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Borrowing and Access Services

Borrowing for AU and WRLC Students, Staff, and Faculty

Eligible American University (AU) and Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) students, staff, and faculty have privileges to borrow from all of the main libraries of the universities participating in the WRLC, which include:


To be eligible for consortium borrowing, you must be affiliated with one of the above schools, have your university ID card with you, and also be one of the following:

  • An undergraduate or graduate* student currently enrolled in a degree program
  • A current faculty member or full time staff member

*Note: Typically, the law and medical libraries do not lend to WRLC users, and some law and medical students are not eligible to borrow in the consortium, outside of their home institution. Washington College of Law students and faculty may borrow from the consortium.

Individuals in other categories should consult their home library before visiting AU Library.

Access and borrowing privileges are not transferable, which means that you may not use another individual's ID to borrow a book or use their login information to access e-resources. Remote access to e-resources held by AU Library is limited to current AU students, staff, and faculty; other individuals may view these resources onsite at Bender Library. In general, access to e-resources held by other WRLC libraries is only available onsite at that particular university's library.

General Loan Policies:

Loan periods for normal circulating materials:
Undergraduate students and full-time staff: 4 weeks (28 days)
Graduate and Washington College of Law students: 6 weeks (42 days)
Faculty: From 6 weeks to 4 months, utilizing three fixed due dates per year (January 31, May 31, September 30); renewal is available 6 weeks prior to the due date.

American University Alumni, Friends of AU Library Borrowers, and other borrowers**: 4 weeks on AU items (WRLC-wide borrowing privileges are not available)

**Wesley Theological Seminary students and faculty; members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at AU; Faculty participating in OCLC's Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program

Loan periods may be shortened when items are recalled.

There is no limit to the number of books that AU and WRLC students, staff, and faculty may borrow. All other borrowers may check up to twenty five (25) books out at any one time.

For more in depth borrowing policies, please click here.

MyLibraryAccount / Signing onto the WRLC Catalog:

MyLibraryAccount is online access to your library account. Use it to access listings of all the titles that you currently have checked out from the library, renew, and to check on the status of books that you have requested. You may also update your preferred email address and customize other notification options.

Note: To sign onto WRLC Catalog/MyLibraryAccount, use:

Last Name: [enter your last name]
University ID or Library Barcode: [enter your 7 digit AU ID number*, or 14 digit barcode number]
Institution: [select American]

*If the AU ID number printed on your AU ID card is 6 digits, add a "0" before it. Do not include numbers listed after your AU ID number.

Contact Circulation if you are having difficulty signing-into MyLibraryAccount or if your library account is listed as expired and you are a currently enrolled at or employed by AU.

For more information about checking your library account, click here.


Books from the general collections of the main libraries of WRLC may be renewed online through MyLibraryAccount.
Books may be renewed up to 3 times online/remotely unless another borrower requests a hold/recall.
Books may be brought to AU Library in-person for recheck out (doing so will reset the three time renewal limit)

MyLibraryAccount Renewal Instructions

Caution: Items borrowed from George Mason, Georgetown, and outside the consortium through interlibrary loan are listed separately.

If you are having problems renewing, it may be for one of the following reasons:

* You have already renewed your books three times online and need to bring them to any consortium library to have them rechecked-out
* A hold/recall has been placed on one of the books
* You have $25.00 or more in library fines that you will need to pay off at any consortium library before you will be permitted to borrow further
* Your library account has expired

Overdue fines and lost item fees and blocks:

Borrowers are responsible for any overdue fines resulting from items returned late. A borrower assumes financial responsibility of borrowed items until they are returned. Fines per item must be paid in full; partial payment is not accepted. Payments of fines and fees may be made at the Borrowing Desk. Credit (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), EagleBuck$, Cash, Check, and money orders are accepted. Credit payments are also accepted by phone.

Borrowing is blocked if fines/fees reach or exceed $25.00. If you have lost materials (late by 40 days or more), or have excessive fines, your library account may be blocked from activity; you may also have a stop placed on your University-wide (Student) Account. The library reserves the right to deny borrowing privileges to anyone based upon just cause.

