Due to the rise of COVID infections in the region, only students, faculty, and staff with a current CU ID may enter Mullen Library at this time. No food or drink will be allowed and a face covering will be required at all times. Thank you for your cooperation!
All library services have returned to normal operations while following DC safety protocols and university policies.
All who enter the library are required to wear a mask at all times inside the building.
All students, staff, and faculty are required to show their current CU ID to gain entry to the building. NOTE: In December 2020, Technology Services updated its building access system and the new card readers only work with the new blue Cardinal Cards. If you have not picked up your new card, contact the Card ID office at extension PARK (202-552-7275).
The most up to date hours are always posted on our website.
Patrons will be able to check out and return books at the Circulation Desk.
Patrons who prefer no contact may use our easy, self-check station in the library lobby and return books to one of our book drops (in the library lobby and at the rear of the library).
All library users, including Vaccinated patrons and Unvaccinated patrons, must wear a mask at all times, in accordance with DC and campus guidelines to protect themselves and those in our community who are unable to receive the vaccine.
Can I use the library computers or printers?
Login to on-site computers requires a current CU ID; library visitors can connect their personal laptops to the CU network using the Library's wi-fi.
Printers are available on all 3 floors of Mullen Library. These machines also offer scanning. Look for the printer icon on our PDF map.
Additional computers and printers are available in the computer lab in Leahy Hall.
How do I reach library staff with my questions?
Here are several easy-to-use options:
Access Services / Circulation Desk. Contact the Circulation Desk staff by phone or email for questions about your library account, borrowing or renewing items, course reserves, and interlibrary loans. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and phone: 202-319-5060.
Email a Librarian Submit questions 24/7 and you will receive an email reply on the next business day or sooner.
Talk to your Subject-Liaison Librarian for in-depth research assistance. Book an appointment with a specific librarian using Meet with a Librarian, or you can email or call them. Liaison librarians can help you develop an information-seeking strategy, guide you through finding articles and books, help you use citation tools, and assist as you focus your research.
Call us: for help with research call the Information Desk at 202-319-5070. For help checking out or requesting materials call the Access Services department at 202-319-5060.
FAQs about library materials
What should I do if I have a book that is due?
Use our book drop or mail the item/s back to the library. Details for each are below.
Book Drop: If you are on campus or able to travel to campus, place your books in the book drop at the rear of Mullen Library. During library hours, you may use the book drop in the library.
Mailing Items: If you are a remote user, you may ship your borrowed books to us following these instructions to ensure the safe return of the items:
No more than 10 books per box
Trackable Shipping (UPS or Fedex)
Use a sturdy box, with padding (old newspaper, bubble wrap, etc.)
123 Mullen Library
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20064
A note on charges: CU no longer charges overdue fines, but continues to charge fees for recalls, lost books, and damaged books. Fees for books borrowed using CLS or ILL may differ.
We thank those who return borrowed items as soon as possible and make them available to other students and faculty.
*Graduating students who have outstanding loans at the time of graduation will have a hold placed on their library account and be unable to obtain a transcript until their library account is settled.
Are the library stacks open for browsing?
All patrons may browse our SearchBox catalog online using the Virtual Browse feature. To see this, search for a book in our collection and click on the title, then scroll down to the bottom of the catalog entry to find the Virtual Browse section.
How do I check out library items?
Patrons in the library may borrow books by using the self-checkout machine located in the first floor lobby, or by stopping at the Circulation Desk, where a staff member will charge out the item for you.
You may also request a book for pickup through SearchBox. Staff will pull the item, charge it out to you, and email you that the item is ready to be picked up and circulated.
Am I able to request items owned by other universities, using CLS or ILL Delivery?
Yes, both physical items and online items are being delivered.
Physical Items -- note: expect some delays.
Consortium (CLS) and InterLibrary (ILL) lending of physical items has resumed. However, many libraries are still closed. You may experience longer waits and we may be unable to fill some requests.
The InterLibrary Loan service is continuing to request materials which can be delivered electronically. Please submit your requests for electronic versions of book chapters and articles by logging in to your ILL account.
FAQs about textbooks and course readings
Is it okay to upload my own scan of a library item to Blackboard?
