The Catholic University of America

CUA Libraries Online

Index of Issues

Message from the Editors

Welcome to the Orientation issue of CUA Libraries Online. To those of you returning: welcome back! To newcomers: congratulations and welcome! In this issue we would like to tell you how CUA Libraries can help you achieve academic success! We are pleased to share with you information about our resources and services.

As always, we welcome comments, questions, and suggestions at our online comment form.

After you have finished enjoying this newsletter you can follow the latest news as they are posted at University Libraries News & Events. Please comment on our stories and subscribe to the RSS feeds.

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Welcome from the Associate Provost, Kim Kelley

Dr. Kimberly B. Kelley

Welcome to the Catholic University of America Libraries. It is always exciting to begin a new year and have this opportunity to tell you about the current and new services and resources in the Libraries.

First, for new students, please be sure to go to the Libraries Web Site to get started using the Libraries effectively. I want to encourage you to come to the Circulation Desk, first floor of the Mullen Library, to obtain your borrowing privileges. See the borrowing privileges section of our Web site for further information.

I have one, exciting development for the fall semester, 2009. The CUA Libraries, in collaboration with our partner libraries in the Washington Research Libraries Consortium (WRLC) are launching a new search interface for the Libraries resources this semester! The new search interface is accessible through the Libraries Home Page and directly at the following URL: Please give it a try, give us your feedback, and expect a few glitches as it is still a pilot. We are excited to provide this opportunity and a new, enhanced search capability.

I am very excited to announce that with the fall semester, our circulation desk is able to accept credit cards to make all financial transactions easier. I hope this new capability will simplify, and improve, all of your fiscal transactions with the Libraries.

In addition, I want to mention that the Libraries lend laptops for use within the Mullen Library. So, once you have set up your borrowing privileges, you may also check out a laptop for use in the building. In addition, to make accessing the Internet easier, the Libraries also provide wireless access throughout the Mullen Library building. For more information on wireless within Mullen Library please see our Laptop & Wireless web page.

The Mullen Library replaced the photocopiers in the spring semester, 2009. I hope the new, more sophisticated coping machines will make your research easier and more efficient.

The library staff is constantly working to make new services and resources available to you to help you with our research. Be sure to check out the Libraries databases, covering a myriad of subjects, available at the Libraries' Home Page. There is a list of the topics covered in the databases available on the Libraries' database page.

I hope you will have a wonderful academic year, get to know the Libraries' staff and take advantage of our term paper clinics offered later in the fall semester and the Libraries' 24 hour availability during finals week.

We love to hear from you, please let us know how we can make your academic year a success.


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Goodbye and Good luck to our 2007-2009 Class of GLPs

Congratulations are in order for six of our GLPs who have completed the course study and met the requirements to earn a Masters of Science in the field of Library Science (MSLS). The departing GLPs are as follows: Adam Day, Marie Koshute, Kathleen Mahoney, Nathan Mueller, Sarah New and Ramona Sampsell. Well done!

Picture of graduating GLP's

(l - r) Linda Todd, Life Sciences Librarian and former GLP, Adam Day, Sarah New, Kathleen Mahoney,
Nathan Mueller, Marie Koshute, Ramona Sampsell

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Research Guides Get a Makeover

The University Libraries are pleased to announce that our research guides are receiving a complete overhaul, and are making their debut on a new system. This new system will allow you to browse our guides by subject, search by keyword or click on "tags" that have been assigned to each guide. These guides will include information on print resources, provide direct access to online resources, remain more current than the old guides, and make it simple to contact the appropriate subject librarians. We hope that the new system will encourage interaction between students, librarians and faculty.

The technology behind the new system is a product called "LibGuides". It provides the librarian with easy-to-use tools for creating and updating guides. The new guides also include features found on social networking sites such as: comments, videos, RSS feeds, and chat widgets. Faculty may request course-specific guides from subject librarians. Keep an eye on the site as more guides are added throughout the semester.

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Library Services and Resources

Cards you need to use the Library:

  • Cardinal Card (CUA ID) to check out library material, login to our online databases from off campus, and make photocopies. 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. Blank cards cost $.50, and you must be sure to re-insert your blank card into the add-value station to claim your remaining value.
  • Business card of your subject librarian to get advice in how to get started on your research project.