Fine Schedules and Policies:

The general overdue fine on circulating items $0.25 per day, per item. For recalled items it is $5.00 per day. Fine schedules on other materials (e.g., those borrowed from Course Reserves and Media) differ; however, all fines may be paid at the Borrowing Desk. General overdue book fines max out at $10.00 per item, per checkout; for recalled books, the maximum is $25.00.

A book will be considered "lost" after being overdue for 40 days. A $67.00 item replacement fee, a $30.00 processing fee, and a $10.00 overdue fine will be added to your account per item. The item replacement fee and the processing fee will be removed when you return the book. If an AU book is truly lost, a replacement copy may be provided. Please see our AU Library Book Replacement Policy.

AU Library offers a Food for Fines program once a year: around Thanksgiving through the end of the fall semester. This offers patrons the opportunity to pay off a maximum of $20.00 in fines on AU items with food that AU will donate to a local food bank. Fines accrued on consortium loan items are not eligible.

Books on Demand

The Books on Demand program is available to AU students, staff, and faculty. When you find a book in the catalog that you'd like pulled, click on the red "Request" button in the upper-right corner of the record.  If the book is available at American, the request will be sent to us first, we'll pull the book, and hold it in your name. If for some reason we are unable to find the book here, we'll move the request along to one of the other library consortium schools who will send the book here for your use.

When Requested Items are Available for Pickup

When books that you've requested are available (AU books and items requested through CLS an ILL), they are held at the Borrowing Desk for pickup. Please see Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery for more information about requesting materials through consortium and interlibrary loan.

Requesting Holds/Recalls

If you would like an AU book that is currently checked-out to another borrower, you may place a hold or recall on that item here. Note: As an AU student, staff, or faculty member, it is usually more expeditious to place a consortium loan request through the WRLC Catalog if there is an available copy within the WRLC (2 – 3 business days); interlibrary loan is also an option (arrival in 10 business days on average).

Books not on the Shelf or Marked Unavailable in the Catalog

If you cannot find a book in the Stacks that you found available in the catalog, please let us know at the Borrowing Desk, and the staff will search for the item. If you're interested in a book that is marked lost or long overdue in the catalog, please consider submitting a Book Purchase Request, or borrowing it through the WRLC/ILL.

Priority Cataloging

If you locate an AU item in the catalog that is listed as on approval, ordered, or received, you may submit a Priority Cataloging Request.

Faculty Proxy:

A Faculty Proxy enables faculty to authorize their research/teaching assistants to conduct research and borrow items in their name at AU Library. All material checked out by proxy is actually checked out on the faculty member's account, placing the responsibility for the materials, including fines accrued, with the faculty member. Research assistants must be currently enrolled AU students, or staff/faculty to qualify. Faculty members may authorize a proxy for a given semester or up to a full academic year by completing a Faculty Proxy Authorization Form and submitting it to the Borrowing Desk. After forms are signed by Faculty they may be submitted by the assistant. Faculty may also email the Borrowing Desk to authorize proxy status.

Book Returns

In addition to returning books at the Borrowing Desk, they may be dropped off at Bender Library, 24/7, using the book drops located in the front and rear of the building. AU Library books may also be returned to any main library within the WRLC.


Daily loan lockers are available at the Borrowing Desk year-round. There are a limited number of semester loan lockers that are circulated starting on the first day of the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Location of the Stacks (Call Numbers by Floor)

Books located in AU Library's general collection are cataloged with Library of Congress Call Number Classification

AC – CT                  Lower Level
D – JK                    Second Level
JL – Z                    Third Level
N – NX and TR       Lower Level

Current periodicals and microforms are located on the Lower Level
Floor Maps
How to Find Books
How to Understand Call Numbers

Contact us with any questions about your AU Library account, access, or borrowing privileges:

Circulation/The Borrowing Desk
(202) 885-3221


Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 11 pm

Friday: 8 am - 9 pm

Saturday: 9 am - 9 pm

Sunday: 10 am - 11 pm