The Catholic University of America

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I ...

Use of the Libraries
- How do I find the CUA Library?
- How do I use the libraries?
- How do I register my Cardinal Card to enter Mullen Library?
- How do CUA alumni use the libraries?
- How do I find the libraries' hours?
- How do I know if the libraries will be open on an upcoming holiday?
- How do I find the study areas in Mullen Library?
- How do I find out what services are available for patrons with disabilities?
- What is the policy regarding children in the library?

Circulation and Library Account
- How do I know which books I have checked out?
- How do I know if there are fines on my account?
- How do I renew my books online?
- How do I contact someone about overdue books or other questions about my library account?
- How do I update or change my email preference in my library account?

Photocopying
- How do I locate the library copy machines?
- How much does it cost to make copies?
- How do I buy a copy card?
- How do I get change to buy a copy card?
- How do I make copies without a copy card?
- What kinds of copying can I do?
- How do I ask for help with the copy machines?
- How do I do bulk and color copying?

Computer Hardware and Software
- How do I print?
- How do I add the library printer to my laptop?
- How do I locate the computers?
- What software is available on the libraries' computers?
- How do I use the wireless network?

Research Help and Guides
- How do I learn to use the library?
- How do I speak to a librarian?
- How do I contact the librarian with responsibility for my subject?
- How do I find books on my topic?
- How do I find journal articles on my topic?
- How do I find course reserves or electronic reserves?
- How do I locate a book with the call number that I found from the WRLC Catalog?
- What do I do if I can't find a book?
- How do I get a copy of a dissertation written at CUA?
- How do I find the videos in the CUA libraries?
- How do I access the databases if I'm not on campus?

 

Have a question that's not listed?
Send your questions, comments or suggestions via the online form. For questions regarding research in a particular area, see our list of subject librarians.

Use of the Libraries

How do I find the CUA Library?

The main library for CUA is Mullen Library, located on the Catholic University of America campus between the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Brookland-CUA Metro stop.

There are also 4 libraries on campus in the University Libraries system, with special collections in Architecture & Planning, Music, Nursing/Biology, and Physics. See Campus Map for their locations.

The CUA School of Law maintains its own library.

The street address for the CUA campus is 620 Michigan Avenue, Northeast, Washington, DC 20064.


How do I use the libraries?

The CUA Libraries are open to the public for research. All patrons must show a photo ID to the guard at the front door, and those not affiliated with CUA or one of the WRLC schools must sign in.

Members of the CUA community can see more about their borrowing privileges.


How do I register my Cardinal Card to enter Mullen Library?

In general, your Cardinal Card should be automatically added into the system; however, in some special cases, if your Cardinal Card is not added, you can register your card online.


How do CUA alumni use the libraries?

CUA alumni are entitled to special borrower status once they have obtained an Alumni Association Card from the CUA Office of Alumni Affairs.

Alumni may borrow circulating material from the CUA Libraries for a three-week loan period. Alumni do not have borrowing privileges at the other WRLC schools. Please check Alumni Relations website for access to the library online databases.


How do I find the libraries' hours?
How do I know if the libraries will be open on an upcoming holiday?

See the Library hours, or call (202)319-5077. The libraries are open regular hours for any holiday not listed on those pages.

How do I find the study areas in Mullen Library?

Study spaces are located throughout the first, second and third floors of Mullen. Group study areas are found in two locations on the second floor. Room 216 is at the north end of the Main Reading Room. To locate Room 219A turn right after entering the second floor hallway, go to the end of the hall and turn right again. It is located at the end of the hall on the left.

How do I find out what services are available for patrons with disabilities?

For information on research assistance and computer software available for patrons with specials needs or disabilities please see Services for Patrons with Disabilities.

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Circulation and Library Account

How do I tell which books I have checked out?
How do I tell if there are fines on my account?
How do I renew my books online?

For information about your library record, including the books you have checked out, a listing of fines on your account, and the ability to renew your books online, go to My Library Account at the top bar on any webpages in the CUA Libraries Website.


How do I contact someone about overdue books or other questions about my library account?

For questions about your library record, contact Access Services at (202) 319-5060.


How do I update or change my email preference in My Library Account?