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Access Services (1st floor Mullen Library)

Circulation and Borrowing
Circulation desk in Mullen Library

This is where you check out and return library materials. Students, faculty, faculty associates, and staff members with a current ID may obtain borrowing privileges at the Mullen Circulation Desk. Student 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 must renew privileges in person at the Mullen circulation desk 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.

Access to certain ALADIN databases, ejournals, MyALADIN, CLS, and ILL from off campus will require a valid Cardinal Card.

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

Course Reserves

Course Reserves holds print and audio-visual items that instructors request be made available for their students.

Electronic Reserve holds items made available by individual faculty members in an electronic format. Electronic reserves are available through Blackboard ( only to current CUA faculty, staff, or students in good standing. Please contact the course instructor for the required username and password.


myALADIN is your personal library account. To activate your myALADIN account:

  1. Click on myALADIN on the library home page (underneath quick links)
  2. Type your CUA ID and Last Name
  3. Go to Patron Information and E-mail Registration and click on Edit
  4. Select CLS Requests and Web Document Delivery and click on Update
  5. Go back to the Patron Information and E-mail Registration page. Type your e-mail address in the text box (Make sure that Web delivery is not disabled.) and click on Update E-mail.

Once you have registered you can check on the status of ILL or CLS requests, access online databases and ejournals from off campus, download scanned documents, and renew CUA and CLS materials, You can also sign up for text messages or RSS feeds.

WRLC Consortium

The Washington Research Libraries Consortium is made up of the following universities:

  • American University (AU)
  • Catholic University (CU)
  • Gallaudet University (GA)
  • George Mason University (GM)
  • Georgetown University (GT)
  • George Washington University (GW)
  • Marymount University (MU)
  • Trinity College (TR)
  • University of the District of Columbia (DC)
  • WRLC Center (WR)

Students and Faculty in CUA's School of Theology and Religious Studies also have access to the Washington Theological Consortium. Ask for information in the Religious Studies and Humanities Library (314 Mullen, 202-319-5088).

Consortium Loan Service (CLS)

Patrons with CUA undergraduate, graduate, faculty, faculty associate, and staff privileges may use CLS. Materials such as:

  • Circulating books not owned by CUA. The books must display the status Available in the WRLC Libraries Catalog.
  • Articles from journals and reference books not owned by CUA. The articles must be less than 50 pages.
  • Books and journals owned by CUA that are shelved at the WRLC Center or are missing, lost, or charged.
  • Please note: Requests from CUA patrons for CUA items will not be processed.
To submit a CLS request:
  1. Search for your item (book or journal) in the WRLC Libraries Catalog (
  2. Click on the title that is owned by a library other than CUA and confirm that the item is available or that the volume is owned.
  3. Click on the Request button at the top of the screen and enter your CUA ID from your Cardinal Card (student ID). Enter your last name, choose Catholic from the institution menu, and click on Go.
  4. Verify that the Library to deliver to is Catholic U. - Mullen Library.
  5. Complete the form as directed. For articles fill in the Vol/Issue/Date, Article Title/Author, and Article Pages fields.
  6. Enter your Patron ID and click on Submit Request.
To check the status of a CLS request:

You will be notified by e-mail if the item requested is eligible or ineligible for CLS. Requests for ineligible items are cancelled.

You also may check the status of a request in myALADIN 30 to 45 minutes after you submit the request. Go to Consortium Loan Services Activity and click on View.

When a request is ready you will be notified by e-mail.

Consortium loan requests usually take three to five business days, but they may take longer. Please plan ahead. Materials that are not sent via email can be picked up at the Mullen Circulation Desk. CLS materials can be renewed through MyALADIN. Click on George Mason and Georgetown to renew items from those libraries. If you need an item immediately, you are permitted entry to any of the WRLC libraries with your Cardinal Card and can check out items.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Through ILL, patrons may obtain materials not available in the CUA libraries or at other WRLC libraries. Material usually arrives within 2 weeks, but may take longer depending on the rarity and availability of the item. Please plan ahead! When material arrives, we will contact you via email or you can check MyALADIN.

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

Laptop and Wireless Network

The CUA Libraries provide a wireless network in Mullen Library. This network allows you to access library resources and the Internet from laptop computers in any of the study areas in Mullen Library.

Do your research where it's convenient for you. With the wireless network, you can get up and move as you need to! We advise that you do not leave laptops unattended in the library.

