Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Center

The American Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

The board number is 044-2857 4000. Alternatively you may call directly Reference Desk at 044-2857 4017 or 2857 4089, and the Circulation and Membership Desk at 044-2857 4223 or 2857 4321.

The American Center is located at 220, Anna Salai, (near Gemini Circle), Chennai 600 006. The nearest bus stop is Gemini Circle.

The Center is open to general public during its open hours. No prior appointment is required to visit the center. All visitors are requested to conform to entry requirements and produce a valid photo Identification (ID) at the Cathedral Road entrance. Acceptable photo IDs are: passport, driver’s license, voter ID card, Aadhar Card, Permanent Account Number (PAN Card), government/ employer issued ID, or college/university issued ID. We only accept original IDs and not photocopies.

The Center membership is open to anyone 16 years of age or older who is a resident of South India.

You are welcome to visit the Center even if you are not a member. However, if you want to come to the library regularly, we would encourage you to enroll as a member of the Center. You will need to bring an identity card when you visit us. If you are not an Indian citizen, you will have to bring your passport for identification.

To become a member you need to fill up an online application form and pay the enrollment processing fee.

The membership processing fee is Rs.400/- for one year and Rs.700/- for two years. The Institutional membership fee for non-profit Institutions are Rs.2000/- for one year, Rs.3,000/- for two years and for profit Institutions it is 4000/- for one year and 7000/- for two years.

The Center accepts membership processing fee in cash or by bank draft drawn in favor of the American Consulate General, Chennai.

As a member, individuals can borrow four books for four weeks, and back issues of two periodicals for two weeks. Institutions can borrow up to 20 books for four weeks and 5 DVDs for two weeks.

We strongly suggest that you bring your Center card with you.

Report your lost or stolen Center card to the Library as soon as possible to prevent others from charging materials to your account. You are responsible for all items charged to your card until its loss is reported. Staff can issue a new replacement card the next time you visit the Center. Duplicate card processing fee is Rs.25.

The overdue fine is one rupee per item per day.

If Center material is lost, replacement cost of the lost item will have to be paid by the member. The Center cannot accept replacement items in lieu of lost items. Items returned with damage that warrants withdrawal from the collection will be treated as lost.

You can use our Chennai Center card for reading books in the Center and using the Internet, if you are visiting for a short duration. However, if you plan to stay longer, please request your home center to transfer your membership to the Center you plan to shift.

No, you cannot use our center card in other American Centers located outside India.

The books are shelved according to Dewey Decimal System. You can check the location of the books by the decimal numbers on the spine of the books. If you have trouble finding the books you want, ask a reference librarian for help.

We do not sell books. The Center provides a listing of leading book dealers in Chennai, who are known to procure U.S. publications. Ask at the Reference Desk for possible assistance. However, if you want to have a particular book added to the Center collection, you can suggest either by email or at the reference desk.

Yes. Recently we started adding books for Children. You are welcome to borrow them.

For security reasons, patrons will not be allowed bring such equipment. However, you are most welcome use our computers to access the Internet.

The Reference Desk acts as the point of contact for enquiries. Ask the Reference Librarian for assistance in locating and searching the library material. Or you can call or email us at 044-2857 4017, 2857 4089 and chennairefdesk@state.gov.

Yes, the Center has staff who can introduce you to the most relevant print and electronic resources, for your subject. Just ask at the Reference Service Desk if you would like this type of individual help and we will refer you to the appropriate resources.

The Center subscribes to online databases to help you with your research. We subscribe to Proquest – Literature Online and ABI/Inform Collection, and a range of databases through eLibraryUSA.  However please note that access to the databases are available for access at the center. Please contact Reference Desk for possible assistance

The American Center does not handle visa enquiries. Please contact the Consular Section of the American Consulate at 2857 4000 or visit our website.

You are welcome to check our university and scholarship directories to find information that you need. To meet a Student adviser you can visit USIEF (United States – India Education Foundation) located on the same floor as the Center. Direct phone number for USIEF is 044-2857 4423/4131 you can also e-mail at usiefchennai@usief.org.in