General Services
Faculty Services

Borrowing Policy

With the exception of the Home Use Collection described below, the majority of the DVDs, videotapes, videodiscs, and audiotapes in the Media Services collection are primarily used to support curriculum needs. Therefore only AU faculty and their proxies are permitted to check these materials out of the library. Students and other users may borrow any of these materials for use within the Media Services department.

Materials leaving the Library go out on one week loan unless an exception has been granted. Fines for overdue items are charged for Media Services materials, just as they are for other library materials. Fines on daily checkouts are $1.20 per day; fines on hourly checkouts are $0.50 per hour.

All AU faculty, staff and students can request consortium owned videos through a CLS request. All DVDs and other media located in the WRLC libraries are listed in the online catalog like books. Media CLS items are loaned for a shorter period - ten days and overdue fines are $5 per day. Availability is determined on a title by title basis.

Media Services only loans out titles that are not commonly used for instruction and are easily replaced. Consortium students are welcome to view any title on-site at Media Services.

New Additions

Media Services keeps a running list of new additions on our blog and pin board. At the top of the blog you can subscribe to receive new media acquisitions updates by email.

Home Use Collection

Approximately 9000 of the titles in the collection have been cataloged for home use and may be circulated to AU students and staff on a one week loan. Some feature film titles acquired specifically for class use are not designated for home use. Titles reserved at any time during the semester for class use and other high use items will not be circulated for home use; these items may only be viewed in Media Services.

Student Class Presentations

American University students may take Media Services materials out of the Library for the purpose of class presentations, if their professor authorizes the use of his/her library account for this purpose. Materials must be checked out within one hour before the class period and are due back within one hour after the class period. Faculty may authorize the use of their library account one of three ways:

  • By signing a student check out authorization form.
  • By giving the student his/her faculty ID and a signed note.
  • By phoning the Media Services desk the day the material will be checked out and speaking with a media supervisor.

Borrowing Information

Faculty may renew materials either by bringing them to the Media Services desk or by calling the desk. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) instructors can reserve DVDs for use with the prior approval of Media Services full-time staff. OLLI affiliated patrons may be able to borrow items for class-related purposes outside of the library, but this requires advanced notice and approval from a Media Supervisor. This is restricted to low use and easily replaceable titles. OLLI participants may watch titles on site in Media Services after presenting their library issued borrowing card.

Clip Compilations

Media Services will make compilation DVDs for faculty in class use. Clips can be taken from materials in the Media Services collection. A Clip Compilation Form must be filled out and signed. Clip collections remain the property of Media Services, but can be checked out for extended periods.

Learn about making DVD "clips" yourself with DVD bookmarking.

Curriculum Design / Reference

The Media Services department is available to assist faculty in the identification and location of visual media and can suggest suitable media titles for particular subject needs. Please email for information.

Media Classrooms

Media Services has three rooms which can be reserved by American University faculty for classes using media materials. A classroom seating 35 people may be booked if the faculty member is going to be present. Group viewing rooms may be booked for smaller classes. The capacity of the smaller rooms is 15 and 8. To assure equal access, limitations may be set on the number of sessions booked per course. Make a screening reservation.

Media Reserves

Personal DVDs may be placed on reserve at the Media Services Desk. Materials should be brought in at least 24 hours prior to their intended use, and the following information should be provided: faculty name, department, and program title. We prefer that materials are shelf ready, in a case and clearly labelled, so there is no delay in processing them for student use. A Media Reserves Materials Deposit Form releasing American University from copyright liability for the content must be signed by the faculty member for materials left on reserve. 

Media Scheduling

Faculty are strongly encouraged to book their media needs ahead of time. This ensures that titles are available on the day the faculty member plans on using them. If a title is not booked ahead, there is a chance that another AU faculty member may be using it at the same time. There are two types of bookings available:

  • A regular media booking ensures a title is available for the date of use. It may be made by a professor or proxy one of the following ways:
  • An EasyPass booking allows faculty to streamline their circulation transaction. When they come to pick up their reservations, the titles have been pre-charged to them.
    • EasyPass bookings are only for the standard one week loan period.
    • The faculty member must pick-up the material or the proxy must be indicated on the form.
    • On the pick-up day, the material is unavailable for students to watch in Media Services.

Proxy Use in Media Services

The Faculty Proxy Card entitles a research assistant to use a faculty member's account, enabling faculty to allow their assistants to pick up materials and conduct research in their name at the library. The proxy card shouldn't be used to checkout videos for a student's use. Fraudulent use of the card will result in removal of proxy status for the assigned student. Faculty members are responsible for any fines and/or replacement costs incurred when a proxy card is used. Proxies are re-assigned after one or two semesters.

Restricting Media From Outside Use

AU faculty can insure that a class-assigned video is in the Library when your students need it. The Restrict From Outside Use Form prevents others from taking the film out overnight. This is useful when an entire class must watch a film in a short amount of time.

Films are restricted for the entire semester. If a film is restricted, other AU faculty can take it out of the Library to their class. The film must be taken out immediately before the class period and returned immediately after the class. Restricted films are not loaned to faculty at the other WRLC schools.

Streaming Video From the Library Catalog

Thousands of videos in the library catalog are available as online streaming videos for instant access. Some of these are restricted to AU ID holders and some are open access. To have a link placed on your Blackboard course, fill out the "Media" request via the "Add Reserve Item" button in the Course Reserves module of Blackboard.

Media Services offers faculty the option of delivering DVD clips in Canvas via streaming video. Clips from DVDs can be digitized, placed onto a secure online server and linked to the professor's Canvas page. Streaming video can be accessed by authorized Canvas users from any computer with high-speed internet capabilities, thus providing students with 24-hour access to reserve video materials. Streaming of clips is done under TEACH Act guidelines.

Videos by Subject

To aid in the selection of video's for your class and research needs, we've created a larg number of filmographies on many subject areas. If you'd like to suggest a new filmography or ask that an existing one be updated, please contact Sean Casey.