We have a limited number of PC laptop computers available for use, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Come to the Circulation Desk on the first floor of Mullen Library to check out a laptop for four hours. The laptops are only available to current CUA students, faculty, and staff with valid, updated borrowing privileges.

If you have a laptop and you want to configure it to use the library printers click here for directions.

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Reference and Instructional Services

Information/Reference Desk (1st floor Mullen Library)
Information desk

This is where you go if you have questions about research, using the library, call number locations, finding a specific book or journal or how to begin searching the Aladin databases.

ALADIN: Catalog & Databases
What is ALADIN?

ALADIN is the name for the online tools available to CUA patrons through the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC).

The Library Catalogs show the collections of the WRLC libraries, including CUA. Use the WRLC Libraries Catalog to search for books, hard copy journals, and other materials that are available in the libraries. More information about the collections at George Mason University and Trinity College is available through their separate catalogs.

The Article Databases and More are produced by companies, scholarly societies, or government agencies outside CUA. These databases cover the major publications in particular subject areas. Some of these databases include the full text of the articles. Access to the article databases off campus is available to users with valid, updated library privileges.

Finding the Right Databases

Using the right tools is a key part of doing effective research. You need to search the appropriate databases to find the best material in your subject. There are a number of ways to get information about the ALADIN databases. Go to our the Libraries home page and look for Catalog or Article Databases & More.

Use the Alphabetical List

This will show you all of the databases available in ALADIN. If you're looking for a specific database, you'll find it here. Most of the databases have clear names that should give you an idea of whether or not you'll be interested by them. For more information, you can click the Information icon icon for a brief description of the database.

Use the Subject Lists

These will show you the most relevant databases in a general subject area. At CUA, we have lists of multidisciplinary databases, and databases in the arts, humanities, and religion, business and economics, health sciences, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences. Some databases are useful for more than one category.

Read the Online Help

Once you have chosen a database, look for Help or Information screens. These provide more detailed information about what the database covers and the best way to search it.

CUA students and faculty only have access to subject databases that CUA Libraries subscribes to. Access to databases from other schools in the WRLC Consortium is only available in their home libraries. Students and faculty can gain access to any WRLC Library with their valid Cardinal Card.

Electronic Journal Title Finder

Its easy to find out if CUA libraries has access to online journals. Go to the CUA Libraries' home page and look for CU's e-Journals. Click on CU's e-Jounals then type in the title of the journal such as, Psychology Today. A list of databases that provide full text access to Psychology Today will appear. Click on one of those databases and search for the article you need. You will notice that two databases provide full text from 1992 on while two others provide full text from 1988. If you need an article that was published before 1992 you will want to click on a database that provides access from 1988 on.

To use ALADIN databases from off campus

Anyone may use the WRLC Libraries Catalog.

To use the article databases, go to the Libraries' home page. Look under Article Databases & More, when you are prompted enter your university ID number or library user barcode in the blank marked Patron ID, choose Catholic from the pull down menu, then press return. You should see the list of article databases appear on your screen.

If you see a new screen saying "patron validation failed," try retyping your information to make sure the problem was not just a typographical error. If you are sure this message is in error, contact the Access Services office (202-319-5060).

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

Ask a Librarian

Sometimes it's inconvenient to come to the library for help. For this reason CUA Libraries offer an IM reference Service. Ask a question via a live IM session and a librarian will gladly help you find the information you need. For information on how to use our IM reference using your IM software, check our Ask a Librarian page. Or just click on the link on our web page to ask a question via our widget (look for the cardinal). You can also send us an IM question via text messaging. This service is only open to current CUA enrolled students, staff, and faculty.

Individual Consultations

Individual consultations are for CUA Students, Faculty, and Staff who want to learn how to use the library's ALADIN Catalog, article databases, online dictionaries and encyclopedias, and full-text electronic journals or want help on a research project. Consultations are tailored to your research needs and last about an hour.

To identify the reference librarian in your subject area, please check the list of subject librarians. Request an individual consultation. In the drop down menu in the subject line choose Request a meeting or a workshop with a librarian.

