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Library User's Manual

       I.      Mission


A.  Mission Statement


The Biersdorf Library serves a unique community of students, faculty, alumni, and local pastors in an urban Detroit setting.  The library’s primary mission is to identify, acquire, organize, make accessible, and preserve information resources to support Ecumenical Theological Seminary’s curriculum and mission.  Also, the Library works to share with and to teach the community about the library’s resources and to provide information literacy training.  Finally, the Biersdorf Library offers outreach programming to the neighborhood and religious communities to advance the mission of Ecumenical Theological Seminary. The Library holds the following statements as key to understanding its mission:


·         The Five Laws of Library Science by Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan:

1.      Books are for use.

2.      Books are for all.

3.      Every book has its reader and every reader has his/her book.

4.      Save the time of the reader.

5.      A library is a growing organism.  

    II.      Freedom to Read


The Biersdorf Library strongly believes that our patrons, regardless of origin, age, class, race, gender, sexual orientation, or views have the freedom to read materials from all points of view. The library will not exclude, censor, proscribe, abridge, or remove materials because of doctrinal disapproval, origin, background, or point of view.


 III.      Collection Development


A.    Collection Development


Collection development at the Biersdorf Library is carried out by the Director of Library Services following the Collection Development Policy.  A copy of this policy is kept at the Desk in the library and may be reviewed upon request.  Suggestions to have the library purchase materials may be submitted to the Director of Library Services by e-mail or letter.


B.     Gift Policy


The library’s collection does not develop solely through the purchase of materials, but also through receiving unsolicited and solicited donations.  All donated materials will be evaluated by the librarian in charge of collection development using the same criteria applied to materials being considered for purchase. The library generally only accepts materials that were published in the last 15 years. 


The library is not obliged to retain any gift materials that fail to meet the selection criteria.  All unwanted donations are property of the library and will be disposed by: (1) book sale, (2) donation to another charity, or (3) recycling or discarding.  This policy is explained to any individual who contacts the library about making a donation.


Legal restrictions do not allow the library to appraise any donation, but the librarian will provide a thank you letter to the giver that will include a description of the gift.  If the giver requires a professional appraisal of the gift to assign a monetary value to the materials, then it is the giver’s responsibility to make those arrangements.


      The library does not usually accept the following types of materials:

·         Records

·         Tapes

·         Videos

·         Materials outside of the scope of the collection

·         Newspapers

·         Single copies of serials

·         Small paperbacks


 IV.      Circulation


a.      Borrowing Privileges


1.      Students – All ETS students (UMD, MDiv, DMin, and Cooperative MDiv) may check out an unlimited number of books for six weeks at a time with three additional renewals unless there is a hold on their account for unpaid fines or lost materials.  An item may be recalled after six weeks if another student has requested it.  All holds must be cleared through the Director of Library Services before additional materials may be checked out.


2.   Faculty, Faculty Emeritus, Staff, Alumni, and Board of Directors – All ETS faculty, staff, and board members may check out an unlimited number of books for six weeks at a time with three additional renewals unless there is a hold on their account because of unpaid fines or lost materials. All holds must be cleared through the Director of Library Services before additional materials may be checked out.


3.   People in Pastoral Ministry – All people in pastoral roles in the metro Detroit area may purchase a membership for $50 per year and are allowed check out 3 books for six weeks at a time with one additional renewal unless there is a hold on their account because of lost materials or unpaid fines. For first time borrowers, the patron should present a valid ID with current address and information on their location of ministry.  Alumni may purchase a membership for $35.  All holds must be cleared through the Director of Library Services before additional materials may be checked out.


4.   College Students – All college students from institutions with reciprocal borrowing agreements may check out six books at a time with three additional renewals unless there is a hold on their account for lost materials for unpaid fines. A student must present a valid ID from their college.  All holds must be cleared through the Director of Library Services before additional materials may be checked out.


5.  Community – The Biersdorf Library allows members of the general public to purchase a membership to the library for $50.00 per year to check out materials from the library.  They may check out three books for six weeks at a time with one additional renewal unless there is a hold on their account because of lost materials or unpaid fines. Alumni may purchase a membership for $35.  For first time borrowers, the people should present a valid ID with current address.  All holds must be cleared through the Director of Library Services before additional materials may be checked out.


b.      Loan Periods – Materials may be checked out from the Biersdorf Library for six weeks with three additional renewals.


c.       Interlibrary Loan – The Biersdorf Library does not provide interlibrary loan unless there is a very special need.  With ten-week quarters, most inter-library materials would not arrive in time for most paper deadlines.  Using WorldCat Database, nearly all information needs may be met using libraries in the metro area.  Also, if the item fits the Library’s collection, ETS will order the material for the library.


d.      Other Libraries – The Biersdorf Library has a reciprocal borrowing agreement with Marygrove College.  ETS students may borrow materials from Marygrove by presenting their student ID card at the circulation desk of the Marygrove Library.  The Detroit Public Library also has a historical religion collection, and anyone who is a resident of the city of Detroit has borrowing privileges. 


e.       Fines and Holds – After the materials have been overdue from the Library for one week (except for holidays), all library users are charged a fine of .14 cents per weekday until the book is returned.  The user is entitled to a one week grace period, the grace period does not include materials that are renewed. Notices are sent out the first week of every month.  After three overdue notices, user’s will be charged for the replacement cost of the materials plus a $10 restocking fee or the total amount of fines, which ever is higher. The borrower will be placed on hold for classes and graduation until their bill is settled.  


f.       Checking Out and Returning Materials – All materials leaving the library MUST be checked out to the user.  All materials MUST be returned in the Library Drop Box to ensure that they are checked back in to the library in an orderly fashion..  The Drop Box is emptied daily to assure that materials are credited in a safe and timely manner.

