The libraries foster knowledge and inspire creativity through 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 supporting and enhancing teaching, learning and research at the Lebanese American University through providing high quality services and resources, anticipating and responding to emerging technologies, and enriching the intellectual and cultural life of the LAU community.
Libraries and Collections
LAU libraries maintain an extensive collection of resources and provide access to about 500,000 in-print collections, approximately 473 in print journals, 556,586 e-books, and 131,038 e-journals, 154 online databases, as well as 16,421 AV material. The 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, creating, and sharing. It caters to the needs of its users and encompasses study areas including “quiet” and “silent” study zones, four group-study rooms, one classroom with lecture-capture facilities, and two conference rooms (of which one includes videoconferencing facilities). The library also houses the Center for Innovative Learning, as well as computer labs with 137 workstations and ample seating for more than 550 users in study lounges and at study tables and carrels distributed across 6 floors. The print collection is housed in compact shelving over 4 underground floors. The library also offers 40 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 subject relevant to women’s studies in both English and Arabic.
- Children’s collection: This collection is used by numerous 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, opera, 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 targets Islamic art and Culture courses while also enriching some Design courses. 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: This collection houses the works of the Lebanese centenarian poet Jawdat Haidar, who wrote poetry in English and Arabic.
The New Byblos Library, established in 2018, is a state-of-the-art facility providing a diverse set of services that have a significant effect on the management of the library’s day-to-day functions. It integrates technology within its creative and inspirational spaces in order to create an outstanding facility which will provide for the needs of the University long into the future and help distinguish LAU as an innovative and pioneering institution.
The 6,540m2 five-story building incorporates open-space study areas, multipurpose rooms, different lounges and seating arrangements, and many other unconventional amenities that offer an inspiring atmosphere and breathtaking views. The old Byblos library has been replaced by a modernized facility that promotes a collaborative environment conducive to learning.
Its designers researched the history, local culture and typology of the ancient city of Byblos and weaved the findings into the conceptual design. The pattern found on the exterior of the library is based on the ancient Phoenician alphabet which highlights Byblos’s most cultural heritage. The development, which follows USGBC’s LEED Gold certification, features rain water harvesting and re-use as well as reduced resource consumption to protect the environment and provide an eco-friendly atmosphere.
Features of the new Byblos Library:
- 180,000 information records
- 186 print periodicals
- Diverse study space capable of accommodating up to 415 end-users
- 11 Group Study Rooms each equipped with a LED TV
- Conference room
- Multipurpose room
- Smart Classroom
- EIC room
- 148 computers
- 19 printers
- 4 photocopiers/scanners
- 4 lounges
- Landscape 2,614m2
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, 24 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 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 1669 student theses, including 53 in Arabic, and 4012 faculty publications, in addition to 332 documents pertaining to the Lebanese Parliamentary election of 2018 and 165 documents related to LAU events.
Services and Facilities
The libraries at LAU offer a variety of services to facilitate patron access; for a comprehensive list, visit Services.
All library departments are manned by staff members dedicated not only to providing access to information, but also to assisting information seekers in developing successful strategies for discovering and evaluating information for a full range of needs. Library staff members 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.