The Lebanese American University (LAU) Libraries consist of: a main library and the Health Sciences Library (HSL) in Byblos; the Riyad Nassar Library (RNL) in Beirut; the University Medical Center – Rizk Hospital (LAUMC-RH) Library; and a library at the New York Academic Center.
The libraries are the center to acquire knowledge and develop creativity by virtue of diverse resources in different contents and formats. They empower users to discover these resources and effortlessly access them. This is achieved in collaboration with all external partners to extend the amount of resources accessible for the University community and to improve quality of services provided.
The university libraries are committed to support and enhance teaching, learning and research at the Lebanese American University through providing high quality services and resources, anticipate and respond to emerging technologies, and, enrich the intellectual and cultural life of the LAU community.
Libraries and Collections
All libraries maintain an extensive collection of resource and provide access to more than 500,000 in-print collections, about 604 in-print journals, 337,615 e-books, and 82,981 e-journals, as well as 160 online databases. Libraries offer internet and wireless connectivity to access and process most library resources; they are equipped with wired furniture for ease of use.
The Riyad Nassar Library, a state-of-the-art facility inaugurated in 2006, features a spacious and comfortable setting conducive to learning. It caters to the needs of its users and encompasses study areas including ‘quiet’, and ‘silent’ group study zones, four group-study rooms, 1 classroom which includes lecture-capture facilities, two conference rooms of which one includes videoconferencing facilities, and also houses the Center for Teaching and Learning. Furthermore there are computer labs with 150 workstations, and ample seating for more than 500 users in study lounges and at study tables and carrels distributed across 13 floors. The Library also offers 56 laptops for lending.
Collections include but are not limited to the following:
- The Julinda Abu Nasr Women and Gender collection: This collection parallels that of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World. It includes books, pamphlets, documents and flyers on women’s subjects in both English and Arabic.
- Children’s collection: This collection is used by Creative Dramatics, Children’s Literature, and other courses offered within the Education major.
- Media collection (also available in Byblos): This collection includes a variety of subjects related to many courses in business, pharmacy, education, sciences, history, politics, operas, theater, art, classical music, and cinema studies.
- Closed circulation collection (also available in Byblos): This collection includes out-of-print, aged and rare books, and some time-worn books on Lebanon.
- Islamic art and architecture collection: This collection enriches some Design courses but targets Islamic art and Culture. It covers the historical, theoretical, philosophical and practical aspects of such heritage.
- Practice teaching: This collection is mainly used by students majoring in Education.
- Jawdat Haidar Collection: A Lebanese centenarian poet who wrote poetry in English and Arabic.
The Byblos Library, established in 1986, occupies the second floor of the Science Building. Presently, it can seat about 200 students, has three group-study rooms, a computer lab with 28 workstations, and 53 laptops available for lending.
The Health Sciences Library, opened in 2013, is located in the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury Health Sciences Center. The library accommodates over 165 users with study areas, group-study rooms, 22 computer workstations, and 38 laptops available for lending.
The NY Library, inaugurated in 2013, occupies a modest space in the New York Academic Center. Its special collection, directed at the Middle East region, includes resources on Arabic language and culture, conflict resolution, gender studies, Islamic banking and finance, Islamic architecture and others.
The University Medical Center-Rizk Hospital Library is staffed by one librarian and houses a one-room library of 25 workstations with three auditoria.
In 2012, the libraries launched LAU’s institutional Repository (LAUR) which provides open access to scholarly works and theses written by university faculty and students. The repository currently houses about 1,425 theses including 52 in Arabic, and 1,927 faculty publications.
Services and Facilities
The libraries at LAU offer a variety of services to facilitate access for its patron; for a comprehensive list, visit Services.
All library departments are manned with staff members dedicated not only to providing access to information, but also to assisting information seekers in developing successful strategies for finding and evaluating information for a full range of needs. Library staff members are an asset to LAU as they bring together their expertise, love of knowledge, disposition to work well with people, their friendly yet ethical values, strong organizational and computer skills and dedication for continuous development in librarianship to work closely with faculty. They provide assistance in selecting and evaluating the best materials, give training sessions, consult about information needed in research as well provide online chat guidance to library users throughout the year.