    V.      Privacy


The Biersdorf Library does maintain personal information concerning library accounts.  It is stored in the library’s circulation catalog and is not accessible to anyone but library staff.  Patron confidentiality extends information sought or received; materials used, borrowed, or acquired, reference questions, and circulation records.  This information will only be released for a court warrant.  If you have any question about this policy, please contact the Director of Library Services at 313-831-5200 ext. 222.


 VI.      Catalog


The library’s catalog is available in electronic format in the library.  If you have any question or problems with the catalog system, please contact the Director of Library Services at 313-831-5200 ext. 222.


VII.      Databases


The library maintains 10 databases for patrons use.  All of the online databases, including the ATLA Religion database with ATLAS full text, from any online computer.  Students will also have access to Wilson Web and ERIC as well as ArticleFirst and WorldCat.  The databases are accessible from any computer with a User Id and Password. 



VIII.      E-Books


The library maintains a collection of over 9,000 e-books for its patrons. Patrons may search the e-book through EBSCO host E-Book Collection.


 IX.      Music Collection


The library maintains a choir music collection that may be searched in the library catalog.  This collection contains the music collection of the First Presbyterian Church of Detroit, and new selections are only added through donation.  All musical selections are marked in the catalog with call numbers, which begin with the word “Music.” The music circulates for the normal six week loan period and may be renewed three times.  Please return all music to the Circulation Desk and wait for the number of pieces to be counted.  Please ask for the librarian’s help to use this collection.


    X.      Audio-Visual Collection


The audio-visual collection of the library contains audiotapes, CDs, videotapes, DVDs, and computer programs.  This collection may be searched in the library catalog and all materials have call numbers, which begin with the letters “AV.”   All AV materials circulate for the normal period with no renewals.  Please return all AV items in the Book Drop Box upstairs.


 XI.      Archives


The Beirsdorf Library maintains an Archives and Rare Book collection. The collection contains a number of religious titles and the records of the First Presbyterian Church of Detroit, other Detroit religious groups, and the historic records of Ecumenical Theological Seminary and its parent organizations.  A finding tool for this collection may be used at the Circulation Desk.  All materials from the Archives may only be used under the supervision and direction of a librarian.  See the Biersdorf Library Archives Policy, at the Circulation Desk, for more information.


 IX.      Computer Etiquette Policy


                        Transmission, reception, or display of any material or communications in violation of any U.S. or state regulation is prohibited, including but not limited to:  copyrighted material, threatening or obscene material, or material protected as trade secrets.  Any display of sexually explicit, obscene, or graphic material will result in the immediate revocation of Internet privileges for one year.


                        Unauthorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data are prohibited on all computers in the library and Information Technology Center.  Violation of U.S. copyright law can leave the user liable to civil damages and criminal penalties.


Users may bring documents, images and other work to load into applications or programs that already exist on public access computers in designated areas.  New applications or programs may not be loaded into public access computers.  Work can be opened on the computer from the student’s own USB drive or CD to continue work or to print, and can be saved on the same media.  Work can also be emailed to oneself.  Saving work on the library’s computers is not recommended, as the library cannot be responsible for work left on public access computers.


Materials downloaded from the Internet may contain computer viruses.  ETS is not responsible for damage to any user’s disk or computer, or any loss of data, damage, or liability that may occur from patron use of the Library’s computers. Malicious tampering with computer hardware or software is prohibited and will result in a one-year suspension of a customer’s computer privileges


Due to the public nature of the library’s computers, the library does not advise patrons to conduct commercial transactions on public access computers.  The library cannot be held responsible for any losses incurred if patrons choose to use the public access computers to conduct commercial transactions.


Keep your personal information personal!  You must LOG OFF your email or other personal accounts to maintain your privacy and security, and to prevent others from accessing your accounts.  The library cannot be responsible for access made to open email, Amazon, and other accounts left accessible on the public computers.


Moodle can be accessed through the website under”Student Resources,” or at  Your Username is the first letter of your first name + your last name, no spaces.  Your password is your student number plus @ETseminary (for those who entered in the fall of 2010 or later). If you need assistance with Moodle can be obtained by contacting the ETS Library.


    X.      Handicap Accessibility


The library strongly regrets that its building is not completely handicap accessible.  Our long-term building plan does move the library into a new building, which will be totally handicap accessible, but in the mean-time, all students with a physical handicap that prevents them from entering the library should contact the Director of Library Services to make alternate arrangements.   There is a computer workstation on the first floor where patrons may search the library’s catalog, and library staff will bring the materials up to them.


