FAQs

General information

I want to eat while I study, can I do this in the library?

Eating is not allowed within the library, but bottled water may be brought in and consumed.
For more information, please consult the Food and Drink policy.

Can alumni students still use the library?

Yes, you may borrow 20 items for up to 2 weeks.

Alumni access does not extend to our online databases. Licensing agreements restrict these databases to currently enrolled students and faculty/staff only.

Can I reserve a study room?

The Study Rooms are only reserved during the weeks leading up to exams. Otherwise it is a first come first served basis. For more information see our Library Rooms and Zones page.

It can be noisy in the library. Are there designated quiet areas?

There are a few reasons for the noise. First, the library building’s three-story atrium allows noise to carry to all floors. Second, although libraries are known for being quiet areas for individual study, they also need areas for collaborative learning such as the Information Commons, Reference and group study rooms. These areas generate noise.

To compensate, the library has designated the top floor as a quiet study zone i.e. no mobiles and no group discussions. For those who need absolute silence, two “No Talking” zones have been created, the former Arabic Collection on the first floor and the Periodicals area on the second floor. These glass-enclosed areas have a strict no noise policy and will be patrolled by staff. For more information see our Library Rooms and Zones page.


Checking out, renewing and returning library items

How can I renew a media item online?

It is not possible to renew media items online. Media items can only be checked out for 1 week and are not renewable.

I am trying to renew a book online and it is asking for my AUS email username and password, is that my whole email address?

No, to access your library record use just the first part of your AUS email address, leaving off the @aus.edu portion.

How many DVDs can I check out at one time?

You may have up to 5 DVDs at one time on your account.

All media items can only be checked out for 1 week and are not renewable.

I checked a book out and it has to be returned in less than 3 weeks, why?

There are a few reasons why this is happening:

  1. The book is on a restricted loan e.g. on reserve, and must be returned within the specified time limit.
  2. The book has been recalled by another patron placing a hold on it. In this case the item will need to be returned although you are guaranteed a minimum of one week for items from the general collection.

Can I check out periodicals or reference items?

Only faculty may check out reference items.

Photocopiers and scanners are available if you if you do not have enough time to review these items in the library.

Journals may be borrowed, with the exception of current issues.

I can’t seem to check items out on the self check items, why?

There are a few reasons why the self checkout machine might not be working:

  1. The machine is not able to read the barcode on your ID card.
  2. There is a problem with the item you are trying to check out.

For help with self checkout machines please see the circulation desk on the ground floor.


Finding library items

I need to read an article in a periodical that isn’t on the shelves, how can I access it?

The vast majority of our periodical collection is stored electronically and can be accessed from the web page through Journal Finder or by searching individual databases.

I need a book that is located in the “Oversized Reference” or “Oversized General” shelving, where is that?

Oversized Reference is located on a dictionary stand on the 1st floor near the Library Admin Office. Oversized General is located between the Periodical Collection and the beginning of the General Collection in the No Talking Zone.

How do I find books on the shelf?

The Library uses the Library of Congress Classification, a system of classification used in academic libraries to organize and arrange books according to subject. The system divides publications into classes which are identified by one or two letters of the alphabet, followed by numbers to further classify subtopics. For more information on this and other research topics see the Reflect Learn Connect learning module.

How do I search for online articles?

It depends on what subject your research is in. The best place to start is WorldCat which searches the entire library collection at one time, including articles and books.  Alternatively, full text databases covering many subjects such as Proquest Research Library or Academic Search Premier are a good place to start if you want more focused results. Reference librarians are available to assist in selecting the most relevant database and using effective search strategies to find material.


Computing and the Information Commons

How can I connect my laptop to the AUS wireless network?

The AUS IT Department offers help configuring your computer to use the AUS wireless network. For instructions please see this AUS IT Dept FAQ.

The Information Commons Help Desk located on the ground floor of the library can also help you configure your wireless. Please bring your laptop or other mobile device to them for assistance.

I need to install a program onto one of the library computers, where can I do this?

You may install programs onto the computers in IC1 and IC2 on the ground floor, however it will automatically delete it when you turn the computer off.


Registration, enrollment and library holds

I can’t register for a class because of a hold, how can I remove it?

You may have a hold for one of two reasons

  1. You may have fines exceeding 100 Dhs
  2. You may have a library item checked out which is overdue for more than 4 weeks

You will need to pay the fine or return items before the hold will be lifted.

I have a hold for a late book, but I need to enroll in a class today and the book is at home, what can I do?

Come and see the shift supervisor and we will remove the hold for a few hours, just long enough for you to enroll. However you must return all items and clear all fines before you graduate.


Doing research

How do I use Journal Finder?

Journal Finder is a useful tool when you want to find out if AUS Library has a subscription to a particular journal, as it contains the full listing of full-text journals either in print or electronic. Searches in Journal Finder can either be done by Title (begins with, equals, or contains all words) or by ISSN. Search results will display whether the library subscribes to the particular journal and the database it is available in with the date range of the subscription. An available link will guide the user directly to the Title level page in each database.

How do I cite my research properly?

Reference librarians have created style guides or provide useful links to assist users in creating correct citations and bibliographies. See our Citing Sources page for the latest citation help available.

How do I search for a book?

WorldCat is the starting point for all book searches in the library. Users can search by Keyword, Title, Author, LC Subject Heading and ISBN. Reference librarians are on hand to help with search strategies and locating the material within the library, please contact the Research Help Desk for assistance.

How do I find books on the shelf?

The Library uses the Library of Congress Classification, a system of classification used in academic libraries to organize and arrange books according to subject. The system divides publications into classes which are identified by one or two letters of the alphabet, followed by numbers to further classify subtopics. For more information on this and other research topics see the Reflect Learn Connect learning module.

How do I search for online articles?

It depends on what subject your research is in. The best place to start is WorldCat which searches the entire library collection at one time, including articles and books.  Alternatively, full text databases covering many subjects such as Proquest Research Library or Academic Search Premier are a good place to start if you want more focused results. Reference librarians are available to assist in selecting the most relevant database and using effective search strategies to find material.

How do I search databases by subject category?

The listing of databases by subject lists all databases in general subject areas, please refer to the listing for the most relevant resources for your research needs.

How do I search for electronic books (e-books)?

There are many ways to search for electronic books. WorldCat contains all subscribed electronic book material with links directly to the material in either ebrary, myilibrary or other e-book collections. Alternatively, users may search each interface directly for the same material. As well, Reference librarians have created a list of websites that offer free electronic books.

How do I suggest the library purchase a book related to my research?

Users can suggest books or media items for the library by either contacting a librarian directly or filling out the Suggest-A-Book form on the AUS Library website. The suggestion will then be reviewed by a librarian, and a decision made based on the suitability of the item for the library’s collection.

The AUS Library Collection Development Policy can be accessed for further information regarding collection building and acquisition policies.

How do I understand what the librarian is saying?

If you’ve ever felt that your librarians are using a different language than you are, you can now find out for yourself what they are talking about. The definitions of some commonly used library terms on our Library Lingo page.

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