The library's goal is to gather information required by a specific type of patron and organize that storehouse of information in such a way that the patron, with a minimum of assistance, can retrieve information that will satisfy his requirements. It is assumed that the patron will know the name of the author, the title of the book or at least have a very specific subject area in mind. Information access in libraries is still found in these three approaches.

There are many classification systems in use today. Most public, school libraries and some Bible colleges use the Dewey Decimal classification system. Another major system is the one developed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. This is the system used by most academic libraries, many seminaries and some Bible colleges. Our seminary library uses the Library of Congress Classification System.

The call number is a unique number that is assigned to a book through the use of the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. This classification system is designed to group books on a similar subject in a specific area. Most of our books are of a similar subject, so our "B" section in our collection is the largest section.

The call number appears on the spine of the book and in the online catalogue record.

Example of a call number BV 4012 .R61 1980:

  • BV: general category for practical theology
  • 4012: sub-division of practical theology termed "Pastoral psychology"
  • .R61: code assigned to the author -- "R" is the first letter of the author's last name; number "61" is the number assigned to the rest of the author's name
  • 1980: date of publication

When trying to locate a book on the shelf, it is important to write down the entire call number in order to find the book quickly and efficiently. Always start with the top line, then proceed to the second, third and fourth if necessary.

Library locations of the material are listed above the call numbers in the library catalogue.

  • Circulating: If a record has nothing above or before the call number, the book may be found in the circulating book area. (Located at north end of library).
  • Special Collections: If "Sp.Coll." is above or before the call number, that item can be found in the library director's office and must be requested through a library staff member. These books are set aside for restricted use because they may be rare books, old special interest books or books that are intended for long-term preservation.
  • Reference: If "REF" is above or before the call number, the item may be found in the reference section of the library. These materials do not circulate. You must use them in the library.
  • Microfiche: If "Mfiche" is on a record, it is referring to the Pastor's Microfilm Library collection located in the microfiche cabinet/room.
  • Audio Tapes: If the call number has "A" preceding the number, it is located with the audiotape binders on the back section of reference shelving.
  • Video Tapes:If "V" is start of the call number, it is a video located in the library workroom. Ask library staff for assistance.
  • New Books: If "NEW BOOKS" shows in the Material Type column of the catalogue, it may be found on the shelving beside the circulation desk or on the "New Books" display at the front of the library.
  • Kits: If "KITS" shows in the material type and in the call number area of the record, material may be found in the back section of the reference shelving. Kits usually contain video, audio, and curriculum material.
  • CD-ROM:If the material type states CD-ROM then the material is located in the shelving unit located on the audiocassette cabinet, at the circulation desk, or in the reference shelving. See library staff for assistance.
  • Reserve: If you are looking for material placed on RESERVE by your professor or for textbooks currently being used, you will find them in the catalogue with RESERVE as the material type. These books are located by the circulation desk and must be checked out whether you are using them in the library or not.

Our library uses the Winnebago Spectrum Catalogue. It is a user-friendly program that allows access to materials by keyword, author, title, call number, ISBN, and subject. The most efficient and effective way of conducting a search is to use the keyword search first. Our subject headings are compiled through the authority of the Library of Congress Subject Headings and the Spectrum program is still being modified to effectively use the subject search capacity.


NOTE: Several types of materials cannot be located through the library catalogue.

  1. Some Periodicals (both paper and microfiche/film copies�we are currently adding them)
  2. Vertical file material
  3. Curriculum lab material

If you are unable to locate an item on the shelf, there may be several possible reasons:

  • It may be mis-shelved. Always scan the shelves around the call number for which you are looking.
  • It may be checked out. If a faculty member or community user has checked it out, you may recall the book at anytime in order to use it. If a student is using it, you may request a recall after two weeks of use.
  • It may be on the return truck waiting to be shelved.
  • It may be lost.
  • It may be set aside for repair.
  • If you cannot find a book, fill out a search request at the circulation desk and library staff will try to find the item as quickly as possible.

