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Collection Development

Collection Development and Access Policies

Revised December 2015; Updated August 2017; Updated June 2022

I. Mission Statement

The Styberg Library advances the educational mission of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary by expanding access, enhancing the teaching and learning process, empowering research, and facilitating collaboration. The Library serves Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Bexley Seabury Seminary, Northwestern University, and the wider communities of students, pastors, and scholars.

II. Purpose and Goals of the Collection Development and Access Policies

The purpose of the collection development and access policies is to document the guidelines by which the collections of the Styberg Library are selected, acquired, and managed. The goal of this statement is to ensure that the library’s collection development activities are congruent with the Seminary’s educational mission, planning, and academic function. It also aims to inform the faculty, students, administrators, Board of Trustees, and others who use the library about what is collected and at what levels to support research and instruction.

III. Background

Established in 1981 under the name of The United Library when the collections of both Garrett- Evangelical and Seabury-Western (now renamed as Bexley Seabury) Theological Seminaries merged, the library was renamed the Styberg Library on May 11, 2017, in recognition of the contributions of Ernest and Bernice Styberg to the seminary. The Styberg Library continues to be an active and supportive partner in the promotion of academic learning and research.

IV. Library Collections and Access

The library is considered as one of the top theological research libraries in the United States. Today the Styberg Library contains nearly 350,000 volumes, 200 periodical subscriptions, and audio-visual media in addition to a wide array of electronic and digital resources. Collection distinctives include rare book collections from Methodist and Anglican traditions, ancient Near Eastern studies, and biblical archeology; special Keen Bible collections with several outstanding first editions; and manuscript and archival collections including Garrett- Evangelical institutional records, personal papers, and church archives of the United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference. Digital collections include the Georgia Harkness Papers, the Lucy Rider Meyer Papers, the Chicago Training School Archives, and Methodist Manuscripts.

For access to materials beyond the scope of its own collection, the Styberg Library seeks partnerships with other institutions. The Styberg Library and Northwestern University Library share seamless borrowing privileges and a single public catalog which provides access to the physical and electronic collections of both libraries. The Styberg Library is a member of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) which was founded in 1984, and currently comprises twelve area theological schools. Membership in the ACTS makes available some denominational materials collected by these institutions that would not otherwise be accessible by the Styberg Library community. It is also a member of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), which provides access to the collections of 128 academic libraries in Illinois through Interlibrary Loan. The Styberg Library is also a member of Atla, a membership association of librarians and information professionals, and a producer of research tools, committed to advancing the study of religion and theology. It includes more than 800 libraries from diverse religious traditions and backgrounds.

The Styberg Library also provides access to resources through the creation of Research Guides and tutorials as well as services such as orientation sessions, classroom instruction, scanning, curbside pickup, and mailing.

V. General Collection Guidelines

A. Responsibility for Collection Development

The selection process is a cooperative and interactive effort between the Library Director, library staff, and faculty members. The Librarian has the primary and ultimate responsibility for building and maintaining the library’s collections and bears particular responsibility to balance acquisitions so that the collection grows in all relevant subject areas. All selections are made in light of the selection guidelines and the collection development policy.

B. Selection Process

  • Firm order selections by the Library Director
  • Collecting profiles have been established with several book vendors and publishers who notify the library of new publications in areas of interest.
  • Faculty and student recommendations
  • Publisher catalogs and scholarly review journals are consulted. However, for the most part, the library needs to obtain those materials long before reviews appear in print.

C. Selection Criteria

In general, the following factors are considered in the decision to purchase a library resource:

  • Relevance to curriculum: Materials needed for instructional purposes in all degree programs are always ordered.
  • Intended audience: Graduate students and faculty from the theological seminary as well as local clergy are the library’s primary user base. Therefore,  textbooks, outlines, and popular and juvenile literature are rarely purchased unless required for courses.
  • Language: Although the predominant language of the collection is English, followed by the major European languages, the library staff makes an effort to meet the needs of more diverse users by acquiring materials in Spanish and Korean.
  • Recommendations by faculty: Faculty recommendations are strongly encouraged. Although the Librarian reserves the right to refuse a faculty request when necessary, in practice, faculty requests are almost always fulfilled if the item requested is obtainable and affordable.
  • Recommendation by students: Recommendations by students are also welcomed and solicited.
  • Availability elsewhere: Resources are available through Northwestern University, ACTS Libraries, or other research institutions in Illinois
  • Quality: Based on the reputation of the author and type of publisher
  • Projected need: Purchases based on use patterns of similar material already in the collection
  • Textbooks: Electronic books are preferred, if available; however, the library honors the faculty member’s preferred format. For course reserves, e-books are also preferred if available.

D. Reference Collection

The reference collection is developed by the Library Director in consultation with the Research, Instruction, & Digital Services Librarian. Other library staff are highly encouraged to give their input. Some general criteria to be considered in the selection of new reference materials are:

  • Faculty recommendations
  • Judged usefulness of the publication, considering the existing collection
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection related to the current needs of the Seminary
  • Potential frequency of use
  • Reputation of the author
  • Currency of the topic
  • Date of publication
  • Price of the publication
  • Language of the publication: The primary language of the reference collection will be English, but no appropriate reference materials will be excluded because of language. Standing order obligations
  • Format: electronic is preferred to print
  • Subject scope: almanacs and yearbooks; bibliographies; biographies; dictionaries, language; encyclopedias; directories; indexes and abstracts; Sacred Scriptures, commentaries, and concordances; statistics; Atlases, biblical and historical; other standard non-religious reference tools (thesauri, style manuals, etc.) to meet the general needs of the patrons

E. Electronic/Digital Resources

Increasingly, the library acquires electronic and other non-print resources to support instruction and research, especially as an aid to online and distance learning. Electronic resources include bibliographic materials and full-text files in a variety of formats, including licensed materials (for example, databases, e-journals, e-books, etc.). The library is curating its own collection of e-books, mostly of course textbooks, as well as providing access to a wide array of electronic resources through the partnership with Northwestern University Library (NUL). This includes access to databases and e-journals acquired through a cost-sharing arrangement with NUL. The type of access purchased (one user, three simultaneous users, unlimited users) is based on user needs and class size.

F. Non-Print Materials

The library also acquires other non-book materials, such as DVDs and CDs to support instruction, either by faculty request or by library staff recommendation. However, the subscription to video streaming services is now preferred over the purchase of physical items. Streaming services are purchased on demand using a subscription-based model (usually one year) depending on course need.

G. Serials and Periodicals

The library maintains a strong collection of current periodicals and serials. It collects major scholarly journals in theology and biblical studies as well as conference journals of the Methodist Church and Episcopal Church. The responsibility for periodical and serial selection rests with the Library Director who weighs each potential addition or cancellation carefully, taking into account requests from faculty and students, current trends in the subject field, and financial considerations.

