Borrowing resources

The collection has been developed in support of the programs and courses offered by AU, and it includes ebooks, books, journals, streaming audio and video materials, maps, theses and dissertations, and a variety of other materials.

AU's physical collection

You may request that books, audiovisual materials and other items from the library's physical collection be mailed to you, either to your home address, or for pick up at AU Edmonton or AU Calgary. Materials borrowed from the library can be returned to these locations for delivery back to the library. You may request that materials be couriered to you, at your expense.

Requests for materials may be made in several ways:

Loan rules

Patron type Loan period*
Students Undergraduate student 28 days
Graduate student 28 days
Postdoctoral student 60 days
Research assistants 28 days
Contractual staff Contract staff 28 days
Tutors 6 weeks
Staff/faculty March 15th of succeeding year
AU employees (past & present) Retired staff/faculty Not available
Retired emeritus faculty 6 weeks
Community borrower 28 days

* Exceptions for some of the collection apply

  • Some course materials have an extended loan period.
  • Reference materials and full issues of printed journals do not circulate.
  • Most materials may be renewed twice unless any item has a request hold. Renew materials through your library account or by contacting the library directly.
  • Materials requested from the library's physical collection are normally mailed to the address listed in your myAU account and include a pre-addressed mail card or label for the return of materials to AU Library.

Interlibrary loans

Through the library's Interlibrary Loans (ILL) office, request a variety of materials not held in AU's collection. More information about ILL services for learners and team members can be found on the ILL webpage.

Other Canadian libraries

Using other Canadian post-secondary institution libraries

AU Library is part of the Canadian University Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement (CURBA) that extends in-person borrowing privileges to AU learners and team members across the country. Reciprocal borrowing privileges and library regulations are determined by each lending library and borrowers are responsible for paying any fines, lost book charges or processing fees incurred. To obtain a COPPUL card, please contact the Library Information Desk.

Graduate students, faculty & staff

E-mail to request a grey COPPUL card.

Undergraduate students

E-mail to request a yellow COPPUL card.

Information about reciprocal borrowing and participating libraries is available from the following links:

For further information contact the Library Information Desk at

The Alberta Library Card

The Alberta Library comprises libraries across the province of Alberta, and its members include academic, special, government and public libraries. Its goal is to provide Albertans with barrier-free access to the materials and information resources across the province. It represents an evolving interdependence and connection among libraries in delivering service.

Alberta Library Card program

Many members of the Alberta Library (including AU Library) participate in the The Alberta Library Card program. The TAL Card allows users of member libraries to borrow books directly from other participating libraries. Users may also return their books to any participating library.

Active AU students, faculty, staff, and tutors who are residents of the province of Alberta are eligible to apply for a TAL card through Athabasca University Library. Applicants can apply for the card by sending an email to the Library Information Desk.

When you wish to borrow materials from a participating library, you must present your Alberta Library card, along with acceptable identification. You will be registered as a borrower at that library. A bar-code for that library will be placed on your card.

Alberta Library Card holders will not be charged a fee when borrowing books from participating libraries outside their home library. It is your responsibility to make yourself familiar with the conditions of loan at each of the libraries from which you borrow. Local library lending policies and rules take priority and will apply to all persons using The Alberta Library Card. Restrictions may apply.

More information about the TAL card program can be found on the TAL website.

Updated March 07, 2023 by Digital & Web Operations (