The reference section is presently located on the south end of the library near the circulation desk. Here you will find the dictionaries, atlases, encyclopaedias, Bibles, concordances, sets of Bible commentaries, biographical dictionaries, yearbooks, bibliographies, directories and indexes to periodical literature. The reference collection must be used in the library only. These are works that are usually very expensive and/or in high demand.

Our current periodicals and back issues are arranged in alphabetic order by title. Our current year's periodicals are housed in the periodical shelving units across from the reference section. The most current issue of a journal is displayed on the reclining shelves and the rest of the current volume issues are stacked underneath the front display. Once a new year or volume begins, the previous issues are filed in the workroom.

If you need back issues of the journals, please make a request with the title, volume and date of the issue to a library staff member. If the journal is in bound format, it is available for use and housed at the north end of the library in the circulating books collection along the far north wall.

We have produced a list of our journals holdings (in all formats-paper, microfiche, microfilm, bound and cd-rom) in a binder located near the periodicals, circulation desk, and computer workstation. Please use this resource to find out if the library has a specific journal or issue of a journal. We currently have subscriptions to approximately 185 journals and we are continually acquiring new periodicals and back issues of journals on microfiche.

Periodicals can be a very rich source of information and should not be neglected because it takes a little more time and effort to locate the information. The most valuable tools that guide you to information in periodicals are indexes. Indexes are publications that provide a subject and/or author listing of published articles written in various journals in a particular year.

We subscribe to the following:

  • Religion Database ONLINE that includes five indexes.
  • Religion Index One: Periodicals 1949-;
  • Religion Index Two: Multi-author works 1975-;
  • Index to Book Reviews in Religion 1975-;
  • Research in Ministry: an Index to D.Min Project Reports and Theses;
  • Methodist Research Index 1818-1985.
  • ATLAS: online full-text version of ATLA Religion Database (see above)
  • Christian Periodical Index ONLINE (primary focus are evangelical journals)
  • Southern Baptist Periodical Index on CD-ROM

We have a collection of materials in microfilm and microfiche format. Most of our microfiche/film materials are back issues of journals. Journals on microfiche are photographed copies of the paper copy of the journal in a flat sheet format. The microfiche journals are located in the cabinet located in the microfiche reading room. The fiche are arranged alphabetically by journal title. Volume number and year starting with the earliest volume and ending with the most recent volume and year arrange each title.

The microfilm journals are photographed copies in a roll format. These are also located in the microfiche cabinet in a separate drawer below the fiche. The films are arranged alphabetically by title and in volume number order. We also have The Pastor's Microfilm Library that contains 400 books consisting of commentaries, lectures and other valuable reference tools for the pastor and Bible student. This collection is catalogued through the online catalogue and will have "MFICHE" as part of the call number on the record. It is located in the bottom drawers of the microfiche cabinet. This collection is filed numerically according to its reference number.

The library has a microfiche reader/printer for your use. It produces an excellent paper copy of microform material at 10 cents per page. The library also has an image-printer located at one of the student computers. It scans and prints from microfiche to paper. Ask library staff for instructions on usage for both machines.

We have more than 1000 audiocassettes catalogued on various subjects. Subjects include sermons, family counseling, evangelism, parenting, social issues, Christian ethics, theology, Bible and others. Single cassettes are filed in numerical order in the cabinet located outside the librarian's office. Sets of audiocassettes may be found in the reference shelving area. All audiocassettes are catalogued through the online library catalogue.

We have over 300 videocassettes (VHS only) available for circulation. Our collection contains Foreign Mission Board Update and information tapes, entertainment, family, children's videos, music videos, topical issues, lectures and courses by various professors and speakers. Video material is displayed on shelves by the photocopier and housed in the library workroom. Patrons may view videos or listen to cassettes in our listening room located across from the photocopier. Students and other seminary family may check out video material by purchasing an annual video usage membership of $7.00.