In addition to the general selection criteria listed above, the following factors are desirable when considering adding new subscriptions to serials:

  • Electronic availability, including backfiles
  • Full-text availability
  • Inclusion in major indexing and abstracting tools

High subscription costs preclude collecting both electronic and print formats in most cases. Electronic subscriptions have the advantage of not occupying physical space and not requiring as much handling by library staff. Exceptions to this policy include lack of acceptable archiving practices on the part of the electronic format vendor or superiority of the print format with regard to images or other considerations.

Upon the decision of the Circulation & Access Services Manager, back issues of print periodicals are bound and shelved.

H. Manuscripts and Archives

The collecting policy for Manuscripts and Archives encompasses four main areas:

  • Institutional Records of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Its Predecessors including Garrett Biblical Institute/Garrett Theological Seminary, Union Biblical Institute/Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Chicago Training School.
  • Personal Papers. Papers of former presidents and faculty members, papers and/or sermons of renowned Garrett-Evangelical alums or Methodist leaders
  • United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference Church Records.
  • Faculty Publications. Cu   Current practice is to purchase one electronic copy, if available (for access purposes), and one print copy for the Faculty Display Case (for promotional purposes). If the title is available only in print, then two copies are purchased (one for the circulating collection and one for the Faculty Display Case).

I. Special Collections

The Styberg Library has a small but significant collection of rare books, journals, and pamphlets in the Methodist tradition, Egyptology, and Ancient Near Eastern studies. It also includes rare Bible collections including several outstanding first editions of English translations.

Although considerable retrospective and rare book titles were purchased between 1964 and 2003, current funding for materials no longer makes new acquisitions possible. Additions to the collection are made very occasionally by the receipt of gifts.

J. Gifts

Gifts are no longer accepted as of July 1, 2022, due to space limitations. Rare exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Library Director.

The Styberg Library does not appraise the value of gift material. Donors may have independent professional appraisals performed for especially valuable gifts.

VI. Collecting Areas by Library of Congress Classification

Philosophy, Psychology, and Ethics (B-BJ)

The library collects only a limited range of publications in this field, with more depth in the areas of the philosophy of religion, psychology of religion, and religious ethics with an emphasis on Christian ethical thought.

Religions. Mythology (BL)

The library collects some reference works in this area.

Judaism (BM)

The library has a limited working collection of Judaica and Hebraica and depends on NUL. The library acquires selected Hebrew reference works such as standard editions of the Bible, encyclopedias, and dictionaries. It collects books on Hebrew Bible and the biblical and intertestamental periods. It also includes materials on the Essenes, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and related studies as well as in the area of Jewish-Christian relations and related fields.

Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy (BP); Buddhism (BQ)

The library maintains a working collection of current books needed in the teaching program in world religions and interreligious dialogues.

Christianity (BR)

Protestantism is collected at the Styberg Library in depth in all of its aspects. The areas of greatest strength in the existing collection are nineteenth and early twentieth century Protestantism, Luther and the German Reformation, the English Reformation, Patristics, and Pietism. The collection represents all western European languages. The library depends on other ACTS libraries and NUL for Medieval Church and Catholicism, although resources on Christianity in other continents such as Latin America, Asia, and Africa are being purchased to a greater degree given the growing emphasis on multiculturalism and works of theologians of color.

The Bible (BS)

The library has a strong collection in Biblical studies. This includes biblical texts, biblical theology, biblical commentaries and criticism, hermeneutics, and archaeology. Texts of the Bible are collected for research and historical purposes only. New editions of the Bible will be purchased in other languages, but in most cases no new printings or expensive editions and reprints.

Doctrinal Theology (BT)

The library has a strong collection in theological studies. While the library used to collect books written by Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox authors in English, German, and French languages, the current collecting focus is on works in Protestant theology, primarily in English, due to the budget constraint. The library also actively acquires contemporary theologies from feminist, womanist, black, liberation, intersectional, post-colonial, and global perspectives.

Homiletics and Practical Theology (BV)

Liturgy, ritual, homiletics, Christian education (including curriculum materials), pastoral care and theology are collected in depth at the Styberg Library. The library has major collections of works on liturgics, many of which are classed by the church body, i.e., United Methodist Church or Church of England. The existing hymnology and church music collection are very strong in Methodist and Anglican hymnals and Psalters. The library also has a large collection of English language Protestant nineteenth and early twentieth-century hymnals and missionary periodicals.

Denominations and Sects (BX)

The emphasis at the Styberg Library in this area has been on Eastern and Oriental Churches, Anglican Communion, Catholic Church, and Society of Friends in the past. Particularly, the Anglican collection includes copies of the early Prayer Books and many other Anglican liturgical texts from the Hale Rare Book Collection. The history of the Church of Ireland, the Church of England, and the Episcopal Church in Scotland is well documented. For more in-depth collections on the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian/Universalist Churches, the Styberg Library depends on ACTS libraries.

Methodist Church and Studies (local classification: BY)

The Styberg Library has a very rich collection of material documenting the history of Methodism from its beginning to 1850, including a number of manuscripts and many of the writings of John and Charles Wesley. Its collection of American Methodism is very extensive, especially for periodicals, conference journals, and biographies. The literature of Methodism in areas outside of Britain and the United States is well represented. Current collecting is limited to new titles as well as to maintaining periodical subscriptions and standing orders for journals of the conferences of the United Methodist Church.

Cognate Areas (A, C-Z)

The library only acquires cognate material that has a direct relationship to its curriculum of theology and pastoral ministry or serves as background material for study in these fields. More current and in-depth material in these disciplines may be borrowed from NUL and other Illinois academic libraries. Areas where the library will collect some material are: G – religious anthropology; H – sociology of religion; K – canon law; M – church music; N – Christian art; P – Christian fiction and literature; R – medical ethics

VII. Policies on Collection Assessment and Maintenance

A. Binding and Repair

Journal volumes are bound if the journal is being retained by the library indefinitely. Journals that are retained for only a certain number of years are not bound. Journal backfiles for which permanent access is available in JSTOR are not retained.

Due to budget constraints, new paperback copies are bound only in exceptional cases.

The Circulation & Access Services Manager is responsible for binding and rebinding.

The Circulation & Access Services Manager sets aside books that may need repair, replacement, or withdrawal due to their physical condition. The Circulation & Access Services Manager and the Assistant Director of Technical Services are responsible for these decisions.

B. Inventory and Shelf-Reading

Both the Circulation & Access Services Manager and the Assistant Director of Technical Services are responsible to oversee the inventorying of all collections except archival and special collections. Inventory for general collections is performed once every five years.

Mis-shelved books impact negatively on use and satisfaction. The Circulation & Access Services Manager is responsible to oversee continuous shelf-reading. All collections except archival and special collections are shelf-read once a year.

C. Weeding

The library staff assess the collection on an ongoing basis. Decisions to discard specific items, like decisions to acquire new titles for the collection, are made within the context of the whole collection policy so that the integrity of the total collection is not impaired but may be enhanced when unneeded materials are removed from the collections.

