Visiting the Library
WCL students, faculty and staff may access the Pence Law Library 24/7 using their AU ID card. Access is granted by swiping a current AU ID in the card reader to the left of the library's entrance.
The library is open to the public, and all patrons may be asked to show a photo ID and sign in when they enter the building. During the reading and exam periods in December and May access is limited to: WCL students, faculty, staff and alumni; American University students, faculty and staff; and Federal Government Depository patrons. Consult the Circulation Hours tab for further information on Library hours and access. Parking is available in the garage at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW for a charge of $8.00. Please note that the District of Columbia requires that the Washington College of Law inform all of our visitors that they cannot park on nearby public streets. Those who do so may be subject to a $75.00 fine.
About the Circulation Department
The circulation desk is located to the left of the library entrance. This is where students, alumni, faculty and staff may check out and return books and other library items, including headphones, book stands, and laptops. Please ask a circulation staff member for help finding books and other library materials.
WCL students, faculty, alumni and staff may borrow materials from the library as may other AU students, faculty and staff. Public patrons and students from other schools may request circulating materials through their home institution's interlibrary loan office. For further information on interlibrary loan see the ILL tab.
How Long May I Keep It?
Most books in the collection circulate for 6 weeks.
Some items, including loose-leafs, supplemented treatises, reporters, codes, statutes, and European Union materials circulate for 3 hours. Reserve books, journals and photocopied course materials also circulate for 3 hours. Audiovisual items circulate for 24 hours.
Reserve material may be checked out overnight when it is less than three hours before closing (six hours for audiovisual material). These items must be returned to the circulation desk within an hour of the library's opening the next day. For more information about reserve materials see the Reserves tab.
Overdue Books & Late Fees
Are My Books Overdue?
The library notifies borrowers of overdue items within one day (1st notice) and 7 days (2nd notice) of the due date. Items are billed after being overdue for 14 days. Overdue notices and bills are sent via email.
Click on myLeagle to access your patron record, see what material you have checked out and when it is due, renew items, and see whether you owe any fines and what titles you have placed on hold. Enter your name and your seven digit AU ID number and then click on the "Display My Library Record" button.
There is a 7 day grace period when non-reserve late items may be returned without owing any fines. Books returned after the grace period has ended will be subject to fines accrued from the date the book was due.
Late Fees & Replacement Charges
Late fines are charged to encourage fair and efficient use of library materials and to provide the best service to all library patrons. Overdue fines are 25¢ per day or, for reserve material, $1.00 per hour. The default cost of a lost or damaged book is $100.00 with a processing fee of $20.00. Fines and replacement charges must be paid by check or money order by the end of each semester or a university-wide stop will be placed on your account.
What to Do If...
The Book I Need Is Checked Out to Another Patron
Except for reserve material, a hold may be placed on any item that is checked out to another patron by completing a Hold Request Form at the circulation desk or under the Forms tab. Although placing a hold doesn't normally shorten the original loan period for the current borrower, that person will be prevented from renewing the item. Once the book is returned, the requestor is notified by phone or email that the item is being held for them at the circulation desk. Material on hold that is not picked up will be re-shelved.
Help! I Can't Find a Book
If the catalog indicates that an item is "available," but it cannot be found on the shelf, visit the circulation desk for help. A staff member will be happy to help you look. If the book still isn't found, you may complete a Missing Book Form at the circulation desk or under the Forms tab. Library staff will search for the book for approximately four weeks. If the book is found, a circulation staff member will notify you.
WCL faculty members and current students with rush requests may obtain the material faster through interlibrary loan.
Food and Drink
Food and drink are allowed in the library but may not be stored in carrels.
Please be courteous to your colleagues and dispose of trash before leaving the library.
Noise in the Library
Please be considerate of your colleagues and keep conversations to a minimum while in the library. If you need to make a phone call, please step outside.
Students seeking a quieter study environment should use the quiet study room on the first floor of the library.
Students wishing to collaborate with colleagues should reserve a group study room.