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CTS Library

Library Policies

CTS Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff of CTS have full borrowing, electronic resource access, and interlibrary loan privileges. CTS ID cards serve as library cards for this group of patrons.

CTS Students

Students who are currently registered for classes have full borrowing, electronic resource access, and interlibrary loan privileges. CTS ID cards serve as library cards for this group of patrons. If a student does not have their library card at the time of checkout, materials will be held at the Circulation Desk for three days to allow the student time to get their CTS ID and return to the library. Students should visit the Registrar in the first 30 days of each semester to get a sticker on their student ID verifying they are a current student. Student patrons may borrow up to 50 items at a time.


Graduates of Christian Theological Seminary may request an alumni library card. Alumni patrons may borrow up to 10 items at a time. Alumni can access the ATLA Religion Database from the CTS Alumni Resources page. Electronic resources may also be used in the library by using a guest username and password obtained from the Circulation Desk. Alumni do not have interlibrary loan privileges.


Members of the clergy or a local congregation may become guest patrons by applying for a clergy or Congregational Resource Center (CRC) card. Guest patrons are permitted to borrow up to 10 items at a time but may not check out reserve materials. They do not have interlibrary loan privileges and do not have off-campus access to the online resources.

Members of the general public may use the library and its resources, but are not eligible for a library card. Library cards are not issued to children under the age of 18.

Guest patrons use may use public access terminals and electronic resources within the library, but first must obtain a password at the Circulation Desk. A wireless network is also available for personal laptops, tablets and smartphones.

PALNI and ALI Patrons

The CTS Library participates in PALNI, the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana. This consortium is comprised of 20+ libraries throughout the state. Currently registered students, faculty, and staff of CTS may borrow items from any PALNI library using their CTS library card.  As part of a reciprocal agreement, patrons of participating PALNI libraries may borrow materials from the CTS Library. PALNI patrons must be in good standing with their library before checking out material from the CTS Library.

The CTS Library also participates in the ALI (Academic Libraries of Indiana) reciprocal borrowing program. Currently employed faculty and staff and currently enrolled students in good standing are eligible. The borrower must present an ALI Borrower card, campus ID, and photo ID with current address to a participating library. ALI borrower cards should be obtained from the patron’s home library. CTS faculty, staff, and students should visit the Circulation Desk to request an ALI Borrower card for use at other ALI institutions.

Loan Periods

The standard loan period for circulating materials for alumni and guest patrons is three weeks (21 days).  Currently registered CTS students get an 8 week loan. Faculty, staff, D.Min. and MTS students at thesis-writing stage have extended loan privileges.  

Accountability for Loans

Borrowers are responsible for returning all materials checked out in their name on time and in good condition. Borrowers will be liable for replacement fees for materials lost or damaged while materials are checked out to them. Library cards are to be used only by the patron named on the card.

If materials are needed for longer than the normal borrowing period, you may renew them via My Account under "Library Links" at the upper-right of the CTS library online catalog. You may also renew items via email (, phone (317-931-2361), or in person at the CTS Library circulation desk.

Returning Library Materials

The CTS Library has a book drop outside the Chapel entrance. DO NOT return Course Reserve material in the drop box.

Overdue/Lost Materials

Items that are not returned by the due date are considered overdue. The overdue fine is 25 cents per item per day, up to a maximum of $10 per item. Fines accrue each calendar day, whether or not the library is open. Material not returned 21 days after the due date is considered lost and patrons will be charged a $50 replacement fee per item.  Patron borrowing privileges are suspended until the fees are paid. If the material is returned, the replacement fee will be removed.  However, the overdue fine still needs to be paid (up to a maximum of $10/item).

Holds for Requested Material

A hold enables a borrower to reserve the next use of an item that is currently in circulation. Several patrons may place a hold on the same item; a queue, by request date, will be used to distribute the item fairly. A patron will be notified via email of the item’s availability when it is returned.  


Except for reserve items, all other borrowed materials are subject to recall if another patron places a hold on the item. Patrons will be emailed when a recall has been put in place. Recalled items must be returned to the library within 7 days of the recall notice being sent. Patrons requesting items will be notified via email of the item’s availability when it is returned.