General Weeding Guidelines:

  • Materials that are too damaged or worn to use and impossible to repair
  • Serial publications in which the new volume completely supersedes the previous one
  • Duplicate copies of titles that are receiving little or no use, as long as at least one copy is retained
  • Materials no longer deemed relevant to the educational programs of the Seminary and/or no longer within the scope of the collection
  • Denominational materials no longer within the scope of the collection that are available at another ACTS library
  • Weeded materials may be moved to different locations in the library, sold, given away, or discarded.

Additional Weeding Guidelines for Reference Collections:

  • Age and currency: Materials 10 years or older are evaluated as to the usefulness of the information for patrons. If a significant portion of the information is outdated, the item will be removed from the collection. (for example, directories, yearbooks, or almanacs five years or older are considered for weeding and either discarded or transferred to the circulating collection.)
  • Availability of later editions: If later editions are already available in reference, earlier editions will be removed and may go to the regular collection depending on the utility of the item.
  • Physical condition: Books in poor condition or damaged are generally removed from the reference collection.
  • Duplication: Duplicate copies are generally removed from the reference collection and may be transferred to the circulating collection.
  • Availability in digital format: Materials available online to the patrons should be considered for weeding.
  • Improving access for patrons in circulating collection: Items that may be more useful to patrons as a circulating item are housed in the circulating collection (for example, individual bibliographies, handbooks, etc.)
  • Superseded items are automatically removed from the reference collection and placed in the circulating collection.

D. Cancellations

Normally the library attempts to fill all orders and honor commitments to ongoing publications such as periodicals and series, but from time to time it is necessary to cancel orders and subscriptions. Publications and products requiring an ongoing commitment should be evaluated not only when first considered for purchase, but also in subsequent years to ensure that they are still appropriate for the collection and worth the cost of continuing.

The circumstances that may prompt cancellation:

  • The resource no longer offers valuable, reliable, or current information
  • Another resource offers superior coverage
  • Use statistics reveal unacceptably low use
  • Price increases are unsustainable
  • Budget shortfalls force the library to cut back on subscriptions
  • Some volumes (as in a publisher’s series) are still desired, but not all. The desired ones would be better purchased by firm ordering them individually

E. Multiple Copies

Generally, a single copy of each title is acquired, unless sufficient demand for multiple copies can be demonstrated or predicted. In addition to the general collection, there may also be a need for copies in other locations such as reference or faculty archives.

F. Replacements

Evaluating the continued need for material worn or damaged beyond repair or lost by users is a fundamental part of collection development. Standard works, classics, Bible commentaries, and studies on topics of current interest are usually the most heavily used materials in the library and most susceptible to damage or loss.

Library staff should replace material that is still of value to current or future users, but they may also determine that a lost or damaged item does not need to be replaced if other copies or editions are available in the collection or if the title was of marginal significance to the collection.


General Borrowing Policies

Borrower's Card:

Borrowers' Cards entitle patrons to borrow circulating materials from The Styberg Library. All items may be recalled after 14 days, although standard loan periods are longer. Borrower's Cards cannot be renewed until all fines are paid. Only the person who owns a Borrower's Card may use the card.


Free borrowing privileges at The Styberg Library are extended to:

  • Current staff, faculty, and students of
    • Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
    • Bexley Seabury Seminary
    • Northwestern University
  • Spouses/Partners of current staff, faculty, and students of 
    • Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 
    • Bexley Seabury Seminary
  • Alumni/ae of Seabury-Western and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminaries
  • Current students and faculty at Association of Chicago Theological Schools(ACTS) institutions. 
  • Current Faculty, Staff, and Students of Loyola University of Chicago
  • Episcopal and United Methodist Clergy in the Chicago Area
  • Visiting Scholars who have made prior arrangements with the Director of the Styberg Library. 
  • All Ordained Clergy living or working in Evanston, regardless of denomination

Purchasing a Borrower’s Card:

For those not included in the above categories:

A Styberg Library public borrower’s card may be purchased for an annual fee of $50.00. Please note that this card provides borrowing privileges to the Styberg Library Circulating collection only, and not to the collections of the Northwestern University Libraries. Those wishing to obtain borrowing privileges at Northwestern University must apply to their circulation services department.

Materials from the circulating collection may also be obtained through the Interlibrary Loan service department of local academic or public libraries. Please contact your local library directly for details concerning any fees that might be assessed for these services.

Policy on Proxy Patrons

Faculty may designate a student, such as the faculty member’s teaching assistant, to act as a proxy for checking out library materials. The faculty member must notify the Styberg Library by submitting a signed Faculty Authorization for Research Assistant Proxy form. The form is available in the library and on the library website.

Proxy relationships last for one semester, or longer at the faculty member’s request.

Books checked out by the proxy appear on the faculty member’s account. A note is made in the record showing which proxy checked out the item. All communication regarding the item, such as overdue or recall notices, is sent to the faculty member.

The student assistant is to use the proxy account only as directed by the faculty member. The faculty member assumes all responsibility for the library materials. The proxy relationship is not for the student’s personal use.

Questions should be directed to the Styberg Library at (847) 866-3909 or via email.

Styberg Family Borrowing Cards

Spouses/Partners and Children of Garrett-Evangelical & Bexley-Seabury Students, Staff and Faculty:

  • The Styberg Library is happy to extend a selection of our services and collections to the spouses/partners and children of our students, staff, and faculty.
  • Styberg Family Cards can be issued Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm, at the circulation desk.
  • Verification of relationship to a current student, staff, or faculty member, as well as current a photo ID and proof of address must be presented.
  • Styberg Family Card borrowing privileges extend only to Styberg Library materials. Interlibrary Loan services, remote access to electronic databases, and materials owned by the Northwestern library are not included.
  • Most items in our circulating collection may be checked out with a Styberg Family Card for a loan period of four weeks(28 days).These items can be renewed, up to a total of 112 days.
  • Check out limit is 100 items.
  • Only one Styberg Family Card will be issued per family.
  • Styberg Family Cards are valid for one year, but may be renewed so long as the spouse/partner/parent is associated with G-ETS or Bexley-Seabury.

Graduating Patrons & Alumni Account Policies

Account Holds:

  • A hold will be placed with the Registrar on the account of graduates who have not returned library items or who owe fines to the library by a date specified by the Registrar. Students who have not returned items or paid fines by the Monday of Graduation Week (or another date chosen by the Registrar) will not be allowed to participate in Commencement. Graduating students are to contact the Styberg Library, in person, by telephone (847-866-3909), or email to pay fines and have their library holds removed.

Student Account Expiration:

  • Student borrowing accounts expire on May 31st of the year of graduation.
  • Graduating students are encouraged to apply for a free alumni library card.

Alumni Library Cards:

  • Alumni cards may be obtained Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm at the circulation desk.
  • Alumni accounts are free to G-ETS and Bexley-Seabury Alumni
  • Alumni Library Cards expire one year from the date they are issued and may be renewed with verification of current address.
  • Alumni card privileges are extended only to The Styberg Library’s materials. Interlibrary Loan services, remote access to electronic databases (except ATLA Serials for Alums), and materials owned by the Northwestern library are not included with alumni card privileges.
  • To obtain access to ATLAS for Alums (which is provided to alumni in good standing free of charge by The Styberg Library) complete the status verification form on the library website (G-ETS alums here and Bexley-Seabury alums here ). The username and password will be emailed to the alumus/a upon verification of graduation and good standing with the seminary.

