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Visitor Services

During the academic year, unaffiliated visitors are welcome to visit the library between 8 AM and 9 PM Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 9 PM on Saturdays, and 10 AM to 9 PM on Sundays. Hours are different during summer and holidays; please check our hours or contact the AU Library at 202-885-3232 for more information. Weather-related closures or adjustments to opening/closing times will also be posted on the AU Library homepage.

We are pleased to offer a multitude of services for all members of the greater Washington, DC area. Vaccinated visitors may use Bender Library to access to select databases and electronic resources, as well as receive professional assistance from reference librarians and subject specialists. Visitors are welcome to read or use any of the books in our collection.

Internet Access

In order to access the internet and AU's electronic resources, you will need to show a valid government issued photo ID at the Information Desk for a daily use login when you check in. These logins expire at midnight of the day they are issued.

Visitor Borrowing Privileges

AU offers two different options for individuals/groups to purchase borrowing privileges from our library. Account creation and update services are available onsite Monday-Thursday: 9am-7pm, Friday: 9am-5pm, and Sat and Sun: 11am-5pm (unless the library is closed or closes earlier than those times).

  • Friends of AU Library Borrowing Program: The Friends of American University Library Borrowing Program enables individuals not affiliated with AU to borrow from the library's general collection. Purchasing this membership (form also available at the Circulation and Course Reserves Desk) will allow you to borrow up to 25 books at one time for 4 weeks. You can renew these books 3 times via your My Library Account, over the phone, or in person. Consortium borrowing is not available.
    • 1 year membership - $300
    • 3 month membership - $100
    • Payable by credit card only. The Library is unable to offer refunds for membership fees.
  • Group Associate Borrowing Program: Commercial, nonprofit, and governmental organizations can purchase group borrowing privileges (form also available at the Circulation and Course Reserves Desk) for their members or employees. Groups may borrow books from AU for 4 weeks and may renew them 3 times. Membership includes one borrowing card, but additional cards may also be purchased. In order for the group to check out books, the borrower listed on the account must be present.
    • Commercial Organizations:
      • 1 year membership: $1000 ($200 each additional card)
      • 3 month membership: $400 ($100 each additional card)
    • Nonprofit and Governmental Organizations (must be registered with the IRS):
      • 1 year membership: $500 ($100 each additional card)
      • 3 month membership: $200 ($50 each additional card)

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at AU

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at American University have borrowing privileges for up to 25 books at one time from the library's general collections. The loan period for books is 4 weeks, and they can be renewed 3 times via your My Library Account, by phone, or in person.

OLLI instructors may also borrow certain DVD titles for class use. This is restricted to low use and easily replaceable titles and requires the prior approval of Media Services.

Visiting / OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program

American University Library participates in the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program. Visiting faculty from participating research libraries are eligible to borrow from our general collection. Faculty must pre-register for an identification card at their home institution before coming to AU to set up their account.


Friends of the Library, OLLI members, and alumni should use this button to access your account:

Visitor Login