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Services for Visitors and Other Borrowing Options

Visitors to the American University Library are welcome to use books, videos, and periodicals on site for research and recreation up until closing time or midnight, whichever comes first depending on the schedule. Visitors also have access to our coffee shop and professional assistance from Reference Librarians and subject specialists.

While the library’s public catalog and the databases to which it subscribes are openly accessible on a group of computers in the reference area, all other computers for internet access require an AU specific library card and user authentication.

More information about why we cannot provide open internet access to the public can be located here.

For more information about services available to visitors, see the Information Desk.

Individuals outside the American University Community (students, faculty or alumni) or the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) community may obtain borrowing and internet privileges at the library through the Friends of American University Borrowing Program. Organizations may obtain borrowing privileges through the Group Associate Borrowing Program.

Friends of AU Library Borrowing Program:

The Friends of American University Library Borrowing Program enables persons not already affiliated with American University or the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) to borrow from American University Library’s general collection. Participants are also entitled to on-site use of AU Library’s databases and internet access. Consortium borrowing is not available; however, interlibrary loan is available for a $25.00 fee per item.

Friends of the Library Borrowing Application

1 year membership – $300            
3 month membership – $100          
(Payable by credit card only: Visa, MasterCard, or American Express)

Group Associate Borrowing Program:

Commercial, nonprofit, and governmental organizations can purchase group borrowing privileges for their members or employees. Membership includes one card, but additional cards may be purchased. Cards are not transferable.

Organizations interested in purchasing Associate Borrowing privileges may do so at the Borrowing Desk. Payment is due at the time of purchase and potential borrowers must complete a Group Application Form.

Commercial Organizations:
1 year membership – $1000 ($200 each additional card); 3 month membership – $400 ($100 each additional card)

Nonprofit and Governmental Organizations (must be registered with the IRS):
1 year membership – $500 ($100 each additional card); 3 month membership – $200 ($50 each additional card)

Visiting Faculty / OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program:

American University Library participates in the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program. Visiting faculty from participating research libraries are eligible to borrow from the general collection. Faculty must pre-register for an identification card at their home institution. To see the list of participating libraries in the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program, click here.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at American University:

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at American University have privileges to borrow books from American University Library’s general collection and have access to databases on site. The loan period for books is 4 weeks. OLLI members have privileges for on-site use of materials in Media Services. OLLI instructors may borrow media titles for class use at the discretion of Media Services.

Please review: Eligibility, General Loan Policies, Library Account (MyALADIN)/Signing onto ALADIN, Renewal, Overdue fines and lost item fees and blocks, and FAQs, Links, Other Info, and Other Borrowing Desk Information and Services on the Borrowing and Access Services page.