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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the campus response to COVID-19?
  • Is the library open?
  • The front of the Library building is open to the current PTS community for individual, socially-distanced studying from 8:30 am - 5:30 pm Monday-Friday.

    Electronic resources continue to be accessible to members of the PTS community and books can be requested for curbside pickup by those eligible for this service.

  • Can I return my books while the library is closed?
  • Yes; the book return slot to the left of the main doors is open.

    Library material may also be returned during the Wednesday pickup time at CRW. The CRW location is the Charlotte Newcombe (CN) Center located at 400 Emmons Drive.

  • Who has access to HathiTrust?
  • Emergency Temporary Access to full-text, in-copyright electronic resources from HathiTrust is available to PTS faculty, students, and staff. Public domain material on HathiTrust is available to everyone. Follow the link below for more information.

  • Who is eligible for curbside pickup?
  • The Library currently offers curbside pickup to PTS faculty, students, and staff.

  • How does curbside pickup work?
  • Curbside library pick-up service for faculty, students and staff has been expanded to 20 books per week.

    All book requests (including title, author, and call number) that are emailed to libcirc@ptsem.edu by 12 pm on the appropriate day (see schedule below) will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis for that week. Please specify your preferred pick up day to avoid confusion, and also sign your e-mail with your name and program.

    The Library aims to meet requests in as timely a manner as possible. If book request demand is higher than staff capacity, requests will flow to the top of the line for the next service date. Those requesting library materials will receive a notice from the Circulation Department regarding what books have been checked out to you.

    Books must be picked up within the hours listed and by the person whose library account is charged. PTS IDs will be required as proof of identity. Please come prepared to pick up your library materials wearing face masks and following all social distancing and other PTS health and wellness procedures. Any requests not picked up during the planned pickup time will be held for one week unless requested by another person.

    Library material may be returned to the building book drop at the front of the Library, or during the Wednesday pickup time at CRW. The CRW location is the Charlotte Newcombe (CN) Center located at 400 Emmons Drive.

    Request and Pickup Details:

    Wednesday — pickup at CRW (CN building) any time between 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

    Submit requests to libcirc@ptsem.edu by MONDAY at noon.


    Thursday — pickup at the Library (loading dock) any time between 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

    Submit requests to libcirc@ptsem.edu by TUESDAY at noon.


    Friday — pickup at the Library (loading dock) any time between 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (Exception: April 30 pickup 10 am -12:30 pm)

    Submit requests to libcirc@ptsem.edu by WEDNESDAY at noon.


    Please call 609-497-7940 with any questions during the pick-up window

  • Can I send someone in my place to pick up my books for curbside delivery?
  • No; only the person whose account will be charged may pick up the books. Proxies will not be allowed while the Library is still physically closed.

  • Do I have access to any non-circulating periodical and reference material?
  • The Library is pleased to offer an additional service to the community to increase access to collections while the building is closed for use. Effective immediately, the Library is expanding scanning service of non-circulating periodical and reference material to both Princeton Theological Seminary faculty and students, upon request.

    Students and faculty can request up to two articles/chapters/selections at a time by e-mailing Scanning@ptsem.edu and including the necessary bibliographic information. To manage demand and provide fair access to all, students and faculty will need to wait until their scans are returned before requesting scans of additional materials.

    Expect that requests will be filled in one week (which happens to be in sync with the turnaround time for Special Collections and Archives scanning requests).

    Scanning service will comply with copyright guidelines, so requests should not exceed Fair Use. If the Library determines that a request would exceed Fair Use, staff will contact the student or faculty member to modify the request.

    The Library will not scan material that is available online nor will it scan material that is available for borrowing through curbside pickup.

  • I am a paid patron, do I have access to the Library’s electronic resources?
  • Licensing agreements only allow the Library to make subscription or licensed electronic resources available to certain authorized users.

    You can continue to take advantage of the resources offered on the seminary’s digital library Theological Commons or through the fuller list of freely available electronic resources.

