Library Policies & Procedures

Borrowing, returning, and renewing materials

Borrowing Materials

Anyone may come to the library to use library materials during the seminary's regular business hours when the library is open. Hours vary by campus. Anyone who is not a Gateway Seminary student, faculty, staff, or Southern Baptist Convention pastor or associational employee may pay $80 per year for borrowing privileges.

Gateway students living more than 100 miles away and not regularly commuting to a campus may request library books sent through the mail.

The library mails the books to you free of charge up to your patron group limit. You are responsible for returning the books to the Gateway Seminary library. Patrons are responsible for materials, including overdue or lost fines/fees, until they are returned to a Gateway library.

Borrowing privileges depend on patron and item type.

NOTE: Unless a proxy patron has been authorized, patrons may only borrow materials using his/her own account. If the materials are for another person, the patron assumes all responsibilities for the borrowed materials.

A proxy patron is a patron authorized to check out books using another patron’s account. A patron may only check out items for another person if they are a proxy patron on the other patron’s account.

In order to create a proxy patron for your account, the library must have written documentation stating which person has permission to check out books on your account.

Returning materials

You may return items one of the following three ways:

  • to the circulation desk when the library is open
  • in the after-hours book drop (please use only when the library is closed)
  • by mail (but they are still due by the due date)

Renewing materials

See the Patron Privilege Table for information on how often you may renew items.

An item may not be renewed if a hold has been placed on it, or if the patron has outstanding fines on his/her account. Returned items must be placed back on the shelf for at least 24 hours before they can be borrowed again.

You may renew materials in the following ways:

  • online through your library account
  • in person—you may bring either the items, or a list of the items, to be renewed

Food, Drink, and cell phone usage

Food and drinks are welcomed in the library. Please help keep the library clean and library materials undamaged. For specific questions, please contact the local library.

To maintain the peace, quiet, and collegial atmosphere of the library space, turn off your cell phone ringers upon entering the library. Take calls outside the library. Library users who are disruptive to other library patrons will be asked to leave.

Personal materials left in public carrels, on tables, and around the library are not secured and are left at your own risk. Unclaimed materials will be moved to lost and found.

Library materials left lying around are not accessible for other library patrons. Therefore, library staff consistently picks up library materials left in public carrels, on tables, and around the library.

Several libraries are equipped with security gates. Please be alert for the possibility that the alarm may sound. If the alarm sounds, you will be asked to return to the library and resolve the problem.

Opening and maintaining an account

Any student, staff, or faculty member may open a library account. Accounts may be requested by others who live within a 100-mile radius. Library cards are issued at the time of the account opening, and the patron is responsible for bringing the card or a photo identification in order to borrow books.

There is a replacement fee of $5 for all lost library cards.

At this time, there is an $80 annual fee for community members to open an account. For a complete listing of borrowing privileges, see the Patron Privilege Table. All library patrons are responsible for knowing and abiding by library policies and procedures.

Change of address

Please help us ensure that library notices are sent to the right email address. All library notices are sent by email. You may view and change your current address information by logging into your account. All patrons are responsible for keeping their library records current.

Overdue and lost items


  • Most items: $.25 per item per day
  • Reserve materials: $.50 per item per hour
  • Interlibrary loan materials: $2.00 per item per day
  • Recalled materials: $1.00 per day
  • Library carrels (Ontario): $1.00 per day

About overdue items:

  • Until items are returned and the fee is paid, no other materials may be borrowed.
  • Courtesy notices are sent via email seven days before the actual due date.
  • Overdue notices are sent via email.
  • After the third overdue notice, a letter will be sent from the circulation supervisor or the regional librarian requesting the items.
  • Items overdue for 30 days are changed to “lost” status and all lost fees and processing charges apply.

Note: Unpaid library fines may result in the loss of library privileges, blockage of course registration, and/or the withholding of one’s diploma.

Replacement of lost materials

Lost materials (defined as borrowed items unable to be found by either the patron or the library staff) cost $50 and a processing fee of $25. No other materials may be borrowed until these fees are paid.

Placing items on hold

If you wish to place an item on hold:

  1. Patrons can place a hold for items online through the Library Catalog or at their local campus library.
  2. Go to the item’s page in the catalog, then place a hold on the item by clicking on "Requests" in the Library Catalog.
  3. You will be notified when the item is returned and waiting.
    Note: library staff cannot reveal the name of the person who has borrowed the item. 
  4. Check the status of the item in your account.
  5. The item will be held at the library for 14 days. If it is not checked out by the end of 14 days, it will be returned to the shelf.

Registration and graduation block 

Students with any unpaid library fines or overdue books may be blocked from semester registration and/or receiving a diploma. All fines and books must be returned and library account cleared before a diploma will be issued.

To remove a library block, students must go to the local library and return all overdue books and/or pay all fines. Fines must be paid at the local library (not a business office). Library fines/fees may be paid for with cash, checks, or by credit card. Make checks payable to Gateway Seminary.

The library is only one department of four seminary departments which can place holds on student accounts. Please make sure to verify the type of hold before assuming it is a library hold.

For any questions regarding registration and/or graduation blocks, please contact circulation or your regional librarian.

Reserve Materials

Find reserve items under the Course Reserve Search in the catalog.

Depending on the item, reserve materials may be borrowed for two hours, three days, or seven days. Or you may borrow a reserve item overnight by coming to the library in the last hour that it is open, borrowing the item, and returning it in the first hour the library is open the next day. For two hour loans, the fine is $.50 per item per hour overdue. For three- and seven-day loans, the fine is $1.00 per item per day.

eReserves are PDF documents and can be accessed using the semester password. They can be accessed 24/7 through the library catalog’s Course Reserve Search.

Intercampus Loans (ICL), Bookbag, and Interlibrary loan (ILL) 

Click here for more info on ICL, Bookbag and ILL