You are here: American University University Library About Vision, Mission, and Values


The American University Library leads the creation and use of credible, equitable, accessible information that empowers people to generate knowledge and enact positive change.


The American University Library provides information, tools, and expertise for creation, discovery, and understanding that advance student achievement, elevate research experiences, and enable our faculty, staff, and students to contribute to global knowledge.



First and foremost, the American University Library is a core service unit that prioritizes our users’ needs through our commitment to what we offer and how we work. We eagerly accept our responsibility to support the entire AU community - especially students, faculty, staff, schools, and colleges – in fulfilling our teaching and scholarship missions.

We promote and uphold this value by:

  • Empowering our community to explore the world around them through removing barriers to information and connecting users with scholarly resources and high-quality services.
  • Consistently evaluating processes that drive service forward.
  • Advocating for and supporting equitable models of information production and access.
  • Incorporating feedback from our community into our planning and evolution of services.


As a learning organization, we create, acquire, and transfer knowledge through problem-solving and lessons learned. We empower the AU community’s active learning that enables them to create positive changes in this changing world.

We promote and uphold this value by:

  • Relying on data and evidence, rather than assumptions, when identifying and diagnosing problems.
  • Reviewing successes and failures, conducting systematic assessment, and recording lessons learned that are openly shared.
  • Actively listening to feedback from our diverse communities to enhance and create innovative services and programs.
  • Developing learning opportunities and tools that empower the AU Community to explore knowledge and to experiment with ideas.


We embrace the virtue of caring, prioritizing responsibilities arising from our interdependence with our students, our colleagues, and our broader community.  We recognize that caring requires us to be attentive, responsible, responsive, highly competent, and to constantly build an equitable and inclusive culture of trust, civility, and respect.  

We promote and uphold this value by:

  • Being engaged and attentive in our work and in our interactions.
  • Reminding ourselves of the way our work is embedded in broader societal contexts and ensuring that we are contributing in ways that make our society and our world better at whatever scale we operate.
  • Prioritizing initiatives that positively contribute to human thriving.
  • Fostering a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment.
  • Understanding that caring requires discernment—it is not the same as fulfilling desires—and accepting that caring can require productively engaging in conflict.


We initiate and work in inclusive, equitable, responsible, and sustainable partnerships across the AU community and locally that enhance the mission and embody the values of the University Library. We work together with civility, respecting our diverse backgrounds, to achieve shared goals and outcomes.

We promote and uphold this value by:

  • Seeking and facilitating the involvement of those impacted by a decision.
  • Building trust with collaborators by following through on deliverables, keeping our word, and forming non-transactional relationships.
  • Taking responsibility for individual roles and being accountable for the results.
  • Being willing to support each other’s work and acknowledging individual contributions.
  • Committing resources and outcomes fairly between collaborators and stakeholders.
  • Practicing equitable division of labor and agreeing on terms of engagement within the group.


Underlying all the values above is our foundational commitment to personal responsibility and agency, dependability, trustworthiness, respect for self and others, transparency, honesty, and accountability. 

We promote and uphold this value by:

  • Empowering staff and faculty to fully own their work – by creating an environment where all have personal license and confidence to be their best self.
  • Earning the trust of, and promoting respect to, the entire AU community.
  • Consistently holding ourselves and our work to the highest level of personal, professional, and intellectual standards.
  • Demonstrating honesty and transparency in our work.
  • Ensuring sustainable practices and fiscal responsibility in the everyday functions of the Library.

Library Strategic Plan

Read about the American University Libray's 2023-2026 Strategic Plan.

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  • fund innovative renovations
  • enhance the Library's physical and electronic collections
  • maintain and expand services for AU students and faculty.

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