 XI.      Cell Phone Policy


The library asks that everyone turn their cell phone off or switch it to a silent mode while working in the library.  If anyone must answer a call, please take the conversation outside of the library.


XII.      Quiet Study Space


The library offers several areas for group study in the library.  The Church Library classroom, right up the steps from the library, is a designated quiet study space from 9 am until 5 pm daily.  If you have any difficulties using this space, please see library staff. 


XIII.      Work Study


The library offers work-study opportunities for students in any of the ETS’s programs.  Open positions are posted on the student list serves.  Students interested in a position should contact the Director of Library Services for additional information.


XIV.       ETS Journal Collection

The journals and periodicals shelved in the ETS library are from the current year; the others are in the archives.  The periodicals and journals in our collection include:


African American Pulpit                                 The Anglican Theological Review        

Ashland Theological Journal                          Biblical Archaeology Review  

Catalyst                                                        Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Christian Century                                          Church History

Christianity Today                                         Church Solutions

Commonweal                                                Congregationalist                                    

Ecumenical Trends                                         Ecumenical Studies                            

Evangelical Quarterly                                     Evangelical Review of Theology

Faith & International Affairs                          Forum Letter                                                  

Feminist Studies in Religion                           First Things                                                    

GOTR                                                          Image                                                             

International Bonhoeffer Society                 International Bulletin                                     

Interpretation                                                  In Trust                                                          

Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling           Journal of Religion

Journal of the American Academy of Religion            Michigan Chronicle Newspaper                     

Lutheran Forum                                              Melanesian Journal of Theology                    

Ministerial Formation                                       Mosaic                                                                                                   

New Testament Abstracts                               Old Testament Abstracts                               

Origins                                                            Perspectives

Preaching                                                        Pro Ecclesia                                                

The Record                                                    SacredPlaces                                                

St. Vladimir’s                                                 Saudi Aramco World                                      

The Servant                                                    Sojourners                                                     

Spiritus                                                          Theological Education

Theological Studies                                        Weavings                                                       



XV.       Moodle


·          Access Moodle through the ETS website under student resources, or save the link in your “favorites” in your web browser (


·          Once at the site, log in.  Your user name is the first letter of your first name and you last name, no spaces.  If you were enrolled as a student before September of 2010, your password is the first 4 numbers on your student name badge.  If you were enrolled as a student after September 2010, your password is the first 4 number of your student number combined with the phrase “@ETseminary” (the password is case sensitive). Write the password in your planner if you do not carry your name badge.


·          ETS wireless code is the seminary fax number:  3138311353, no spaces or dashes.


·          When you log into Moodle, you will see your classes listed.  Select the class to which you will be posting.


·          Choose the assignment/topic.


·          “ADD A NEW DISCUSSION TOPIC” opens a new window for your work to be posted.  Your name and the title of this work will show under the listing of discussions. At this point you can either put the URL or paste your work that you have done in Word and saved with the topic heading you need for class


·          When you click on a “discussion,” the lower right corner you can click on “Reply” to respond, and your response will be listed UNDER THAT TOPIC.


·          ALWAYS REPLY TO THE MAIN DISCUSSION TOPIC, unless you specifically mean to answer another person’s posting to the discussion.  Use the “Reply” that is in the lower right corner of the discussion you are posting to.


·          ALL INFO MUST BE FILLED OUT TO POST YOUR REPLY.  If it doesn't seem to post, check this again.


·         ALWAYS PRESS “Continue” after you post, and re-open your posting and re-read it to make certain that it is as you intended.  YOU HAVE ABOUT AN HOUR TO MAKE ANY NEEDED CORRECTIONS. MAKE SURE THIS IS DONE IN WORD so that your post will be correct when you paste or when people open it.


·         Remember that Moodle is a place to POST your writings, NOT A PLACE TO WRITE AT!  You must always work in Word (or whatever program you use to write), save (Control + S) your work often while writing, and then to paste it into Moodle.


o   Highlight the work to be copied into Moodle (Control + A selects all)

o   Copy the work (Control + C)

o   Paste the work into Moodle: Locate the cursor in the box for the text on Moodle and Paste (Control + V).  The text should not be copied into the text box.

o   Make CERTAIN to re-read your work after you o post it.  You have an hour to make any needed corrections.


·         NOTE:  IT IS BETTER TO “COPY” THAN TO “CUT,” AS WHEN YOU “CUT” YOU REMOVE THE WORK FROM YOUR ORIGINAL.  If you happen to save the document again after you have cut the work out, the work will be lost.


·         ASK FOR HELP!  We are all in this together.  There are no silly questions, but it would be silly to struggle when help is available.  If the ETS library is open, feel free to call with questions!   The ETS Library number is 313-831-5200 ext. 222.


·         IF THE INTERNET IS DOWN:  Glitches happen occasionally.  It is always advisable to email your instructor a copy of your work so that it will have the time and date attached, to prove that your work was completed by the assignment date.



Porsha Mallett,
Nov 6, 2013, 8:04 AM