1) Log into My Library Account
2) Click "Settings" at the upper right corner
3) Enter new email address and click "Update Email"

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Photocopying

Several self-service copy machines are available in Mullen Library and most of our campus libraries. All of them require a copy card or Cardinal Card to make copies. Please see the following for the common questions and answers.

How do I buy a copy card?

Current students, staff and faculty do not need to buy separate copy cards. Because the copy machines work off Cardinal Cash, you can simply add value to your Cardinal Card AKA your ID. You may add to your Cardinal Cash account using a credit card online or using cash at one of our two add-value stations. Our add-value stations are located on the second floor of Mullen Library and in our Music Library in Ward Hall. Our add-value stations only accept ones, fives, tens and twenties.

Visiting researchers may purchase copy cards at our add-value stations or at the Information Desk in Mullen Library. Blank cards cost $1.00, and you must be sure to re-insert your blank card into the add-value station to claim your remaining value (if you inserted more than $1.00) or add more value.

How do I locate the library copy machines?

Self-service copy machines are located in Mullen Library, the Nursing/Biology Library, the Architecture & Planning Library, and the Music Library. In Mullen Library, machines are available on the first, second, and third floors.

How much does it cost to make copies?

The charge is $.10 per copy.

How do I get change to buy a copy card?

You must bring appropriate change with you. The card dispensers only accept dollar bills (i.e. ones, fives, tens, and twenties). You may stop by the Information Desk at Mullen Library to buy a copy card as well.

How do I make copies without a copy card?

A copy card or Cardinal Card is required to use the copy machines.

What kinds of copying can I do?

The self-service machines produce single- and double-sided, black-and-white copies, size 8.5" x 11".

How do I ask for help with the copy machines?

For questions about toner, paper, paper jams, and any mechanical difficulties with the copy machines on the first and second floors, visit the reference librarian at the Information Desk (x5070) in the lobby of Mullen Library. If the copier on the third floor is experiencing difficulties please notify the librarian in the Religious Studies Library. In the campus libraries, ask an available staff member.

How do I do bulk copying and color copying?

Bulk, color, and special copying, including binding, can be arranged by calling services such as:

Kinko's Capitol Hill
715 D Street, SE (on D between 7th and 8th)
Washington, DC 20003-2153
(202)547-0421
usa1810@kinkos.com

Copy General Corporation
2000 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202)547-0421
lstreet@copygeneral.com
or
701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202)944-5488
marketsquare@copygeneral.com

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Computer Hardware and Software

How do I print?

Printers are located in Mullen and each of the Campus Libraries. There is no fee for printing.

Mullen Library has printers in several locations. On the first floor there is a printer at the Information Desk and in the MERIC Lab (Room 116). On the second floor there is a printer in the hallway outside of the Main Reading Room. On the third floor there are two printers in the Theology/Philosophy/Cannon Law Library (Rooms 314 and 316).

How do I locate the computers?

Mullen Library and each of the Campus Libraries have computer workstations available for research.

Within Mullen computers that may be used for research are located on the first, second and third floors. There are a number of Macintosh stations in the lobby on the first floor. There is also a PC lab on the south end of the first floor in the MERIC Lab. The second floor has several PC computers in the hallway outside of the Main Reading Room.

CUA students, staff and faculty may check out wireless laptops to be used within Mullen Library from the Circulation Desk on the first floor. These computers have word processing software. For more information about the wireless network please see Mullen Wireless.

What software is available on the libraries' computers?

The desktop computers located throughout the library are for research purposes only. Therefore they only have internet browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari) on them to permit access to the internet and the online catalog.

The wireless laptops may be used for word processing as well as research. Programs loaded on the laptops include: Microsoft Office Suite 2010 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Frontpage), internet browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer), WinDVD for watching DVDs, and Trillian for chat.

Mullen Library also makes available several reading and writing technologies, which enhance access to information for students with disabilities and also help students with visual impairments type and edit their own documents. For more information please see Assistive Technologies.

How do I use the wireless network?

CUA students, staff and faculty may check out wireless laptops to be used within Mullen Library from the Circulation Desk on the first floor. You may also bring a personal laptop to Mullen Library and use the network for research and internet access as well as for printing. For more information please see Laptop & Wireless Network in Mullen Library.