Local Clergy Borrowing Cards

United Methodist & Episcopal Ordained Clergy in the Chicago area All Ordained Clergy living in or serving churches in Evanston, Illinois

  • Local Clergy Borrowing Cards for The Styberg Library can be issued Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm.
  • Please present a business card or photo ID and also proof of address.
  • Local clergy borrowing privileges are extended to The Styberg Library’s materials only. Interlibrary Loan services, remote access to electronic databases, and materials owned by the Northwestern library are not included.
  • Local Clergy Borrowing Cards expire in one year from the date they are issued and may be renewed with proof of current address.

ACTS Borrowing Cards

Garrett Students:

  • Stop by the circulation desk at any time that the library is open with your current Garrett student ID to obtain an ACTS identification card.
  • The Styberg Library will issue an ACTS identification card, indicating that the student is currently enrolled at this institution and in good standing with the library.
  • ACTS Cards expire on December 31 and June 30 and may be renewed with proof of current enrollment.
  • Students will need to take both their current Garrett student ID as well as their ACTS identification card to the library circulation desk of the ACTS institution they want to use.
  • Students should check the website of the ACTS institution they plan on visiting before their visit for policies and procedures for obtaining a borrower’s card at the other library. Hours and policies vary by institution.

ACTS Library Locations

Non-Garrett Students:

  • Borrowing cards for The Styberg Library can be issued Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm.
  • Students belonging to an ACTS institution will need to present their current school ID as well as their school-issued ACTS identification card.
  • ACTS Borrowing Cards expire on December 31 and June 30 and may be renewed with proof of current enrollment.
  • ACTS Card privileges are extended only to The Styberg Library’s materials. Interlibrary Loan services, remote access to electronic databases, and materials owned by the Northwestern library are not included in the ACTS arrangement.

Purchasing a Borrowing Card:

For those not included in other categories, a Styberg Library community borrowering card may be purchased for an annual fee of $50.00 Please note, though, that this card provides borrowing rights to the Styberg Library Circulating collection only and not to the collections of the Northwestern University Libraries. Those wishing to obtain borrowing privileges at Northwestern must apply to the library circulation services department.

Materials from the circulating collection may also be obtained through the Interlibrary Loan service department of local academic or public libraries. Contact your local library directly for details concerning any fees that might be assessed for these services.

Circulation (Fines, Fees, and Holds)

Circulation Fines, Fees & Account Hold Policies

Daily Fines

The Styberg Library does not charge daily overdue fines for most circulating items with the exception of overdue recalled items and short term loan items, including:

  • Recalled Items: $1.00 per day
  • Items on Reserve:
    • 2-hour items: $1.00 per hour
    • 1-day items: $5.00 per day
  • Laptops, power cords, headphones:
    • 3-hour items: $1.00 per hour

Patrons are responsible for keeping track of their due dates. To view your account and renew materials, log in here.

Lost Status Items:

Items that are not returned or renewed within 30 days after their due date are automatically marked with a Lost status by the library circulation management system. A replacement fee and a non-refundable $10.00 processing fee will be automatically assessed for every book overdue by 30 days or more. Replacement and processing fees will be waived for lost books returned within a reasonable timeframe. Replacement fees are a minimum of $125.00 per book. Patrons who have lost an item are encouraged to contact the Styberg Library to discuss options to provide a replacement copy of a lost item, and thereby avoid paying the full lost item replacement fee.


Patrons may pay fines or fees (excluding lost item replacement fees) owed to any of the libraries in the Northwestern University Library system, including Main, Media, and the downtown campuses, at The Styberg Library circulation desk. Fines and fees are payable by cash or check Mondays-Fridays 8:30am-4:30pm at the circulation desk. Arrangements may also be made to pay by credit card or student account through the mediation of the business office. Please stop by the library or contact the Styberg Library by phone (847-866-3909) or email to make arrangements to pay by credit card or student account.

Damaged Items

Library staff make an effort to note damage before an item is allowed to circulate. Damage can be classified as accidental or intentional. Patrons who return items damaged by intentional misuse (including highlighting, underlining in pencil or ink, or use of adhesive notes) may be assessed fees on those items according to the severity of the damage. The patron is also responsible for any accidental damage (liquid, animal damage, etc.) that is determined to have occurred while the item was in their care. Damage, whether accidental or intentional, shortens the life of the book; in some cases the damage is so severe that the item must be replaced.

If an item is returned damaged, the following fines and fees will apply:

  • Mild Damage: A $5.00 fee will be assessed for mild damage, such as minor pencil marks, dog eared pages and post-it notes.
  • Moderate Damage: A $10.00 fee will be assessed for moderate damage, such as marking in pen or highlighter.
  • Minor Water Damage: If water damage is confined to the cover and only the edges of the text block or the fly leaves, the item will be sent to the bindery. A $20 fee will be assessed ($10 for binding or repair and $10 for processing).
  • Severe Damage: A replacement fee of a minimum of $125.00 (or the actual replacement of the book) plus a $10 processing fee will be assessed for damage that renders the book unusable. This includes torn or missing pages, excessive water damage, active mold or mildew, and excessive marks made by pencil, pen or highlighter.

Blocked Borrowing Privileges

Patrons who have overdue recalled items, fines in excess of $100.00, or more than 100 items checked out will have their borrowing privileges blocked and will not be able to check out or renew any more items until fines are paid and/or items are returned. Information about why the account is blocked is available in the My Account section in USearch. Patrons may also telephone the circulation desk at 847-866-3909 or contact us via email to get information about the status of their account.


Unpaid bills and fines are reported to the Student Accounts Office at least twice a year and will result in a hold on the student’s institutional account.

Holds will be placed on accounts if fines are equal to or exceed:

  • Returning students: $10.00
  • Graduating Students: $1.00


An item due notice is emailed the day the item is due. An overdue notice is emailed a week after the due date has passed indicating what charges will be assessed should the item not be returned. If an item is not renewed or returned by the 30th day past the due date, it is considered lost and is billed to the patron’s library account. An email fine notice stating the amount due for replacing and processing the lost item(s) is sent on the 30th day.

In order to ensure equitable access to library materials, an item may be recalled if it is needed by another user or by the library. All loaned items are subject to recall and must be returned within seven (7) days of the date of recall. An email notice advising of the recall and showing the new due date is sent at the time the recall is placed. Recalled items cannot be renewed. If an item is not returned by the 7th day, an overdue fine if $1.00 per day will be assessed, up to $30.00. A patron with an overdue recalled item will be blocked from borrowing other items from the library. Patrons are responsible for the timely return of recalled items at all times of the year, including holidays and intercessions. It is advisable to return items before leaving campus for extended periods of time, and not to remove library materials from the Evanston area. If you have difficulty complying with the recall request, contact the Styberg Library immediately.

