Frequently asked questions about the Spencer Library:
- What are your hours?
- How do I get there?
- Can I use your library?
- Can I have access to the subscription databases?
- Do you charge a fee for using the library?
- How do I find materials?
- How can I tell if a resource is available?
- How long can I have the materials I check out?
- Do you charge fines?
- Can I see what I have checked out?
- Can I renew or place my own holds and recalls online or by phone?
- Will you pull and hold books for me?
- How can I get Reserve materials?
- Can I have Reserve books held for a particular day and time?
- Can I get materials from other libraries through your library?
- Can I get materials from your library through other libraries?
- Will you email materials?
- Will you mail materials?
- Will you do research or create a bibliography for me?
- Is your library accessible to people with physical disabilities?
- Does your library have photocopiers?
- Is there AV/Media equipment available for use?
What are your hours?
How do I get there?
From Interstate Highway 694, exit south on Silver Lake Road then turn west on Fifth Street NW. United is approximately 1/3 mile on the right. Or use this link to MapQuest—once the map opens, simply click on the “Get Directions” button and type in your address; MapQuest will do the rest.
Can I use your library?
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. Any person over the age of 18 can have borrowing privileges at Spencer Library.
Can I have access to subscription databases?
Databases such as FirstSearch, ATLA Religion, and Academic Search Premier are paid subscriptions with license restrictions. They are therefore available by remote access only to current students, faculty and staff. All other patrons must come to the library and access these databases from the library computers.
Do you charge a fee for using the library?
How do I find materials?
Use the Spencer Library Catalog to search for books, journal articles and multimedia materials held in the library collection and beyond. Computer workstations in the library are for searching the catalog or other online databases for research purposes; all current students and faulty have remote access to these online databases.
How can I tell if a resource is available?
Search for the title you would like in the online catalog. If the library owns or has access to this item, you will see United Theological Library of the Twin Cities in green near the bottom of the brief bibliographic record. To see if the item is available for check out, click on the hyperlinked text ‘Availability.’ The window that opens will indicate the status of the item.
How long can I have the materials I check out?
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.
Current master’s students (except when on leave), non-degree students taking a course during the current 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 8-week check-out privileges (except if they are taking a class during a term, when they have academic term check-out) with one 8-week renewal.
Faculty and staff have 1-year check-out privileges.
Extension borrowers have 6-week check-out privileges (limit 15 items at a time) with one 6-week renewal. Extension borrowers include students from Bethel, Luther or Saint Paul Seminaries, United alums, and church and community members (minimum age 18).
AV MATERIALS CIRCULATE FOR 6 WEEKS FOR ALL PATRONS. REFERENCE MATERIALS AND PERIODICALS DO NOT CIRCULATE. FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE IN RETURNING LIBRARY MATERIALS, A BOOK DROP IS AVAILABLE NEAR THE FIFTH STREET ENTRANCE TO THE SEMINARY.
Do you charge fines?
For overdue Reserve items we charge $5 per day. We do not currently charge overdue fines for items from the main collection; however, a standard charge of $50 is applied for each lost or unreturned book. This charge is automatically generated after an advance courtesy notice and three overdue notices have been sent with no response.
Can I see what I’ve checked out?
Yes. Access your patron record via the Spencer Library Catalog using the ‘My Account’ link in the upper right of the screen. You will be asked for your username and password. To set your password the first time, click ‘Set/Reset Password’ on the login screen. Enter your username and click ‘Request New Password.’ Follow the instruction in the email you will receive to create your password.
Can I renew or place my own holds and recalls online or by phone?
Currently holds and recalls can be placed in person at the circulation desk or over the phone. Please contact the library to assist you in placing a hold on a particular item.
HOLD REQUEST: A hold request indicates you want to see this item when it is returned to the library; you do not need it urgently and are willing to wait until the library staff contacts you to say the item is now available. NOTE: a hold request does not mean the library staff will retrieve the item from the shelf and hold it at the circulation desk for you.
RECALL REQUEST: A recall request indicates you urgently need the item. The library staff will contact the person who currently has the item and request the item be returned to the library if they have had it longer than three weeks. Please use this option judiciously: Does the library have other copies? Is the item available at another library through the inter-library loan system? Recall requests should be made only when it is clear Spencer Library holds the only easily accessible copy. The library staff will contact you when the item is returned.
Will you pull and hold books for me?
How can I get Reserve materials?
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 our 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. Some faculty also place links to reserve items on their course Moodle page, when copyright restrictions permit.
Can I have Reserve materials held for a particular day and time?
Ordinarily Reserve materials must be kept available on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, library staff will set aside Reserve books for scheduled use no more than once per term per student.
Can I get materials from other libraries through your library?
The Spencer Library maintains a number of cooperative relationships with libraries locally as well as regionally and beyond. In most instances, an item unavailable in our library can be requested through Inter-Library Loan; look for the red ‘Request Item Through Inter-Library Loan’ button in the ‘Find It In Libraries Globally’ area of the full bibliographic item display. An online form will appear for you to fill out; fields with an asterisk (*) are required. Submit the completed form, and our Inter-Library Loan department will attempt to retrieve the item for you. Items requested through Inter-library Loan can take from two days to over two weeks to arrive, so please plan accordingly. You will be contacted when your materials arrive.
Can I get materials from your library through other libraries?
Will you email materials?
Sometimes. Students who are regularly on campus are expected to do their own photocopying or scanning of library materials. Distance students who are not regularly on campus may request that we email a reasonable number of articles, etc., otherwise available through our databases and are necessary for class assignments.
Will you mail materials?
Will you do research or create a bibliography for me?
The library staff is happy to assist patrons in learning to use our Reference collection, catalog and databases to identify and locate material they need. It is our policy not to conduct bibliographic or resource searches for patrons. We will, however, do all we can to help you find those resources.
Is your library accessible to people with physical disabilities?
Access ramps are located at the main entrances to the seminary. There is an elevator in the library, and the distance between the stacks is ADA Compliant for persons in wheelchairs, although staff assistance will be needed for books on the high or low shelves. We will attempt to assist people with visual or auditory disabilities as needed.
Does your library have photocopiers?
Two photocopiers are available to our patrons in the library. Copies are $.10 per page; change is available at the library desk. For your convenience, copy cards (100 copies) can be purchased for $10 at the circulation desk.
Is there AV/media equipment available for use?
The seminary’s audiovisual (AV) studio is located in the Classroom Wing (Gunnemann Hall); 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 circulation 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 AV support.