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Research Help and Guides

How do I speak to a librarian?

For questions about using the library or help with your research, call Reference & Instructional Services at (202) 319-5070.


How do I contact the librarian with responsibility for my subject?

See our list of subject librarians. You can contact these librarians by phone or e-mail for assistance.

For a complete list of library staff, see the staff directory.


How do I learn to use the library?

You can sign up for an individual or group workshop, and learn more about our Library Research Consultations and Workshops.

How do I find books on my topic?

To find information about resources owned by CUA and the other WRLC member libraries, check the WRLC Catalog. To find books on a particular topic, try a Keyword search. If you are searching for a particular book or journal title, you can search by Title, Author, or Journal Title.


How do I find journal articles on my topic?

To find more information about individual journal articles on your subject, try the Search Box for Articles or use a database under the Databases tab at CUA Libraries' homepage at http://libraries.cua.edu/. You may still need to search the WRLC Catalog to find out where you can get a copy of a particular print journal, if necessary.

How do I find course reserves or electronic reserves?

Please see our page on Finding Course Reserves for help using the Course Reserve search in the WRLC Libraries Catalog, and the Blackboard system for electronic reserve.

How do I locate a book with the call number that I found from the WRLC catalog?

First look at the catalog record for the location of the book. This will indicate whether the book is located at a campus library or in a collection at Mullen Library. If the location is Mullen Library Stacks use the call number to consult the stacks map and find the room that the book is in.

What do I do if I can't find a book?

First look at the catalog record for the location of the book. This will indicate whether the book is located at a campus library or in a collection at Mullen Library. If the location is Mullen Library Stacks use the call number to consult the stacks map and find the room that the book is in. Remember that if it's a periodical, like a journal, it will be on the first floor.  If it's a book, it will be upstairs.  Make sure you are looking in the right place.  If you still can't find the book, ask for help at the Information Desk on the first floor. If you still can't find the book, follow the procedure to submit a search request.

How do I get a copy of a dissertation written at CUA?

Dissertations circulate to CUA borrowers with valid, updated library privileges, including students from other WRLC schools. Locations and call numbers for dissertations and masters theses can be found in the WRLC Catalog.

Patrons may also access electronic copies of dissertations dated after 1996 through Dissertation Abstracts International, a subscription database searchable by title, author, school, area of study, and more. The "Free Download" button in a dissertation record indicates its electronic availability.

We do not lend CUA dissertations dated 1962 or later through Interlibrary Loan or copy them. These dissertations are available for purchase through University Microfilms International (UMI), at http://dissexpress.umi.com/dxweb/search.html.

Dissertations dated before 1962 may be copied or borrowed through Interlibrary Loan by persons not affiliated with CUA or the WRLC. Contact your local public, academic, or business library for details.

From 2009, some CUA's dissertations are free available via our ETD@CUA in the CUA Institutional Repository.

How do I find the videos in the CUA libraries?

In the WRLC Catalog you can search for the title of any video as if it were a book.

You may also browse a list of all the videos held by The CUA Libraries. In the WRLC catalog, type video? in the search box, choose "keyword", limit the location to Catholic, and click "Search". The catalog should retrieve all videos (DVD or VHS) located in any CUA campus library, and will indicate either CU: Central Reserve: Two Hour or CU: Central Reserve Audiovisual (both at the Mullen Circulation Desk), or will specify another campus library location. You may want to combine the word video? with other search terms (director, actor, topic, etc.) to create a shorter list (for example "john wayne" video? to find films starring or about the actor).

How do I access the databases if I'm not on campus?

Anyone may use the WRLC Catalog. Patron validation is not required to use the catalog.

To use the article databases, go to CUA Libraries' homepage, under the Database tab find the database you want to access, click the database title, then enter your university ID number (the 7-digit number from the front of your Cardinal Card), your last name and select "Catholic" as the institution, then press Login.

If you have difficulties to valid your ID, please contact the Access Services office.

If you do not have current, valid borrowing privileges, you may visit the CUA Libraries and use our resources on-site.

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