Q. What services does the University Library offer to AU staff?

Answered By: Kathryn Ray
Last Updated: Mar 04, 2022     Views: 22

The AU library offers a wide range of services to all full & part time staff, students, and faculty. The library has resources for work, research, personal development, consumer information, and fun.

Staff may access library databases on campus or remotely. Our databases are not limited to scholarly research.

The library has general interest databases including Consumer Reports and Washington Consumer Checkbook.  Staff interested in genealogy may search the Library Edition of Ancestry.com. For an alphabetical list of our over 600 databases, go to the homepage under Research Assistance> Search Databases A-Z. Not sure where to begin research?  Take a look at our Subject Guides created by the AU librarians for staff, students and faculty.

Librarians offer chat services and individual consultation appointments. Online chat is available 24/7 during the regular semester. The widget is on the library's homepage: https://www.american.edu/library/ Staff can also email questions to research@american.edu.  Check out our Ask-A-Librarian page.

Staff can read many current online newspapers, including the New York Times and Washington Post, from the US and around the world.

If staff would like to read a specific journal or magazine, the "Find Journals" link on the library homepage > Research Assistance > Find Journals will retrieve a list of databases that contain the journal. Type the title of the journal in the search box, hit search.  Be sure to read the dates for each database.  Not all databases have the same years of coverage.  If the journal isn't found, also check "Search Databases."  Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and The Economist (among others) can be found that way.

The library has books, too! On the library's first floor is the Popular Reading Collection featuring the latest bestsellers. Circulating cookbooks are among our specialties.

There is even a collection of games that may be checked out and taken home.

Want to learn a new language? We have a database for that!

Media Services offers thousands of popular films and documentaries that can be streamed, and DVDs that may be checked out.

Need to use a sewing machine or 3D printer? The Makerspace has really cool stuff! We also circulate technology.  Don't despair if a phone charger was left home or a tripod is needed, just visit the library. Our scanners are free.

Many questions can be answered using our FAQ.  Questions range from "What is the telephone number of the UPS store?" to "How do I find polls and public opinion?" to "Where can I find statistics on illegal trade such as pirated merchandise, counterfeit consumer goods or "knockoffs?"  To explore our FAQ, go to the library's homepage under Research Assistance > Frequently Asked Questions.

AU librarians help high school students, so parents, please encourage your children contact us if their school and public libraries do not have the information they need. We can introduce them to academic sources and help them get ready for college. If they are reluctant, suggest email (research@american.edu) or chat. They should tell us that their parent works for AU.

AU library faculty and staff look forward to helping all AU staff members find what they need to succeed.

If  this FAQ does not answer your question, please Ask-A-Librarian


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