Notices are sent out as a courtesy to all borrowers, but borrowers are liable for fines and fees whether or not a notice was received. If you are not receiving notices, please contact the Circulation Desk at 847-866-3909 to verify your e-mail address.

It is the borrower’s responsibility to keep track of due dates and manage his or her account. Patrons are encouraged to monitor their accounts and to check due dates, as well as renew items, by logging into “My Account” here. Students, faculty, and staff use their NetID and password to log in. Other patrons use their email address and barcode number as their username and password to log into their accounts.

Requests for Materials

Requesting Materials from another Northwestern Library

Once you are signed in to your library account from the USearch page, you may place a request for materials from another library in the Northwestern system, except for items held at the Qatar library and Art Institute of Chicago materials held at Oak Grove. In  the "Get It" section of the item record, click Request. Be sure to select Styberg Library for the pick up location. The system processes your request immediately, and you should items should reach the Styberg Library within 24-48 hours. You will receive an email notifying you that your requested items are on the Hold Shelf at the Circulation Desk.

Requesting Materials not available

While it is possible to recall items checked out from the library, we encourage patrons to request materials from another library via Interlibrary Loan instead. ILL materials often arrive at the Styberg Library in less than a week, while recalling an item from another patron may take a week or more. If you do wish to place a recall on an item, see someone at the circulation desk.

After a book has been in circulation two weeks, it may be recalled for use by another borrower or for use by the library for course reserves. A book which has been recalled is due seven days from the day the recall notice is sent. For items due in 10 or fewer days, the original due date is maintained. Please be aware of the following:

  • A charge of one dollar ($ 1.00) per day will be imposed, beginning at closing of the library on the recall due date.
  • The dollar per day charge will continue for thirty days, with a maximum fine of thirty dollars ($30.00).
  • After thirty days, the replacement cost of the item will be added to the thirty dollar charge.
  • Books recalled for use on course reserve lists are due immediately, at the discretion of the library staff.

Reserve Policies

Sharing assigned class readings

When professors assign library materials as required reading, the library staff makes those items available to everyone in a given class by pulling them from the stacks and keeping them "on reserve" behind the circulation desk. In order that all students have a chance to read the same title, there are short check-out times for reserve books. Reserve items are available at the circulation desk through the assistance of the circulation attendant.

Shelf Life

We do our best to make reserve materials available one week before classes start and keep them up one week after classes finish. “Closed reserve” items may be subject to early removal from our reserves shelves as we are not the owning library for these materials.

Circulation policies for reserve items owned by the Styberg Library:

  • Request items at the circulation desk in person and return them to the circulation desk when finished.
  • Check out is for 2 hours and, if no other student has requested the item, it may be checked out again for additional 2 hours.
  • Once checked out, reserve items may not leave the library during regular operating hours (See the single exception below).
  • If a book is available on the shelf two hours before the library's scheduled closing time, a student may check out the book overnight.
  • The item will be due at the library’s next opening time. For example, during the regular term hours, a book checked out Tuesday evening will be due Wednesday morning at 8:30am, the time the library opens that day. A book checked out before 5:00pm on Saturday will be due at 2:00pm on Sunday afternoon, the time the library opens on Sunday.

Circulation policies for reserve items not owned by the Styberg Library:

  • Some reserve items are the personal property of faculty members who have graciously made them available for student use. Others are items that have been borrowed from libraries far and wide because they were out of print and not in the Styberg Library's own collection. These items are placed on "Closed reserve".
  • Closed reserve items differ from regular reserve items only in that they may never leave the library premises and may not be checked out overnight.

Late fees

  • A fee of $1.00 per hour/per item will be assessed on all overdue reserve items.

We make every effort to ensure that students have reasonable access to library materials required for their courses. Please be conscious of the due dates and times of reserve items. Late fees on reserve items are non-negotiable.

Equipment Check-out Policies

Laptops, Power Cords & Computer Mice:

  • Circulate only to current Bexley-Seabury and Garrett-Evangelical students, faculty and staff upon presentation of a current borrowing card.
  • The check out period is 3 hours. There is a $1.00/hr late fee.
  • Laptops are for use within the MAIN Garrett building only.
  • Laptops do not check out overnight.
  • Patrons checking out a laptop must fill out and complete a Laptop Borrower’s Agreement.
  • Files are automatically deleted upon return of laptop.


  • The check out period is 3 hours. There is a $1.00/hr late fee.
  • Headphones are for use within the MAIN Garrett building only.
  • Headphones do not check out overnight.

Video Camera:

  • Available for 3 day checkout.


Study Spaces

Policies for the Use of PhD Study Suite

Please read our PhD study suite use policies before submitting your application:

1. Desk assignments normally cover the academic year (Sept. 7 – May 31). Students not graduating and staying in the area can extend their use through the summer. Desk assignments cannot be automatically renewed, and everyone should apply for assigned desks each year.

2. Only G-ETS students enrolled in the PhD program are eligible for applying for the study space.

3. There are 21 desks available which can be used as study carrels. 15 desks (1-14 & 20) out of 21 will be assigned to individual students for the entire academic year unless they graduate or withdraw from the program. Students who are writing dissertations or taking comprehensive exams will be given priorities. Other six desks (15-19 & 21) will not be assigned but can be reserved daily on a first come/first served basis. Stop by the Circulation Desk for daily sign up.

4. PhD students who are not assigned a carrel may request an assignment of designated shelf space for keeping books. This assignment is also for one year (Sept. 7 – Aug. 31). There is extra shelving space sufficient for up to 28 people. These students may sign up for a daily use of one of the six unassigned desk spaces. 

5. Students can leave books that they have checked out on their assigned desks or shelf space. Uncharged materials will be removed if found during regular checks.  If a student repeatedly keeps uncharged books or other items on his/her carrel or shelves, the privilege to use the Suite may be revoked.

6. The study suite is kept locked all the time. Assigned carrel holders will be issued a personal key, which should be returned when the assignment period ends. Those who use unassigned carrels can check out a key at the Circulation Desk. For a lost key, the replacement fee of $10.00 will be charged.

7. Access to the study suite is during the library’s open hours only.

8. Only those with assigned carrels or shelving space are allowed in the study suite. Friends and family members should find study space in the public areas of the library. Faculty may use the Conference Room. Personnel from Office of Student Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs, PhD Studies Director and Coordinator have the library director’s permission to access the room when necessary.

9. Space is to be quiet. Headphones must be used when listening to music or other audio. Conversations must be kept to a minimum.

10. Wireless Internet access is available in the study suite.

11. There are one wall closet and one free standing cabinet available on a first come/first served basis. Feel free to keep your coats and/or bags there.

12. No furniture or equipment is to be moved from or introduced into a study, except by arrangement with the Circulation Desk.

13. Damage to furniture or equipment should be reported immediately to the Circulation Desk.

14. The library takes no responsibility for personal items left on desks or anywhere else in the study suite.

15.  All other library policies apply.

Special Covid Precautions:

  1. Group gatherings are not allowed.
  2. Masks must be worn at all times.
  3. Social distancing is encouraged.
  4. No eating or drinking allowed.

