The Catholic University of America

Circulation and Borrowing

Access Services of Mullen Library is responsible for the charging, renewing, discharging, routing, and shelving of Mullen Library stacks material.

  -Eligible Patrons
-Obtaining and Updating Borrowing Privileges
-Circulation Loan Periods And Fine Policies
-Search Requests
-Holds & Recalls
-Lost Item
-Interlibrary Loan
-Please Note
-WRLC Borrowing Policies

fingerMy Library Account: Access your library account to monitor your library activities and renew books online...

Eligible Patrons

Undergraduate, Graduate, and Non-degree students; Faculty, Faculty Associates, and Staff.

OTHERS (special restrictions may apply):
WRLC, Courtesy, Special (including CUA alumni), and Washington Theological Consortium borrowers.

Note: Each of the patrons listed above belongs to a patron category. For each patron category there is a Circulation Privileges Statement that outlines the category's privileges and responsibilities. These guides are available at the Mullen circulation desk as well as online.

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Obtaining and Updating Borrowing Privileges

New students, faculty, faculty associates, and staff members with a current ID may obtain borrowing privileges at the Mullen Circulation Desk. Borrowing privileges are renewed each semester approximately ten days prior to the first day of classes provided the student has registered for classes or dissertation/comprehensive examination guidance. Faculty and staff privileges are renewed at the beginning of each academic year. Patrons must present an active Cardinal Card at the circulation desk to borrow any circulating items, including books, laptops, and movies.

Remote access to subscription databases, My Library Account, CLS, and ILL also will be denied if a patron is not updated.

WRLC patrons must be updated at their home libraries. Patrons must present an active WRLC ID at the circulation desk to borrow books.

All other patrons should consult the Circulation Privileges page.

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Circulation Loan Periods and Fine Policies

  • Loan periods are based on your patron category and are specified on the Circulation Privileges page.
  • Overdue fines are $.25 a day. There is a three-day grace period for books returned within this time frame; if a book is returned after that, the full $.25 per day must be paid.
  • Fines for Central Reserve items are $.60 per hour for two-hour and overnight loans, and $1.00 per day for three-day and seven-day reserves. There is a $0.60 per hour fine for all overdue laptops, power adapters, wireless cards, and floppy disk drives. There is a $25.00 maximum fine and there is no grace period for overdue reserve items.
  • If a book is recalled from you and you return it after the new due date issued by the recall, you will be fined $5.00 per day.
  • Overdue fines for other WRLC libraries may be paid at CUA, but the lending library must handle fine disputes.
  • If your total fines/fees have reached $25, your borrowing privileges will be suspended. In order to avoid this, please return library materials in a timely manner.
  • If you have library fines/fees exceeding $25, a hold will be put on your account on Cardinal Station. You will not be able to register for the new semester, obtain transcripts, or graduate.

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You may renew items in person at the Mullen Circulation Desk or through My Library Account. Most items may be renewed three times.

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Search Requests

A search is the process of looking for a book whose catalog status is "available," but which is not where it should be in the stacks. Since a search request initiates an extensive search of the Mullen stacks, please allow at least six weeks for completion of the process. If you need the item sooner than this, you should place a Consortium Loan Service (CLS) or Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request.

When we locate a book, we will place it on the hold shelf under your name for ten days. We will return it to the stacks if you do not pick it up within that time frame.

For more information about Search Requests, please read "Access Services Policies and Procedures: Searches/Recalls".

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Holds & Recalls

A hold is a request for a book that another patron has already checked out which is not needed before the due date. The person who currently has the book out will not be able to renew it, and the requestor will receive a notice when the book is returned. The book will be held at the circulation desk for ten days, after which it will be reshelved.

To place a hold, print the catalog record of the item. Write your name, 7-digit CUA ID number and email address on the page and take it to the circulation desk at Mullen Library.

A recall is a request for a book that another patron has already checked out which is needed before the due date. Print the catalog page, write your name, 7-digit CUA ID number and email address on the page and take this to the circulation desk in Mullen Library.

The average recall takes about three weeks. If you need an item sooner, we suggest that you initiate a CLS or ILL request. When the book is returned, we will place it on the hold shelf for ten days. If you do not pick it up within that time frame, we will return the item to the stacks.

The due date on items recalled from graduate students and faculty is changed to 21 days from the day the book was charged. If the 21 day period has passed, the due date is changed to ten days from the date of the recall. The new due date is indicated on the recall notice sent to the patron with the book.

Click here to make a recall request. For more information about Recalls, please read "Access Services Policies and Procedures: Searches/Recalls".

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Lost Item

An item that has been overdue for 39 days. Please see Lost Book Policy for the lost book fee. The lost item fee for laptops is the current market value of the laptop.

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Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) provides both interlibrary loan and document delivery services. Through ILL, eligible patrons (graduate, undergraduate students, and faculty members) may obtain materials not available in the CUA libraries or at other WRLC libraries. CUA law students use the DuFour Law Library interlibrary loan service. Washington Theological Consortium members use their home library interlibrary loan services.

Material usually arrives within one week, but may take longer depending on the rarity and availability of the item. When material arrives, we will contact you by email or telephone. If fees are involved, you must pay them at the time you pick up the material.

If we are unable to supply the material you request, we will notify you by email, telephone or mail.

Renewals: Loan periods and renewal policies are determined by the lender. Renewals are limited to one time only. You must bring the book into Mullen Library in order to renew it. Please do not remove the book wrap as it contains information we must have in order to request a renewal electronically. ILL staff set a tentative date until the lender electronically approves the renewal.

Overdue ILL books and overdue recalled ILL books are subject to the same fines as overdue CUA books.

For more information or to place a request, visit our Interlibrary Loan Service page.

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Please Note

  • You must present your CUA or WRLC ID or "red card" when presenting at the circulation desk to borrow books.
  • Library owned laptops left unlocked/unattended will be repossessed by library staff. Patrons will be subject to penalties, including losing laptop privileges.
  • The circulation staff does not hand out supplies to patrons. A stapler and hole puncher are located on the Mullen circulation desk for patron use.
  • For additional information on these and other services, contact the Mullen circulation desk at 202-319-5060 during hours of operation.

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