You are here: American University University Library About Library Services for Fall 2020

Library Services for Fall 2020

The Library is committed to providing academic support for the AU Community. During the fall semester we will offer all usual services in ways that meet the needs of remote teaching, researching, and learning.

A summary of our Fall 2020 services are listed below by area. Please contact circulation@american.edu with further questions. As this is an evolving situation, services and policies may change. Watch the Library's Twitter feed for updates.

Service Areas

The building will remain closed to users for the remainder of the summer and will only be open to library personnel. Starting in the Fall students may reserve study space in the first floor and lower-level of the library using our online system. Students will be allowed to reserve a space in the library for 1-3 hours. Social distancing requirements mean that the library can accommodate only 103 students at a time and students must swipe their IDs to enter the library. Masks will be required for entry into the Library.

We will offer mediated student printing in which they will send their print jobs in advance to printing@american.edu and then pick them up as “curbside pickup” during the hours the building will be open for study space.

If you have a locker in the building containing your belongings,  please contact circulation@american.edu. We will make arrangements for you to retrieve them and for you to return your key.

For general questions about library operations, please contact LibInfoDesk@american.edu.

The library is beginning curbside pickup of library materials the week of July 27. Please check back here as our processes are continuing to be developed and are subject to change.

Staff will checkout the item(s) to your library account. You must provide your AUID number and masks are required on campus at all times. Staff will let you know the due date and give you instructions on how to pickup your items curbside. 

For DVDs Chromebooks, adapters, or AV equipment, call to request same day pickup - (202)885-3229. Pickup times can be scheduled Monday – Friday between 1:00pm – 6:00pm. If you’re not sure what the item you need is called, you can check out this visual guide before making your request. When you arrive at the front of the library to pick up your item(s), call (202)885-3229 to let us know. Staff will bring your items to you. You must be wearing a mask and show your AUID.

Music library items can be requested by emailing Amanda at ajstead@american.edu. Please allow 3-5 days for Music Library items due to staff restrictions. Pickup will be available through Bender Library's curbside pickup process.

Request and pickup for library books can be scheduled by emailing circulation@american.edu. Pickup times can be scheduled from 10:30am-7:30pm, Monday – Thursday, 10:30am-5:30pm on Friday, 1:30pm-5:30pm on Saturday, and 12:30pm-7:30pm on Sunday. Not all WRLC libraries are currently open or filling book requests, but this service should become more available as we get closer to the Fall semester. Materials that are requested and received from other libraries can also be picked up during the times listed above. Please contact auill@american.edu to make arrangements. Items will be placed in bags in the designated pickup section of the AU Library vestibule.

Media items must be returned through the media drop box at the front of the library. Tech items like Chromebooks and AV equipment can be damaged in the drop box so contact Tech Services (techservices@american.edu) to arrange an in person contact-free return. You will be given return instructions when you checkout items. Books can be returned in book drop right next to the media drop box. Questions about your books our library account can be directed to circulation@american.edu.

The Research Assistance Desk will be available remotely through the Ask a Librarian Chat 24/7 from the Ask A Librarian page. There you will also find ways to contact us via email and links to frequently asked questions.

You may also request an online appointment with a subject specialist or the Data Librarian through the Subject Specialist page.

We recommend that it might be in a faculty member’s best interest to ask the  Library’s subject specialists  to look for available online alternatives as a first option for required class readings. For those items that are available electronically for purchase by an institution, we will purchase them. For materials that are not, if the selections make up no more than 10% of the item, we will digitize and use the reserves system.

If, however, the book cannot be purchased electronically by the library and more than 10% of the item needs to be made available, we will determine the best way to provide remote access on a reservation basis.

We encourage professors who teach with feature films that are readily available on subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, to refer students to those sources when possible.

If you have additional questions you can contact course reserves staff at reserves@american.edu.

All electronic resources including databases, journals, and streaming media will remain accessible to the American University community through the library catalog. If you are unable to access a resource please Report a Problem and we will work with you to resolve the issue.

The majority of collections are available online in an electronic format. Physical books can be requested materials through the library catalog and staff will digitize selections (if it is within the limits established by copyright), or pull the items and make them available through “curbside pickup” in the front-door vestibule. If you need help or support in any way, please submit requests from records in the main library catalog or email circulation@american.edu.

Curbside pickup services are also available for DVD’s. Call the Media and Technology Services Desk (202-885-3229) to request an item. Requests are for same day pickup only and items not picked up by the end of the day will be returned to the stacks. 

Any book on loan to a faculty member as of March 12th, 2020 has been renewed through to September 30th per the regular faculty borrowing policy. All other items on loan as of March 12th have been renewed until August 31st.

The Library will provide digitization requests for chapters and articles through our InterLibrary loan services. Please submit requests through your InterLibrary Loan account. Please be aware we anticipate that this service will have a longer turnaround time than we strive for during full operations.For Interlibrary Loan materials currently checked out, please contact the ILL team at auill@american.edu to arrange for extensions.

For DVDs Chromebooks, adapters, or AV equipment, call to request same day pickup - (202)885-3229. Pickup times can be scheduled Monday – Friday between 1:00pm – 6:00pm. If you’re not sure what the item you need is called, you can check out this visual guide before making your request. When you arrive at the front of the library to pick up your item(s), call (202)885-3229 to let us know. Staff will bring your items to you. You must be wearing a mask and show your AUID. Requests are for same day pickup only and items not picked up by the end of the day will be returned to the stacks.

The University Library, in partnership with the Center for Teaching, Research and Learning, is providing preparation and support for faculty teaching online. Please see the Blackboard help site for documentation and guides as well as the Instructional Continuity site for workshop schedules, further information, and a Blackboard course covering the basics of getting your course ready for online delivery.

The Music Library will be closed to non-library personnel. Any item on loan to a faculty member as of March 12th, 2020 has been renewed through to September 30th per the regular faculty borrowing policy. All other items on loan as of March 12th have been renewed until August 31st.Remote access to Music Library physical resources will be available upon request—please contact us for options. Please return Music Library items to the Bender Library book drop.

All streaming resources will remain available. If you have any questions or need additional assistance please use the chat function on the Music Library homepage or email Amanda Steadman at ajstead@american.edu.

Research assistance with Archives material is available online. Researchers needing to access the collection must make an appointment by contacting archives@american.edu.

FAQ

Download the full Fall 2020 Library FAQ

University Status

Please monitor the University's AU Forward page for information about University wide plans for Fall 2020.