No, usually not. The library needs to manage these uploads in our course reserve system for two reasons:
When library staff upload to course reserves, we make sure fair use standards are being followed.
The library tracks usage of library items on course reserve. This data informs our decisions about subscription renewals and cancellations. Direct faculty uploads to Blackboard do not offer library usage data.
Can I put books on Course Reserve for my class?
Yes and no. Course reserves for physical items are suspended for the summer 2021 semester for the below reasons. We cannot reserve physical copies of items owned by the libraries or you personally.
Because many students will be taking all or some classes online, we need to ensure that everyone has access to resources online.
Online access to course materials allows flexibility for any individual, university or regional contingencies related to COVID-19.
Please speak with your liaison librarian about other options. We may be able to purchase the title as an e-book, or we may scan a portion of a physical book in our collection (within copyright guidelines) that can be linked for your Blackboard class.
Can Mullen Library staff scan course readings for my class?
Yes, within copyright guidelines. Faculty can request that library scan course texts and upload them through our online course reserves. The library can scan chapters in library-owned books, instructor-owned personal books, and other readings. Instructions are below.
How to have us scan your readings (for instructors):
Once the scan is completed, we will email a link to the resource. The link can then be put into a Blackboard course.
Things to note
We can scan a chapter, or up to 10% of a volume, but we cannot scan entire textbooks because of copyright law.
If you wish to scan from a personal copy, please email email@example.com to schedule a drop-off. We will let you know when your copy is ready to be picked up.
Library staff will check for ebooks and online availability before scanning texts. If the resource is already available, we will let you know how to have your class access it, rather than creating a new scan.
Do we have access to online textbooks?
YES, to many textbooks. We suggest these options:
The Open Textbook Network has freely available e-books that may serve as an alternative to an assigned textbook reading. Their offerings are arranged by subject on the Open Textbook Library website at https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks. All books and teaching materials offered through the Open Textbook Network are always available for free.
The University Libraries has a limited number of e-textbooks in our collections, but it is always a good idea to check SearchBox.
If you would like to learn more about online textbooks and open educational resources (OER), our OER guide has all the information along with liaison-recommended open textbooks.
FAQs about Accessing Library Materials Online
You have online access to many library books, journals, and resources from your computer or mobile device! This includes full-text access to thousands of e-books and articles through the library databases.
Do you have books I can read online?
YES! To Find Library E-Books: visit our excellent E-Books Guide. There you will see information on finding and accessing e-books, understanding copy and print and download options, and using your mobile device to access e-books
How do I find articles on my topic at the library?
Click on the "Databases" link above the search widget
From here you can:
Type in the name of a database (e.g. if you already know it)
Click "Databases by Category" to see the list by academic discipline
OR, click "Complete Databases List" to see all our databases on the A-Z Databases page
The following image shows the A-Z Databases page. Note you may sort the list by subject, database type, or vendor.
Note: when you click a database link you will be prompted to login with your CU Network Login.
What should I do if I have trouble logging into a database?
You need to enter your Catholic University Network login to access library online resources. If you have trouble accessing one of our databases, there are a couple common reasons:
You may be using the incorrect link to the database. Make sure you are accessing the database from our library website (direct links from the web will not work). If a link on the library website seems to be broken, please Email a Librarian to let us know!
If the problem has to do with your Catholic University Network Login, please contact Catholic University Technology Services to get assistance, at (202) 319-4357 (HELP) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAQs about Library Online Learning
What is the Library 101 series of modules?
Our Library 101 Online Tutorial offers a self-paced series of modules that serve as a primer on using our library resources. Each module focuses on a particular step of research, including choosing and narrowing a topic, determining a research strategy, determining where to search, locating resources, and using information ethically.
Does the library offer video tutorials on using the library?
Our webpage Online Tutorials about Library Tools includes video tutorials for learning about library features, including how to find books in the library, how to access your account online, and an entire YouTube playlist on how to effectively use the libraries' SearchBox catalog.
Can I speak to a librarian about how to use the library?
I've heard about LinkedIn Learning. What is it and how can I use it?
LinkedIn Learning is an online video training library that provides short videos about all kinds of computing skills and tools. Use it to bridge the gap between the career you want and the skills you need!