Members include:

  • American University
  • Catholic University
  • Gallaudet University
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Marymount University
  • University of the District of Columbia

AU students may borrow books from all WRLC member libraries. Your university ID is your library card.

Books may be returned to any WRLC library.


What's ALADIN?

ALADIN is the online system of the WRLC Catalog and more than 250 databases, many with full-text articles online. There is also access to electronic books.

ALADIN is accessible from any computer on campus with Internet access (off-campus access requires a university ID for log in).


Does the library offer wireless network access?

Use your laptop, PDA, or cell phone to connect to the Internet and ALADIN from anywhere in the library. Instructions can be found once you log into the University Portal.


Can I borrow a laptop or use my own laptop at the library?

You can plug your laptops into the more than 110 data ports available in the library, located in the study rooms, along the outer walls of the second and third floors and along the side counter in the MudBox cafe. Wireless network is also available (see the University Portal for setup instructions).

Laptops may be checked out from the Copy Center for library use.


What kind of study facilities does the library offer?

  • Group Study Rooms
  • Graduate Study Rooms
  • Quiet Floor
  • Study tables and carrels


How long can I keep my book if I check it out?

Book Loans:

Undergraduates/Staff/Alumni - 4 weeks
Graduates - 6 weeks

Renewals may be online through the MyALADIN system.

Holds or Recalls on books checked out to another borrower may be requested through the web.

Quick searches for materials not found on the shelf may be requested at the Circulation Desk.


Does the library have childrens' books?

Textbooks, curriculum guides, juvenile reference materials and literature, tests and videocassettes to support degree programs offered through the School of Education are available on the third floor in the Curriculum Materials Center.


What kind of computer access does the library offer?

The library has more than 170 public computers and 30 laptops for loan (at the Copy Center).

The library’s Anderson Computing Complex has 139 computers for student use.


Can I eat or drink inside the library?

Coffee, tea, drinks, and snacks may be purchased at The Mud Box coffee bar on the lower level.

Food from outside of the library is not permitted, but beverages are allowed.


Can I get a book or article from another library, even one outside of the WRLC?

Requests to borrow books and periodical articles available at other WRLC Libraries may be made online using the CLS Request (looks like a yellow post-it note) in the catalog.

Non-WRLC requests can be made through the ILL online forms.


What classes does the library offer?


Does the library have movies?

Videos can be found in the Media Services department on the lower level.

Film and video collections include educational, international, documentary and feature films. Individual and group facilities for audio, video, film and computer software are available.


Does the library have music recordings?

Scores and recordings, including classical, folk, jazz and blues, popular music, and the spoken arts can be found at the Music Library in the Katzen Arts Center.

Listening room facilities include playback for LP discs, CDs, cassettes and reel-to-reel tape recordings.


Does the library have both recent and older magazines?

Current magazines, journals and newspapers are stored in the current periodicals reading room on the lower level. Earlier issues and additional titles are available electronically and through the WRLC document delivery system.


What do I need to do to print from the public computers or make copies?

Self-service copy machines are available on the lower level of the library.

Photocopy and print cards may be purchased at the Copy Center, which provides copy services, color copies, transparencies, stapling and collating.

Microform reader/printers are available on the lower level of the library.


What reference assistance does the library offer?

Research assistance is available at the Reference Desk, by calling (202) 885-3238, through e-mail and through instant messaging at AskAULibrary.


What are reserve materials and where can I find them?

Required course readings are held in the Reserve Reading Room and on electronic reserves.


Does the library offer services to people with disabilities?

Assistive technology workstations are available on the second and third floors, and at Anderson Computing Complex. Needs assessments, assistive technology training, research assistance, material retrieval, and a limited amount of free photocopying are available to authorized users upon request. For more information, call (202) 885-3194 (V/TTY).


Where is the Archives/Special Collections department and what holdings do they have?

The Archives/Special Collections department is located on the third floor. Their holdings include early and rare U.S. math books, Japanese history and wood block prints, performing arts programs, vintage radio news and entertainment programming and materials related to the history of the University.

For more information regarding Archives and its materials, click here.