For questions, contact the library via email or by calling 847-866-3909

Building Use Policies

The Styberg Library wishes for all patrons to feel welcomed and comfortable in the library spaces. Please treat our library and its resources, as well as your fellow patrons, with respect and kindness and “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

1. Food and Drink
Food and drinks may be consumed in the library. Please dispose of containers in the proper receptacles and wipe up any spills immediately. Drinks should be in covered containers. Food and drink should not be taken into the stacks and should be kept away from library books. Please be responsible and respectful of others and use common sense around library materials and the library spaces.

2. Alcoholic Beverages
Consumption of and possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in The Styberg Library.

3. Noise and Disorderly Conduct
Noise should be kept to a minimum, and quiet must be maintained in the Methodist Room at all times. Excessively loud conversations, and harassment of other library patrons or library staff is prohibited.

4. Cell Phone and Electronic Devices
Cell phones may be used in non-quiet areas of the library, provided their use does not disturb other patrons. MP3 players, radios, CD players, computers, games, and the like may be used with headphones, and the sound must be kept low enough so as not to disturb other patrons. Please use discretion and be mindful of other patrons while using phones and electronic devices.

5. Bicycles, Skates, Skateboards, and Scooters
Bicycles are prohibited in the library. Skates, skateboards, and scooters may be carried into the library and are not to be used while in the building.

6. Animals
Only trained service animals are allowed in the library.

7. Smoking
Smoking is prohibited in the library building.

8. Room Use
Requests to reserve space in the library, such as the Group Study Room, should be emailed to or made in person at the circulation desk to the Access and Public Services Librarian

9. Photography
Arrangements must be made in advance with the Library Director for any photo or video shoots in the library building. Photographing, videorecording, or using other means of reproduction of the Hibbard Mummy (Hawara Portrait Mummy No. 4) is not permitted without the express permission of the Library Director.

Soliciting for donations, or sale of items, or approaching patrons for the purpose of obtaining signatures on petitions is not allowed.

11. Harassment
Sexual harassment is against the law and any patron who is harassing other patrons or library staff will be asked to leave the library and reported to police.

12. Vandalism/Destruction of Library Property 
Graffiti, destruction of furniture, books, magazines/periodicals, etc., are considered destruction of Seminary property and all incidents of this nature will be reported to police.

13. Theft
It is against the law to steal library materials including books, CDs, DVDs, and furnishings. All incidents of theft will be reported to police.

14. Other Policies
All other policies of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, including those not listed here, are enforced. The violation of any of these policies will be dealt with through administrative channels, and the right to use the library may be revoked.

Public Services

Papercut Account Policies

Account Eligibility

  • Existing patrons with borrowing privileges
    • Free accounts (covered in tuition costs)
      • G-ETS and Bexley-Seabury Students, Staff, and Faculty
    • $5.00 
      • Northwestern Students, Staff, Faculty
      • Alumni Borrowers
      • ACTS Borrowers
      • Local Borrowers
  • Guests
    • Use a Guest Account
      • Add money to an existing Guest Account
      • Unused balances will be refunded when card is returned
    • Purchase an account & microchip
      • For $5.00, frequent guest printers can purchase a guest account


  • Comes with account setup. (See above for pricing)
  • Should be placed on the back of ID cards (over the small magnetic stripe)
  • The chip may be placed on another piece of personal property at the patrons own risk.
    • There is a $5.00 replacement cost if lost

Username & Password

  • Sends print jobs to the equipment (cannot be sent without this information)
  • Accesses account funds directly at equipment in the absence of the microchip
  • Login online to manage your account, track usage, display available funds and environmental impact information
  • See a circulation desk worker to reset your account and change your password

Funds on Account

  • Patrons must add funds to their accounts in order to make copies or to print
  • Payments must be made by cash or check at the circulation desk
  • Upon separation from the institution, either by graduation or for other reasons, a patron may request in person at the circulation desk a refund of the funds remaining on their PaperCut account. All requests for refunds by graduating students must be made by May 31st of the year of graduation. All others must request a refund within 30 days of the date of separation.

General Reference Service Policies

The Styberg Library provides students, faculty, and staff of Garrett-Evangelical and Bexley Seabury Seminaries with reference and research services to support their academic work and enhance their learning and research experience. We also extend our services to the Northwestern University community and other general public for inquiries on the collections of the Styberg Library.

Services Offered

  • Assisting patrons in finding items of their interest
  • Providing ready reference assistance (brief pieces of factual information)
  • Answering questions about the collections
  • Training patrons to use library resources including the library catalog, reference sources, and electronic databases
  • Offering workshops hosted by the library twice a year, in the fall and spring
  • Providing demonstrations or talks about library resources, citing sources, or research skills in the classrooms or group meetings
  • Creating online library subject guides, and “library help sheets”
  • Offering library tours during orientation and upon request
  • Reference help provided by email or phone or in person
  • Online chat service

How to Request Services

  • Email or call (847-866-3909) with your questions. You will be contacted within 24 hours of receipt on business days.
  • Drop by the library between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm on weekdays.
  • Make an appointment, call, email, or use our online chat service.


  • There is no fee for reference services offered to the Garrett Evangelical, Bexley Seabury, and Northwestern communities.
  • We accept donations from researchers at other institutions, and from the general public for services provided ($30.00 recommended donation).

Policy for Library Use by Public Patrons

The primary mission of the Styberg Library is to support research, scholarship, and learning for faculty and students of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Bexley Hall - Seabury-Western Theological Foundation, Inc. We invite all patrons and visitors to explore the book stacks, to use the public study spaces, and to delve into our special collections of rare items.

Library Access

Unless prior arrangements have been made, visitors are restricted to using the library Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm. Visitors may be asked to sign-in at the circulation desk and show proof of personal I.D. Visitors may also be required to sign out when they leave.

Circulation & Library Material Use

All library materials may be used by members of the public within the library during regular hours, but may not be removed from the library. Under certain circumstances, an I.D. will be required to use materials on the premises.

Garrett/Seabury alums, ACTS as well as Loyola students, faculty and staff, and Evanston ordained clergy, and other local Methodist and Episcopal ordained clergy may apply for free borrowing privileges. Members of the general public may apply for borrowing privileges for a fee of $50.00 annually. Applications can be processed between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Public Patrons are not eligible to check out periodicals, reference materials, special collections, or Course Reserve materials. Interlibrary loan services are not available.

Due to limited space, tables and carrels cannot be reserved nor can they be used to store library materials for later use. Please bring items to the circulation desk when you are done so they may be properly re-shelved. Purposefully mis- shelving or hiding materials is a violation of library policy.

Viewing items from the special collections and archives is by appointment only and is scheduled on weekdays between 8:30am and 4:30pm when staff are on duty. Please e-mail with your request.

Printing and Copying

Printers and photocopiers are available in the library for the use of all patrons at a cost of $0.07/page for black & white, $0.10 for double-sided black & white, and $0.30/page for color. Patrons wishing to make copies or print must obtain a Guest Printing card from the circulation desk. The Styberg Library cannot accept credit cards for printing or copying. All patrons are expected to adhere to copyright law when photocopying materials. The Styberg Library is not responsible for improperly copied or printed pages or funds lost due to machine malfunction.

