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Spencer Library Services and Policies


Catalog & Databases
Overdues & Charges
Inter-library Loan
Reference Assistance
Mailing of Resources
Reserve Collection
Computer Lab
Borrowing Materials
Patron Records
Audio-Visual & Media Resources

Catalog & Databases
Use the Spencer Library catalog to search for book or journal titles and AV materials held in the library collection. When the record shows that an item is checked out, patrons may place a hold or recall request (use the “Request” button at the top of the screen). You may also search the catalogs of Luther Seminary Library or the CLIC catalog (which includes the holdings of Bethel Seminary Library and the library of Saint Paul Seminary). Access to citations for periodical articles (including some full text) and essays in edited books is available through the FirstSearch databases. Patrons may access these databases on the catalog workstations in the library.
Borrowing Materials
While current students, faculty and staff have priority in using our library resources, we welcome other patrons as well and will do our best to help you find the resources you need.

Permanent faculty and staff have one year check-out privileges.

Current M.A. and M.Div. students (except when on leave), anyone taking a course during an academic term and adjunct faculty (when teaching a course in the current term) have academic term check-out privileges (limit 25 items at a time).

D.Min. students have 60 days check-out privileges (except when taking a fall or spring term course on campus, when they have academic term check-out).

Extension borrowers have six week check-out privileges (limit 15 items at a time). Extension borrowers include students from Bethel, Luther or Saint Paul Seminaries, United alums, church and community members (minimum age 18).




Library Links
Services & Facilities
Research Help
Library Home
Patron Records
Patrons may access their record through the catalog to see which materials they have out and when they are due. They may also renew materials (when permitted). Click on the “Patron” button and log on with your name and library card barcode number.
The number and length of renewals vary, depending on your patron group. If a renewal is permitted, it can be done from your patron record as well as in person.
Overdue Books/Charges
Please return books on or before the due date. We do not charge fines, but a standard charge of $35.00 is applied for each lost or unreturned book. Library users who fail to observe due dates may have their borrowing privileges suspended until all books are returned or paid for.
Reserve Collection

Reserve materials for courses currently being taught are located on the shelves by the circulation desk and must be requested from a member of the library staff. Only faculty and currently-enrolled students may use reserve materials. Reserve materials must be checked out and returned to the circulation desk whether used in or out of the library. Students are limited to two reserve items at a time for up to four hours. In cases where the demand for a particular item is great, a professor may limit it to a two hour reserve. Extended time for use of reserve items is given only with permission of the professor assigning the material.

Reserve materials may be checked out overnight during the following hours:

  • Monday-Thursday 7:00 PM - 9:00 AM
  • Friday 4:30 PM - 10:00 AM Saturday
  • Saturday 1:30 PM - 9:00 AM Monday

Items marked “LIBRARY USE ONLY” may not be taken from the library at any time.

Inter-library Loan
See our brochure: Where Can I Look? How Can I Get It for information.
Mailing of Resources (no faxing)
We will mail materials on an occasional basis directly to alums and D.Min. students. All others need to use the Inter-library loan process of their local library. Because our staff is very small and the library does not have its own fax machine, we are not able to copy and fax materials to any of our patrons.
The library staff is happy to assist patrons in learning to use our Reference collection, catalog, and databases to identify and locate materials they need. It is our policy not to conduct bibliographic or resource searches for patrons (e.g., ‘Please find five journal articles and three books on this topic.’). We will, however, do all we can to help you find those resources. In most cases, our current Reference assistance must take place on site.
Computer Lab
A computer lab is located in the lower lever of the seminary, adjacent to the Context Café. The lab offers Internet access, electronic reference resources, and word-processing capability. Patrons are asked to use the lab for these functions, reserving the catalog workstations in the library exclusively for bibliographic searching. The library staff are not able to provide training or extensive trouble-shooting on lab computers. Please let us know of equipment or software problems so we can report them to the appropriate staff person.
Two photocopiers are available in the library. Copies are $.10 per page. Change is available at the library desk. For patron convenience, copy cards (100 copies) can be purchased for $10.00.
The seminary’s audiovisual (A/V) studio is located in the classroom wing; AV equipment is for on-campus use only. A calendar for reserving equipment is located on the studio door; the studio key must be signed out at the library circulation desk. Please return the key as soon as you have obtained the equipment. In addition, two media carts with projector and laptop are kept in the office behind the library desk. They are dedicated to classroom and event presentations and must be used on campus. If you need help in operating AV/media equipment, please contact the audiovisual coordinator.
Fall Used Book Sale

Monday to Monday
October 28 - November 4
10¢ each!

Our library storage areas are overflowing with gift books
and it's time for a sale-a-thon to clear the decks!

The Spencer Library will hold another of our famous used book sales in the library court with hundreds of theological and literary gems for your consideration. This event is being held for ONE WEEK ONLY, so come early and come often; sale tables will be continually restocked all week long. And as always, the suggested price for each book only one thin dime - what a deal!

P.S. Don't miss our ongoing book sale locations: the second floor of the Spencer Library and the computer lab near the Context Café.

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