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Greetings from the University Librarian

Nancy Davenport, University Librarian

The American University Library plays a vital role in connecting students, faculty, and scholars across the academy with information, ideas, and each other. While we continue to support traditional modes of scholarship through our print collections, primary source material, and research consultations, we increasingly support emerging trends in learning and scholarship, such as digital information formats, multimedia production, data set utilization and management, and sustaining key partnerships to better enable student success.

Research Services

We developed the Research Commons initiative with our partners across campus to connect students with research assistance at the point of need. Students can now receive on-site training on statistical software and in-depth consultations on statistical methodology for their research projects, in-person writing assistance, research consultations with librarians who are experts in the disciplines, on-site tech help, and access to the scholarly resources needed for in-depth research.

New Initiatives

Through our emphasis on collections, service, and collaboration, we are developing innovative approaches to modern research, such as data set utilization, management, and preservation;expertise in alternative scholarly metrics (alt-metrics) and scholarly communication;digital resources; and mobile library services. We are partnering with new programs to offer materials for faculty instruction and student use in emerging fields.


The AU Library collection spans primary source material, key foundational texts and cutting-edge scholarship. Additionally, our participation and partnership in the Washington Research Library Consortium provides AU students and faculty with access to more than 12 million volumes. Our Washington, DC location also affords a rich array of governmental, academic, and intellectual institutions with which we partner to provide access to a greater quantity of cutting edge resources.

I invite you to join us in our mission to enable educational and research success, whether by exploring the website, visiting the library, or supporting our vision and evolution.

Nancy Davenport,
University Librarian

Mission Statement

The University Library enables educational and research success by:

  • building collections and facilitating access to information across all formats;
  • teaching people how to locate, assess, and use information to meet their needs;
  • providing welcoming spaces that support a full range of intellectual endeavors.

Vision Statement

The American University Library will enable success for students and faculty in 3 key ways:

An academic and research destination that provides access to information and research tools, along with expert and personalized guidance through the entire research process, including complex, multi-disciplinary, and digital scholarship.

A community network connecting scholars regardless of location or program, and partnering with others on campus to provide the services and expertise needed by our students and faculty.

An inspiring place that provides inclusive, welcoming, and adaptable spaces, and is a center for innovative technology on campus. The facility is environmentally sustainable and is a beautiful and inspiring space within which the community is proud to study and work.

Diversity Statement

American University Library is committed to diversity and inclusion by providing an inclusive, welcoming, and adaptable environment for the community. We recognize that this is an ongoing process and aim to engage in diversity and inclusion as more than just numeric representation. We will continue to work on intentionally diversifying our personnel, services, and collections in meaningful ways.

Areas of Focus (based on the ACRL Diversity Standards)

  • Organizational and professional values
  • Workforce diversity
  • Organizational dynamics
  • Professional education and continuous learning
  • Development of collections, programs, and services


Need to contact the Library? Please call the Information Desk at (202) 885-3232.

*Information desk is only available during standard hours.