Computer Use

As a community service, the Styberg Library provides public patrons with the opportunity to use the rich resources of our library to accomplish their research. Our computers offer access to all library resources that are available to the Garrett community.

Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis (no reservations). A daily two-hour computer use limit will be enforced. If a student needs your computer, you will be asked to surrender it.

In accordance with the Library's mission, computers are provided for the purpose of research and other educational endeavors. Therefore, excessive recreational use of the computers (e.g. game-playing), use that is entirely personal and unrelated to information-gathering (e.g. chat-room and personal email), and use for purposes of private financial gain (e.g. conducting business, eBay), are inappropriate. The Library reserves the right to require, at any time, that computer users engaged in such activities cease doing so.

We reserve the right to permanently ban any public patron from the library and to refuse access to computers. Public patrons who are discovered using library equipment to visit adult websites will be banned from the library. Disruptive individuals or groups will be asked to leave. Other rule infractions may result in being asked to leave.

Privacy Notice: The Styberg Library is not responsible for loss of items due to computer malfunction. Please keep your belongings with you at all times. The Styberg Library is not responsible for loss, damage, or theft of personal items.

Library Display Policies


  • The display cases in the Styberg Library are used primarily to promote the services of the library, and to showcase items of note in the collection.
  • Displays are designed to inform patrons of the library collections, services, and events, and to promote library use by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the local community.
  • Displays may also seek to strengthen connections between the library and the seminary, and to connect the seminary community to larger issues facing the world.

Selection and Duration:

  • Library staff members select the themes, objects, and duration of exhibits. Patrons are encouraged to submit suggestions for displays, which will be given serious consideration by the library staff, though no guarantee is made as to their use.
  • If you have objections to anything on display, please email the Library Director.

Community Posting Table Policy

  • The community posting table is open to organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, or charitable activities.
  • Notices may only be posted on the designated Community Posting Table. Notices may not be mounted to walls, doors, windows, or other surfaces.
  • Community members who’d like to post materials should get the permission of the Access and Public Services Librarian first. Materials not approved by the librarian will be removed from the table.
  • Commercial materials or materials resulting in personal gain are not permitted.
  • Postings must fit with the size constraints of the table. Very large posters may be rejected because of space limitations.
  • The Styberg Library staff will remove outdated material and are not responsible for saving notices, or for materials damaged or stolen.
  • Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The Styberg Library reserves the right to remove any posted item.
  • The Styberg Library does not advocate or endorse the viewpoints of exhibits or exhibitors.
  • The Styberg Library Endorses, as a guiding principle, the American Library Association’s “Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards” statement.
  • If you have questions about the community posting table policy, contact the library at 847-866¬3909 or

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan Borrowing Policies

On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of Bexley Seabury and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminaries, The Styberg Library will gladly acquire items, which we do not own, from other libraries in order to serve the research needs of both communities.

Requesting Interlibrary Loans:

  • Interlibrary Loan requests are made by filling out the form at the circulation desk, by submitting the request online, or by email (
  • Request forms are available at the circulation desk of the Styberg Library or on the library website.
  • Please have the citation information for the item available when filling out the forms at the circulation desk, and submit the forms to the circulation desk staff.
  • If you are off campus, you may submit your ILL request with the bibliographic information of the item via email or by filling out the online request form.
  • When the requested item is ready for pickup, the ILL staff will notify you via email. Make sure that you provide us with your current email address.

How Long Does It Take to Receive an Item?

  • As the Interlibrary Loan service relies on couriers and the US mail, the average turnaround time is 10 days.
  • Please do not wait until a paper deadline to make Interlibrary Loan requests.

How Long Can I Keep the Item Once It Arrives?

  • Loan periods vary and are stipulated by the lending library. On average, most books are available for approximately 2-4 weeks.
  • Lending libraries also specify whether an item may be taken out of the library overnight, or must be used within the library.


  • Current faculty, students, and staff at Garrett-Evangelical and Bexley Seabury Theological Seminaries are eligible to use the Interlibrary Loan service.
  • Anyone having overdue Interlibrary Loan materials or a blocked record is not eligible until the record is cleared.
  • Alumni, Northwestern students, members of the general public, and guests who are students at other schools are encouraged to explore the Interlibrary Loan services of their home academic libraries or local public libraries.


  • If there is a fee for an overdue or lost item from the lending library, the patron is solely responsible for paying. 
  • The library will pay reasonable borrowing fees for Faculty and Doctoral Students. If a free lender cannot be found, Master's students may be asked to pay the borrowing fees.

Materials Eligible for Request: 

  • Items that The Styberg Library does not own
  • An exception is made if a library-owned item is checked out by another patron.

Materials Ineligible for Request: 

  • Items owned by The Styberg Library (if a library-owned item is checked out by another patron, an exception is made.)
  • Reference materials
  • Materials from Special Collections and Archives
  • Entire periodical issues or volumes
  • Textbooks or items currently on reserve for a class 
  • Other materials that lending libraries decline to lend based on their policy

Renewing ILL Items:

  • If the item is still needed after the due date, a renewal may be requested via email.  
  • Once the renewal request from the patron is received, the ILL staff submits the renewal request to the lending library. Most libraries allow one more renewal, but others (e.g., the University of Chicago library) do not.
  • Once the ILL staff receives a response from the lending library, you’ll be contacted with a new due date.
  • The request should be made before the book is due and not sooner than five days before the due date.
  • Second renewals are not possible. 

Returning ILL Items:

  • All the ILL items should be returned to the circulation desk or to the Interlibrary Loan staff on or before the due date. 
  • Failure to return a book by its due date may result in the restriction of interlibrary loan privileges.
  • Please do not drop ILL items in the book drop outside. Make sure if the library is open when you plan to come to the library to return ILL items. 
  • It is a good idea to hand ILL items over to the staff on duty directly.


  • Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Requests may be made other times, but will not be processed except during the hours listed above. 

Contact Information:

  • Styberg Library Interlibrary Loan
  • Phone: 847-866-3909
  • Email:
  • Office: Circulation Desk, Reference Room of the Styberg Library

Interlibrary Loan Lending Policies

The Styberg Library of Garrett-Evangelical and Bexley Seabury Theological Seminaries lends library materials to other libraries, but not to individuals who are not affiliated with Garrett or Seabury. Please contact your school or public library if you would like to borrow from us.

Materials Available for Loan

  • Circulating books (limit of 4 volumes per loan)
  • Dissertations and theses (only if a second copy is available)
  • Microfilms (limit of 2 reels per loan)
  • Videotapes in the regular stacks

Materials Unavailable for Loan

  • Periodicals - both bound and unbound - and newspapers
  • Reference materials
  • Items on reserve
  • DVDs and music CDs
  • Items from Special Collections and Archives
  • Theses of which we own only one copy
  • Items on the New Book Shelf

Loan Period and Renewals

  • 50 days for items not currently in heavy demand
  • Items are subject to recall after two weeks
  • Includes mailing time
  • No more than one renewal

Fee Schedules

  • All other libraries: $20.00 per filled loan request; $10.00 per filled article request.
  • Invoices are issued with the loan/photocopy. All payments should be made by check or money order in US currency.
  • OCLC’s IFM, IFLA vouchers, international postal coupons, and cash cannot be accepted.
  • Lost ILL Item: $125 for replacement and $10 for processing.


