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Requesting Library Materials

(AU) Books on Demand

The Books on Demand program is available to AU students, staff, and faculty. When you find a book in the catalog that you'd like set aside for you, click on the red "REQUEST" button in the upper-right corner of the record. If the book is available at American, the request will be sent to us first. We'll pull the book and hold it in your name. If for some reason we are unable to find the book here, we'll move the request along to one of the other library consortium schools who will send the book here for your use. 

When a request is pulled, we will send you an email notification of its availability. Materials are held at the Borrowing Desk for 10 days.

Consortium Borrowing / Consortium Loan Service (CLS)

Getting items from other libraries and going to other libraries to borrow

Eligible AU and Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) students, staff and faculty have privileges to borrow from all of the main libraries of the universities participating in the WRLC which include:

American University student/staff/and faculty can borrow directly from any WRLC university as well as use their online resources onsite.  

Filling out a CLS request

  • Search the catalog by the book or journal title.
  • If the book is owned by a WRLC school, it can be ordered through Consortium Loan Service (CLS) by clicking on the red "REQUEST" link.
  • To check item availability at George Mason or Georgetown, select the "holdings" link in the individual catalog records for that item.

CLS book loan periods

Undergrad and staff - 4 weeks
Grad - 6 weeks
Faculty - Fixed Dates: May 31, Sept. 30 or Jan. 31

Book Chapter Requests

AU users may also request that scans of individual chapters be made and sent to there My Library Account as a web doc. Copyright restrictions do apply and scan requests for more than 10% of an item will not be fulfilled. 

When a request exceeds the 10% allowable under copyright law or when the lending institution does not have staff to scan the item, the physical item will be sent in its place. This service is available for all regularly circulating items and does not apply to items temporarily placed on course reserve.


If you would like an AU book that is currently checked-out to another borrower, you may place a hold or recall on that item here

Note: It is usually faster to place a consortium loan request through the catalog than to place a hold/recall on the AU item. If there is an available copy within WRLC, it usually takes only 2 –3 business days to arrive. Interlibrary loan is also an option (arrival in 10 business days on average). 

Priority Cataloging

If you locate an AU item in the catalog that is listed as "on approval", "ordered", or "received", you may submit a Priority Cataloging Request

A Priority Cataloging Request informs the library's cataloging department that a patron is need of an item as soon as it is possibly available. When it is ready, you will receive an email notification, and it will be available to pick up at the Borrowing Desk.  

Video CLS

All DVDs and other media located in the WRLC libraries are listed in the online catalog like books. Depending on home library policies, these may be available to AU faculty, staff and students through a regular CLS request. AU users cannot CLS AU videos.

Video CLS items are loaned for five days and overdue fines are $5 per day. Media Services only loans out titles that are not commonly used for instruction and are easily replaced. Consortium users are welcome to view any title on-site at Media Services.

More information about borrowing material from other schools is available on the Interlibrary Loan page.


How to request an article through CLS -