- Acess the library catalog
- Select from the menu: keyword, title, author, subject, or ISBN, for example.
- Enter your search term (select PRTS if you want to search just the seminary’s collection
- When your book (or list of books) comes up as “available,” write down the call number (this will tell you where it is located in the library)
- Click on the title to find out more information about the book
Once you find the book in the online catalog, you can locate it by the call number on the library shelves (see FAQ #5 under Books) Checking out books from either Cornerstone or Kuyper requires your PRTS library card. Once you find books on their shelves, bring them to the front desk and someone will assist you. If you are not a PRTS student, faculty, or staff, you will need to apply for a guest card from the individual library, whether Cornerstone, Kuyper, or PRTS. The circulation policy for all three institutions is available here.
Zondervan Library hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 8 am to 10 pm; Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm; and Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. Miller Library hours of operation are generally 7:30 am to midnight, Monday through Thursday, but closing on 5 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Most books are due in 4 weeks. You can renew most books for an additional 4 weeks by going online with your PRTS ID card number (“My Library Account” link on the catalog home page).
You may not check out Reference books (shelved in the Reference section), magazines, journals, or antiquarian books. Guest borrowers may have additional restrictions (see the Guest Borrowing Policy)
- PRTS, Cornerstone, and Kuyper libraries are all organized by Library of Congress subjects and call numbers. For example, most of our Bible commentaries will be shelved together in the BS471-BS2825 range, in order of the books of the Bible (Genesis: BS1235- to Revelation: BS2825).
- At PRTS only, books by or about the Puritans are housed in the Puritan Research Center (see FAQ #9 under Books). Secondary source works about the Puritans are shelved by LC call number, but books by the Puritans themselves (primary sources) are shelved in alphabetic order by the last name of the author.
These numbers were assigned in PRTS library’s previous system (not at CU library, however). They were retained in our online catalog to enable searches by the JRB number, using the ISBN search. If you know the JRB number, simply type it in as a search by ISBN. Need help with this? Ask our library staff or submit an “Ask-a-librarian” request.
Books restricted for limited class access are shelved separately in PRTS (and CU) library. These books are restricted to a 4-hour checkout time in order to make them available to all students in the course. Overnight and weekend checkout options are available.
Try searching the WorldCat database, the world’s largest catalog of library-owned materials. You can then obtain these books either by interlibrary loan, or by finding them in a Grand Rapids area library.
Click here for a complete description of the Puritan Research Center.
PRTS library has hundreds of rare books, depending on one’s definition of ‘rare.’ Most of these are part of the Puritan Research Collection. Many date back to the late 16th century, such as John Knox’s (1560) An Answer to a Great Number of Blasphemous Cavillations written by an Anabaptist…A few other gems include: William Attersoll’s (1610) Continuation of the Exposition of the book of Number, of the History of Balak…; and Niels Hemminsen’s (1569) Exposition of the Gospels…; and John Downame’s (1609) The Christian Warfare.
One rare title of particular interest for its provenance is the 3-volume Works of William Perkins, printed in 1626. This set was owned by Charles Spurgeon, and passed on to another great expositor, Arthur Pink, whose numbers handwritten notes appear in the margins of all three volumes.
If a books is lost or damaged, you may be charged a replacement fee–this includes not only the cost of replacing the book (closest edition available), but a processing fee to find and re-catalog the new book, and prepare it for the shelf. If such a fee is charged, your library account may be blocked until paid in full. In the case where books are “lost,” but later found and returned to the PRTS library, the replacement cost will be waived or refunded, and a late fee will be assessed instead.
For more information, refer to the PRTS Damaged Book Policy.
Books that are not returned by the due date are considered overdue. A courtesy reminder will be sent to the borrower’s email address three days prior to when an item is due. An overdue notice will be emailed to the patron three days after the item is due. If the item is still not returned within 11 more days, (14 total) a replacement bill is sent. This will include a $40 default cost for any item, a $30 processing fee, and a $5 billing fee, for a total of $75. If the material is later returned, the charges will be removed except for the $5 billing fee, per item.
- Assistance from library staff is readily available for finding and checking out books.
- Assistance finding books that are not in the PRTS library or finding journal articles should be directed to our library by email or by using the online “Ask-a-Librarian” form.
- Interlibrary loan is a service available only to current PRTS faculty, staff, and students. The same is true at CU library. Alumni and guests are unable to borrow by ILL (due to license restrictions).
PRTS students in the USA and Canada who are currently registered as distance education students are able to borrow books from the PRTS library and to have them mailed to their home. They are responsible for return postage and must observe the usual loan periods (4 weeks from receipt of books, though they may also renew books online or by email).
Distance students requesting journal articles from either of our two full-text article collections may do so using the links within the databases. If requesting articles from our print journal collection or from the databases where the full-text is not available online, please email the librarian (email@example.com to request the pdf article.
Interlibrary loan requests for books are often more efficient when processed through the distance education student’s local library, though we are happy to provide research assistance in finding books as requested.
Interlibrary loan is a service available only to current PRTS faculty, staff, and students. The same is true at CU library. Alumni and guests are unable to borrow by ILL (due to license restrictions).
For a full explanation of ILL policies and procedures, please see the PRTS Interlibrary Loan policy
- Many of our journals are indexed in our subscription databases and some are available full-text online (in ATLA-Religion and the Religion and Philosophy Collection). These are licensed databases restricted to our currently registered students, faculty, and staff. If you are a PRTS student, call or email library staff for access information.
- There are certain “open-access” journals that provide free access to articles in theology, religion, and ministry. See the Free Articles Online tab on our Articles and Journals page.
PRTS library subscribes to about 150 periodicals, and has back files of several decades for many journals.
Do a Journal title search in the online catalog to find print journals or magazines in the library.
Many of our journals are indexed (and some are available full-text) within the ATLA-Religion and Religion and Philosophy databases. These are licensed databases restricted to our currently registered students, faculty, and staff. If you are a PRTS student, call or email library staff for access information.
There are certain “open-access” journals that provide free access to articles in theology, religion, and ministry. See the Free Articles Online tab on our Articles and Journals page.
The PRTS library has individual carrels with network ports and electric outlets for laptop computers; wireless access to the network is also available. There are three public access computers with internet access for student and guest use.
- Christian Periodical Index (CPI)
- New Testament Abstracts (NTA)
- Old Testament Abstracts (OTA)
- Puritan Electronic Research Tool (PeRT)
- Puritan Studies Index (PSI)
- Religion & Philosophy Collection
Zotero is a freely available online bibliographic management system. It enables one to create Turabian style bibliographies from data available online, through databases, from library catalogs, etc. It also enables one to organize one’s research by note-taking capabilities of everything in one’s personal Zotero “library.” For an online tutorial, click here.
PRTS library is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. PRTS faculty, staff, and students have extended access hours.
Everyone is welcome to visit the PRTS library during its regular hours (see previous FAQ). Guests may apply for a guest card(some borrowing restrictions apply, and an annual fee of $10 is required). For more information about guest borrowing, click on the Borrowing Policy tab here.