  • Loans are shipped via USPS library rate and ILDS (Code: UNI).
  • Photocopies are shipped via email, mail, and fax.

How to Submit Requests:

  • OCLC (Code: JET)
  • Email:
  • Phone: 847-866-3909
  • Fax: 847-866-3894 
  • Mail: Interlibrary Loan, The Styberg Library, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201 

Special Collections and Archives

Archives Collection Policies


The Styberg Library Archives and Manuscripts Department is the designated repository for the records of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary - including Garrett Biblical Institute, Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Chicago Training School - and the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. Its major collections include the Seminary archives, faculty publications, personal papers and sermons, records of organizations, and non-textual materials related to the history of the Seminary. 


The mission of the Archives and Manuscripts Department is to identify, acquire, organize, preserve, and make accessible records and papers of enduring value in accordance with the mission of the library.

Collecting Policy:

The collecting policy of the Archives and Manuscripts Department covers five major areas:

1. Official Seminary Archives

  • The department holds the bulk of the official records of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as well as Garrett Biblical Institute/Garrett Theological Seminary, Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Chicago Training School which were merged into Garrett-Evangelical.
  • The department also collects the Seminary’s unofficial records including newsletters, magazines, reports, program brochures, directories, bulletins and catalogs, as well as audiovisual materials such as photographs, audiotapes, and video recordings.
  • The department keeps two physical copies of every item or record, if possible.

2. Faculty Publications

  • The department collects all  publications by faculty members of the Seminary, including the current faculty members as well as former faculty members who left or retired from the Seminary.
  • The department gathers any kind of publication which faculty members authored, edited, or contributed to, including books, articles, reviews, or works of art.
  • The department keeps at least one physical copy of every item available in addition to the duplicates in the circulating stacks.

3. Personal Papers

  • The department collects the papers and manuscripts of Seminary faculty members and United Methodist bishops and ministers.
  • The papers of other individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the Seminary, United Methodism, or to the field of religion in general are accepted on an individual basis.
  • Items to be of historical interest may include:
    • Biographical information: CVs, memoirs, bibliographies, and genealogies
    • Professional correspondence, both incoming and outgoing
    • Teaching materials: class notes, syllabi, reading lists, course outlines, examinations, and correspondence with students
    • Manuscripts for sermons and public lectures
    • Non-textual materials: photographs, films, and audio and video recordings

4. Institutional and Congregational Records of the United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference in collaboration with the United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference

  • In collaboration with the United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference, the department houses the historical records of the closed churches as well as the institutional records of the Northern Illinois Conference.

5. Records of Other Religious Institutions

  • The records of other religious institutions are accepted on an individual basis, considering their relationships with the Seminary or their contributions to the field of religion in general. One example which the department currently houses is the collection of the newsletters from First United Methodist Church in Evanston, Illinois.

Rules for Use of Archives and/or Special Collections

The materials from the Archives and Special Collections of the Styberg Library are available for research use by approved researchers by appointment (generally scheduled from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., except holidays observed by the seminary). While the Styberg Library makes the best effort to make the collections accessible to users/researchers, the nature of these archival materials requires us to handle them with more care and caution unlike regularly circulated materials.

As a privately held collection, the library reserves the right to deny access at its own discretion.

Procedures for Requesting Materials

1. Researchers must complete and sign a research application form and provide acceptable identification (e.g., driver’s license or photo ID card).

  • For Archives users: Please fill out Archives request form.
  • For Special Collections users: Please fill out a call slip for each item requested including call number, author, and title.

2. All archival materials and rare books are housed in closed stacks. Researchers may request particular items to the Technical Services Librarian or Reference Librarian. The librarian will bring the material to the researcher. No material will be pulled after 3:45 p.m.

Reading and Handling Materials

1. All materials must be consulted in designated reading areas only, and may not be taken to other areas of the Library. A library staff member will be present with the researcher in the reading area the entire time the materials are in use. If the monitoring librarian requires a break, materials will be surrendered until the librarian returns.

2. Bags and coats must be deposited at the circulation desk until archives/special collections items are returned. Only writing supplies (a pencil, an eraser, and a notebook) and a laptop will be allowed in the reading area. The use of ink is prohibited.

3. No food or beverages are permitted when consulting archival materials and rare books.

4. The researcher should accept the responsibility of handling carefully all materials made available. Materials are to be maintained in the order in which they are received. Do not rearrange materials.

5. All materials must be returned to the Technical Services Librarian or the Reference Librarian by 4:00 p.m. or before the researcher leaves the library.

6. The library reserves the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before a researcher leaves the building.

Reproducing Materials for Research Use

Requests for duplicating materials require the approval of the Technical Services Librarian or the Reference Librarian, who will consider the condition of materials as well as other issues (e.g., donor agreements or copyright law) and will duplicate the materials for researchers. Requests for reproduction should be made before 3:00 p.m.

*Photographing, video recording, or using other means of reproduction of the Hibbard Mummy (Hawara Portrait Mummy No. 4) is not permitted without the express permission of the Library Director.

Permission to Publish

According to the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, USC), researchers need to make sure to obtain from the copyright holder the permission to publish from or to quote from previously unpublished manuscripts or from published items. For original archival materials and some special collection materials (e.g., early Methodist materials), researchers should also contact the library director to acquire permission and to inquire about other copyright issues.


When citing materials from the Archives, the form should be as follows: [Identification of the item and the title of the collection], Archives, The Styberg Library, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Research and/or Special Collections Research Application

Library Oversight Committee

Library Oversight Committee


The Library Oversight Committee is appointed by the Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Committee advocates the central role of the Styberg Library in the theological education that Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary offers. The Committee advises the Library Director in areas related to library policy, planning, and operations:

  • On general policies regarding collections, services, instructional programs, and infrastructure, as well as on major new initiatives and assessment processes
  • On budget allocations necessary to provide the type and quality of library resources and services needed by the seminary community
  • On behalf of the library regarding funding needs relevant to the library's services, resources, and infrastructure
  • Facilitating communication with and obtaining feedback from the seminary community of students, faculty, administrators, and staff with regard to library collections, programs, services, and infrastructure

Library Director will serve as the permanent chair of the committee.


  • One faculty member
  • Chief Finance Officer
  • IT Director
  • One student representative
  • Library Director


  • The Committee will meet three times per academic semester according to the Academic Affairs calendar. The Library Director may call for additional meetings if an urgent need arises.
  • Meetings will be limited to one hour.
  • The student representative shall serve as recording secretary.
  • The agenda will be distributed a few days before meetings.
  • Minutes will be shared for approval in each meeting.