American University offers a variety of online learning and study abroad options. Part of its mission is to continue to increase services for these programs, especially study abroad, in order to create a “distinctive, global university.” The library supports this mission by providing academic support for study abroad and other online learning programs. Other sources of information about online learning are AU Online Learning website and the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning (CTRL).
Research specialists are available to you wherever you are through IM and email from our Ask A Librarian page.
Our Library Research Tutorial gets you started with searching for books and articles on your topic. You can complete the whole tutorial in about an hour or select sections as needed.
Recommended websites for research on any discipline covered by the AU curriculum may be found using our Subject Guides.
Catalog and Databases:
The Library Catalog and 400+ databases are available to you anywhere you have Internet access.
From the expandable menu to the left, click on the Research tab.
Choose "Search the Catalog" for books, videos or music.
Choose "Search Databases" for articles.
If prompted for a login, enter your AU username and password. (Your username does not include @american.edu).
Many articles are available in full text from our databases. Upon finding an article you want, you click on a "Find It" button to be directed to the full text either online or in print. For more information about how "Find It" works, click here.
Thousands of e-books can be found in the Library's Catalog from various publishers covering many subject areas. For more information, see our E-Book subject guide.
For students and faculty in the following programs:
Weekend degree programs
American Encounters program
AU/NTL (National Training Laboratory)
Executive Master of Public Administration
Key Executive Program
Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation (ISIPPI)
Federal Managers Practicum
Summer Online Learning Courses
Ph.D. students or AU Faculty who are located outside of a 100 mile radius, but inside the continental United States
Freddie Mac MS in Finance
You may request that we send you up to 5 books through the mail (you may only have 5 books on your account at a time), from either AU's collection or a WRLC library. You may request that we send you articles via the web. You may also request that we send you the Table of Contents of a book and up to 15% of the book through the web instead of sending the book through the mail. The electronic option is faster.
For students in the following programs:
WCL International Dual Degree Program
NRSD Dual Degree program at the University of Peace in Costa Rica
AU Faculty or Ph.D. students who are located outside of the continental United States
Summer study abroad programs
You may request that we send you up to 2 articles from a single journal issue, table of contents and up to 15% of a book via the web. Unfortunately we DO NOT send books internationally.
Renewals will follow the standard policy (3 online renewals as long as no holds or recalls are placed on the book and fines do no exceed $25.00. After the renewal limit has been reached the books must be returned
The library will pay for shipping with signature confirmation when the books are sent
We will consider it “on time” as long as the postmark is on or before the due date
Return postage is the responsibility of the user
We will limit the number of materials a user can have at a time: there can only be 5 books checked out at a time