NOTE: All audiovisual material may be checked out for a one-week loan period.

Faculty members request textbooks and supplementary material to be placed on reserve at the beginning of each term so students can have equal access to the material. Most Reserve books have a limited circulation of four hours during the day and may be checked out overnight after 2 p.m. All reserve materials are due by 11 a.m. the following day that the library is open. Weekend Reserves may be checked out after 2pm on Friday and is due by 11 am on Tuesday of the next week. There are also CLOSED RESERVE material and 2-week loan Reserve material depending on the request of the professor. CLOSED RESERVE material can only be used in the library. An overdue fine of 25 cents per book per hour or part of an hour will be assessed. All reserve material must be checked out whether used in the library or not through the UCHECK system or by library staff.

Some materials of temporary nature are place in the vertical file located next to the photocopier. This file is updated regularly and may be of interest to patrons for research purposes.

A photocopier/printer is available to patrons and is located near the periodical shelving. Students must set up a Copying/printing account with the library staff which will enable them to make copies or to print documents from the computer stations. To set up an account or to renew an account a minimum of $5.00 must be prepaid. Copies/prints are 10 cents. All community users may either set up an account or the library staff can allow printing/copying through a community user account. A photocopier is available to patrons and is located near the periodical shelving. Students may purchase photocopy tabs in $5, $10, & $20 denominations. These tabs require an initial $10.00 deposit, which is refundable when the tab is permanently returned. These tabs operate like copy cards in that they can be ?recharged? once a student pays for more copies. Copies are 10 cents. All community users may either purchase a copy tab or use the patron tab to make copies, which will need to be paid for at the time of use.

There are eight student terminals located in the reference area of the library. A networked printer is located behind the circulation desk. For those interested in printing anything to the printer must pay for a printing card for $5. As printing is done, cards can be hole punched by patron or library staff. There is a charge of 10 cents per page for printed copies. These eight terminals can be used for internet access, word processing, CD-ROM database searching, as well as accessing the library catalogue. Children are not allowed to use the library computer without parental supervision and only if there are computers available.

There are four OPAC stations available for patron use; 3 located beside the circulation desk and one next to the circulating book collection.

Internet searching is available to patrons, however, there are some guidelines to follow. Children of students or patrons are not allowed to use the computer without parental supervision. Patrons are not allowed to download anything from the internet onto the hard drive. Patrons may use a floppy disk to download information on, but not to the hard drive using a temporary or permanent file. Patrons are not to access pornographic or racially destructive material through the internet. Patrons found accessing such material will be banned from the library. Students found accessing such material will be disciplined according to seminary policies.

The seminary library utilizes an online computer interlibrary loan system through a bibliographic utility company called Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). OCLC provides our library with access to hundreds of libraries across Canada and the United States. This is an excellent resource for acquiring books and journal articles that our library does not hold. You must plan ahead for ILL services. It takes approximately two weeks to receive a book or article. There is usually no charge for ILL books, however some libraries may charge a small fee to cover the postage. Periodical articles are photocopied at a charge of 10 to 50 cents per page. All charges must be paid by the library patron.

The curriculum lab is a comprehensive collection of denominational study material. It is a cooperative project of colleges/seminaries, Lifeway Christian Resources (previously the Baptist Sunday School Board), the Woman's Missionary Union and the Brotherhood Commission. It is a valuable tool for students, faculty, pastors and church leaders in becoming acquainted with available curriculum materials produced by the Southern Baptist denomination. Presently, our curriculum lab is located in the group study room across from the handicap entrance. Material may not be checked out of the library, but can be used inside the curriculum lab. Quarterly material is rotated as it is distributed. Dated curriculum material is weeded out on a regular schedule. Duplicate or dated material is usually sent to the convention where it is sent to churches and missions to utilize.