  • Who has access to online resources off campus?
  • The Library provides PTS students and other members of the Seminary community with access to licensed content (library databases, e-books, e-journals, etc.) both inside and outside the campus network.*

    PTS Alumni who request alum database access have access to a selection of these resources as well.*

    Open access (non-licensed) content is available to everyone; see Resources for Everyone.

    In other words, authorized Library users can connect to licensed (and open access) online resources, including those found in the Research Guides, Summon and the Library Catalog, from any location with internet access. Visit the Library Home Page, Catalogs, About Library Databases, About Online Journals, or Resources for Everyone for more information.

    Feel free to contact Virginia Dearborn, Discovery and Web Services Librarian, if you have any questions: https://ptsem.formstack.com/forms/discovery_and_web_services_librarian_contact_form

    Reference Service continues to be available during the closure as well.

    *This is made possible with a single sign-on authentication service. You can learn more about that service here: https://library.ptsem.edu/openathens

  • I am an alum, do I have access to the Library’s electronic resources?
  • The Library has negotiated electronic access to select databases for alumni.

  • Can I get help from the reference librarian?
  • Yes; Reference Service will continue to be available during the closure.

  • How do I login to the new library catalog?
  • If you have an active @ptsem.edu email address, click on Login and My Account. Click on the PTS Borrower link. It may ask you to enter your e-mail address and then give you a place to enter your password. And then you will see your patron record (My Account).

    If you do not have an @ptsem.edu email address and you're a guest borrower, just use the second link on the My Account Login Options page. On this page you'll enter your last name, the barcode number from your borrowing card and your PIN that you've selected. If you haven't yet set up a PIN, just enter your last name and your barcode and click Submit and you'll get prompted to create one.

    The guest borrower login involves a PIN. This PIN is also required for logging in via the MyLibrary! library catalog mobile app. Establish your PIN before using the app. For details and instructions, follow the link below.

  • Can you recommend a good place to start my research?
  • Our reference and electronic resources research guides are useful introductory tools for research. Subject areas in these guides include: Biblical Studies, History & Ecumenics, Religion & Society, Practical Theology, and Theology.

  • Where can I find reserve materials and textbooks for my classes?
  • Textbooks and Course Reserves

  • Where can I learn about on-campus, off-campus, mobile, and wireless access to library resources?
  • What is OpenAthens?
  • OpenAthens® is a single sign-on authentication service that enables access to subscription-based electronic resources both on and off campus.

  • May Ph.D. candidates borrow more books than other degree candidates?
  • Yes; degree candidates in programs other than Ph.D. may borrow up to 50 books for a 28 day period. Ph.D. candidates have expanded borrowing privileges. Follow the link below for more information.

  • How do I recall a book?
  • If you want or need a book that is charged out to someone else, you may recall it. Follow the link below for details.

  • Can books be renewed?
  • Yes; you may renew items online or via SMS (text) through your PTS Library Catalog account, but they must be renewed before the actual due date.

  • System not working?
  • If you encounter a system (e-mail, Blackboard, a library database, etc.) that is not working, please check the IT Status page to see if it is a known issue. You can subscribe to the whole page or to specific incidents to receive automatic updates. Updates on scheduled maintenance and other known issues are also sent out via Twitter @PTSTechnology.

    If you do not see the issue you are experiencing listed on the IT Status page, please alert the Help Desk to the problem with as much detail as possible.  

  • As a PTS student, do I have remote access to electronic resources owned by Princeton University?
  • No, nor do our faculty. However, you have access to those resources from within PU libraries; follow the link below for more about using Princeton University Libraries.

  • Approximately, how many volumes does the library currently have?
  • 1.3 million books and microforms in the general collection.

  • Is the Library accepting book donations?
  • At this time, the Library is not accepting donations of books, archival collections, or artifacts.

    Please check this FAQ for future updates.