Account Blocks

Blocks are placed on a patron’s record to suspend privileges until materials are returned and/or financial obligations are cleared. Patrons with faculty privileges are not assessed fines, but they are responsible for replacement costs. Long overdue materials will result in computer-generated blocks, as will non-compliance with recall notices.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

This service is available only to CTS faculty (including emeriti), CTS staff, and currently enrolled CTS students. If the CTS Library does not own a book or journal article that a patron needs, the material may be requested through interlibrary loan by filling out this ILL request form with appropriate information.


The Reserve system allows professors to make class material available in the library for a short term loan period in order for all members of the class to have access. Items on reserve are located at the Circulation Desk and may be checked out for 2 hours. Overnight checkout is also an option. Holds and recalls may not be placed on these items nor may they be renewed. A limit of three reserve items can be checked out at any time. Availability of reserve items can be access from the CTS Library online catalog under Course Reserves A $1.00 charge is incurred for every hour (or portion thereof) after the time due.

Research Services

The staff of the CTS Library is available to provide assistance to library users in finding information, using the library's online catalog, and using electronic databases. The Reference Librarian may be consulted in person, by telephone (317-931-2367), or by email. Appointments for research assistance may be made by contacting the Reference Librarian.

The Heritage Room and Archival Collection

The Heritage Room contains works by or about members of the three branches of the Restoration Movement begun by Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone: The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Independent Christian Churches, and the Churches of Christ. Due to the nature of this collection, these materials do not circulate. However, many of these works are duplicated in the circulating collection.

The Heritage Room also houses a manuscript collection, rare books, and theses and dissertations that have been written by CTS students. Many theses also have a circulating copy available upstairs next to the computer terminals.

Access to the Heritage Room is by appointment only.  Please contact Professor Scott Seay at or 317-931-1347.

The Congregational Resource Center (CRC)

The CRC is an ecumenical educational resource center supported and operated through the cooperative efforts of CTS and seven Indiana/Indianapolis area ecclesiastical judicatories. The material in the CRC is available to anyone with a CTS Library card; CTS students do not need a separate CRC borrowing card. This collection contains religious education curricula, worship resources, and material on ministry to adults, youth, and children. Contact the CRC via email or by telephone (317-931-2360).

Email Notification

The CTS Library corresponds with library patrons via email whenever possible. CTS students, staff, and faculty must use their CTS email account to receive official communications from the Seminary. Recall and hold notices are sent via email. Guest and Alumni patrons should provide an email address when applying for a library card and notify Circulation staff of any change.

Photocopies / Printouts

A photocopier/printer is located by the Circulation Desk. Students, faculty and staff use their CTS ID cards to pay for copies and printouts. Guest patrons using the library’s copy card will be charged 5 cents per page, 10 cents for a double-sided copy; color copies for guests are 25 cents per page, 50 cents for a double-sided copy. Guest patrons may also print in black and white from the public access computer terminals for 5 cents per page.

Wireless Network

Members of the CTS community and guest patrons may access a wireless network in the library using their personal laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Off Campus Access

Most of the Library’s eResources can be accessed from off campus by CTS faculty, students, and staff. You will be prompted to enter the 14-digit number from the barcode from the back of your CTS ID card. Please call the Reference Librarian at 317-931-2367 if you need assistance.

Services for the Physically Challenged

Library Circulation workers at the front desk will retrieve items from the stacks for patrons unable to do so. Contact the Circulation Desk to request this service.

In order best to serve our entire campus community the following guidelines have been established for all patrons using CTS Library. Patrons not willing to adhere to these guidelines will be asked to leave the library and/or lose library privileges.

Excessive Noise

In addition to providing information resources, the library is a place to study. Excessive noise is distracting. Please be considerate of others and pursue your library activities as quietly as possible. Headphones for use with the computers are available at the Circulation Desk.

Cell Phones

In consideration of other patrons, use of cell phones is prohibited in the CTS Library. Silence the ringer before entering the library. If you must take a call, please exit the library before answering.

Children in the Library

Children age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times when visiting the CTS Library.

The CTS Library protects each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and materials consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.

© 2018 Christian Theological Seminary