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Library Services & Instructional Continuity During Spring 2021

Library Status Spring 2021

Library Access

Access to the library is limited to a small number of seats at a time, and only students with reservations will be permitted to enter. We will continue to offer reference services by email and chat. 

Library Study Space Reservations

  • This type of reservation will entitle its holder to a one time reserved study block 10am - 5pm.
  • Deadlines to sign up for a study space are Sunday at noon for reservations on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and Thursday at noon for reservations on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Library Service Appointments

  • These appointments will be for one hour on a specific day and are designed to allow students to visit the library to access or scan materials or to perform other research-related tasks (e.g., you could sign up for Tuesday, January 5 from 10am to 11am).
  • The link to sign up for these spaces is below.
  • Like the study space blocks, these appointments must be reserved by Sunday at noon for reservations on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and Thursday at noon for reservations on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Both of these reservation processes will operate through the LibCal system, available here. Use the dropdown at the top to toggle between Library Study Space and Library Services Reservations.

Health and Safety Protocols

As President Burwell recently announced, AU has updated its COVID policies to require regular COVID-19 (PCR) screening for students, faculty and staff with a presence on campus. For students, the University is providing free testing at the Student Health Center. Please consult AU’s COVID testing website for information about where, when, and how often to obtain a COVID test. If you plan to come to campus, you must comply with this testing policy and with AU’s COVID health and safety requirements. Failure to do so will be considered an honor code violation.

Please review the Operating Policies before visiting the law library. 

Spring 2021 Operating Policies

Spring 2021 Hours

Sunday - Friday

10:00 a.m. -  5:00 p.m. - All library users must exit for deep cleaning

Library Access Policies

  • Access to the library will be limited to about 50 students and library staff at any time, per D.C. Government regulations. To enter the library during their designated reservation time, all students must show their reservation and their WCL ID to the access controller at the library entrance.  When the shift ends, students MUST exit the library to allow for cleaning.
  • The policies for library use will be strictly enforced.  Use of the library is a privilege which will be revoked in the event of deliberate failure to observe any of the health, safety and use policies listed here.
  • Only WCL students, faculty, and staff may use the library.  There will be no exceptions for guests of students or anyone else.
  • When a student makes a reservation for a library shift, they will sign up for a specific seat in the library.
  • The deadlines to sign up for a study space or library service appointments are Sunday at noon for reservations on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and Thursday at noon for reservations on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
  • Students must exit at the end of their shift. There will be no exceptions to this policy.  Failure to exit at the end of a shift will result in being barred from using the library.
  • All library users must wear masks at all times and observe proper social distancing rules, per AU policy.
  • Any library user who has a fever or experiences any symptom of COVID-19 may not use the library.
  • Eating and drinking in the library are discouraged because doing so requires removal of masks.  If students must eat or drink, we ask that they observe proper social distancing and remove their masks only for the purpose of eating or drinking.
  • Convenience centers in the library will be limited for use to one person at a time. 
  • If a student wishes to take home a book from the general collection, they must bring it to the circulation desk to be properly checked out.  If students are browsing the library stacks, and touch any book(s), students should bring it/them to the circulation desk for sterilization and reshelving. 
  • There will be no in-person reference assistance.  Research assistance is available by email to reference@wcl.american.edu, chat, and phone at 202-274-4352. Students may also email individual librarians for assistance. 

Health and Safety Protocols

As President Burwell recently announced, AU has updated its COVID policies to require regular COVID-19 (PCR) screening for students, faculty and staff with a presence on campus. For students, the University is providing free testing at the Student Health Center. Please consult AU’s COVID testing website for information about where, when, and how often to obtain a COVID test. If you plan to come to campus, you must comply with this testing policy and with AU’s COVID health and safety requirements. Failure to do so will be considered an honor code violation.

These policies are subject to change at any time as appropriate and as circumstances require.

Library Services

Checking Out General Collection Materials

Students who need to check out a book from the general collection may do so through the hold feature in the catalog or by emailing our circulation desk.  These books will be available for pick up in the Yuma Street entrance where the printers are (there is also a book drop there to return library books). Please do not return a library laptop or charger to the book return; contact circulation to make arrangements to return those items.

Casebooks/Course Materials

Because we are operating with a skeleton staff, the library cannot scan casebook pages or other course-related materials for students. We do, however, accept scanning requests from professors and will fulfill them as our limited staffing allows.

West Academic Discount Code: Use promo code AMERICANULAW on westacademic.com to save 35% on e-books and 15% on print casebooks. 

Source Collection/Research

The library will scan materials for journal/brief source collection assignments and student research projects. We will fulfill the requests as our limited staffing allows but cannot guarantee a specific turnaround time. Please make your scanning requests through the law library catalog by logging in with your AU credentials, searching for the item, and looking for the “Chapter/Article Scan Request” link under the “Get It” heading. If you have difficulties finding the correct catalog entry, or if the library does not own the item you are requesting, please contact our circulation department at circ@wcl.american.edu for assistance.

Reference

For help accessing electronic resources, using the library catalog, or conducting research, contact the Pence Law Library reference librarians: reference@wcl.american.edu / 202-274-4352 (leave a message and we'll call you back). Or chat with us during reference hours. 

Reference Hours
Monday - Thursday 10 am - 8 pm
Friday  10 am - 4 pm
Saturday & Sunday  12 pm - 5 pm

You may also schedule a research consultation outside those hours by emailing reference@wcl.american.edu. 

Borrowing/Returning Materials

For help with your library account, contact circ@wcl.american.edu

Interlibrary Loan

For questions related to interlibrary loan, contact ill@wcl.american.edu