For Help
  • Contact Access Services if you have questions about borrowing materials, course reserves or your library account (202-319-5060) or come to the library. Access Services is on the first floor or Mullen Library.
  • Contact Reference and Instructional Services (first floor of Mullen Library; 202-319-5070) if you have questions about your research or how to use ALADIN.
  • Send us a question using the online form (you can also request an individual consultation using this form).
  • Contact the librarian for your subject area if you have a subject specific question or how to use a specialized database.
  • Contact a librarian through CUA Libraries Ask a Librarian.
  • Stacks Map
  • Take a virtual tour of Mullen library

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Special Collections and Branch Libraries

Canon LawRare Books
Special Libraries

Oliveira Lima Library
022 Mullen

The Lima Library is a collection of the history and culture of the Portuguese-speaking peoples from the 16th to the early 20th century.

Semitics/ICOR Library
035 Mullen

The Semitics/ICOR Library holdings include: the languages of the Bible and the Ancient Near East; and the languages, literatures, and history of the Christian Near East.

Rare Books and Special Collections
214 Mullen

The holdings of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, some 65,000 volumes, range from medieval documents to first editions of twentieth century authors.

Main Reading Room
2nd Floor Mullen

Current social sciences and humanities journals, current newspapers, print indexes, bibliographies, and atlases are located in the Main Reading Room.

Juvenile Reading Room
2nd floor Mullen

This houses children's picture books, the juvenile history collection and award winning children's and young adult books.

Religious Studies, Philosophy and Canon Law
314/316 Mullen

The Religious Studies and Philosophy collections comprise some 250,000 to 300,000 volumes. The reading rooms contain non-circulating reference material. The subjects covered in the reading rooms are: Biblical Studies, Church History, Early Christian Studies, Medieval and Byzantine studies, Religion and Religious Education, and Theology.

Two smaller reading rooms cover Greek and Latin and Canon Law.

Greek & Latin Seminar Room

This collection contains important reference and series books

Canon Law Reading Room

It contains important papal registers, church council documents and various code commentaries. This room is restricted to Canon Law students and faculty.

Campus Libraries

Specialized materials and subject expertise are available.

American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives
101 Aquinas Hall; 202-319-5065

Engineering/Architecture Library
200 Pangborn; 202-319-5167

Music Library
101 Ward; 202-319-5424

Nursing/Biology Library
212 Gowan; 202-319-5411

Physics Library
101 Hannan; 202-319-5320

University Museum Collection
101 Aquinas Hall; 202-319-5065

Campus Library map

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Library Facilities

  • Copiers are on each floor in Mullen (and in all branch libraries.)
  • MERIC Computer lab (PCs and Macs in the library do not have word processing software installed. They are used primarily for accessing the Libraries' online resources. Students can check out laptops which have word processing software installed.)
  • Computers for public use on second floor outside the main reading room.
  • The CUA Libraries provide a wireless network in Mullen Library. This network allows you to access library resources and the Internet from laptop computers in any of the study areas in Mullen Library.
  • We have a limited number of laptop computers available for use (CUA students, faculty staff only), on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is word processing software installed on the laptops.
  • Microfilm room and readers/printers.
  • Group and Quiet study areas
  • Media Collections
    • Media equipment available (such as head phones and television for viewing videos)
    • DVDs/VHSs available in the University Library Collection

~Anne Marie Hules, Reference Librarian for Library and Information Science

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Library Events During Orientation

Metropolitan Professional School Orientation Thursday, August 27th 5:30-7:00pm @ Pangborn Hall

CUA Libraries invites you to be the best researcher you can be and we'll show you how during this session. Find out about library services, resources and facilities.

Doors Opening Orientation Friday, August 28th 1:00-3:00pm @ Pryz

One of CUA's best resources is the University Library system. Our online resources, facilities and staff can help you make your academic career a success. Stop by our table and we'll show you the libraries online resources, especially those that correspond to your field of study, as well as answer any other questions you may have.

Orientation Extended: Discover CUA Libraries, Wednesday, September 16th 2:00-5:00pm @ Mullen Library

What's the source of your scholarly research experience? If you said "Google" run, don't walk, to this 20 minute tour of the library. Tours will begin every half hour and include information about how the library will help you, all of the library's services, as well as giving you an opportunity to register your Cardinal Card.

Orientation Extended: Citing Sources using RefWorks & Zotero, Tuesday , September 29th @ MERIC

Online resources are key to academic success. Find out the easy way to cite them at Mullen Library. Every half hour there will be a 30 minute instruction session about how to create a bibliography or works-cited page using online resources.

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Content Editor: Anne Marie Hules, Reference Librarian for Library and Information Science

Web Editor: Jonathan M. Smith, Electronic Services Librarian

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