Lindsell Manual

Philosophy || Mission || Collection || Syllabi || Circulation Policies || Library Cards || Borrowing || Number || Timing || Renewals || Returns || Recalls || Reserves || Holds/Fines || Replacements || Cooperation || Donations


Welcome to the Harold Lindsell Library!

The library exists to serve the Gordon-Conwell, Charlotte community, but it is open for internal use by the general public as well. Lindsell Library is designed to support the training of theological students from an evangelical perspective. Collecting areas include philosophy of religion, biblical studies, church history, theology, Christian ethics, pastoral ministry, world missions, evangelism, and counseling and psychology. Special attention is given to the evangelical tradition, especially in the American South.

The library contains almost 65,000 volumes and continues to grow at a rate of approximately 3,000 volumes per year. As you enter the library you will find the reference section and print and microfiche periodicals located on the first floor. Reference and periodicals are for in-library usage only. Our circulation stacks are located on the second floor along with one of our special collections, the SIM Collection in World Missions and Intercultural Studies. The second floor is designated as a “quiet area” and is designed to allow students and faculty opportunities for uninterrupted research and study.

The Gordon-Conwell collections contain over a quarter million items (books, bound periodicals, microforms), the bulk of which are located at Goddard Library, the main Gordon-Conwell library in S. Hamilton, Massachusetts. We also provide electronic access to a wide variety of bibliographic and full text sources.

Statement of Philosophy and Attitude.

Harold Lindsell Library's underlying principle is one of service to library users in the context of careful management of resources for the sake of the whole Gordon-Conwell community. This principle permeates the library's policies, guidelines, procedures, and individual arrangements.

Mission of the Gordon-Conwell Library program.

July 1988; Revision as submitted to President Cooley, January 3, 1991. With minor adjustments, May 20, 1993. The mission of the Gordon-Conwell library program is:
1. To serve as a partner with the faculty in the educational endeavor of the seminary by making available for access academic information (in all formats) and by providing sources related to the world of preserved information. In this context, the library program is especially intended:

a. To support the curriculum of Gordon-Conwell, particularly as broadly understood--that is, in terms of its consistent and long-range thrust. And,

b. To enable both students and faculty to achieve a higher level of theological learning and study than is possible through the classroom and textbooks or indeed even through the whole of curricular study for a degree, and to expose them to valuable information which might otherwise be missed.
2. In conjunction with other theological libraries, to serve as an ecclesiastical resource--in that context, aiding the mission of the church, assisting its leaders in grappling both with Christianity's intellectual challenges in the world and with the church's internal theological debates, and providing those leaders with or guiding them to information of practical use in church work.
3. As a participant in the world of libraries, to play its part in the conservation of culture and to act as a resource for scholarship generally, by filling its distinctive niche and by building on its particular configuration of special interests according to the seminary's traditions, geographical locations, and long-term commitments and goals.
4. To play its part in networks of information access, at least to the degree that this is balanced with the Gordon-Conwell library program's use of those networks.
5. Creatively to stimulate, facilitate, and contribute to scholarship insofar as this is a natural extension of other elements of its mission.
6. To discharge relational responsibilities, e.g., to Gordon College, to the Boston Theological Institute, [to the Charlotte Theological Library Consortium] and to the American Theological Library Association. The Gordon-Conwell libraries consist not just of bricks, mortar, and informational materials, but just as essentially of their staffs, which means that any one of the libraries is not just a repository of information but a living, vital, interactive, service-oriented organism; and its mission should be understood that way.

How to find what you are looking for.

Books (including theses and microforms) The OPAC is accessible at any time via the internet ( It will tell you which of the GCTS libraries owns the item, whether it is on the shelf, in reshelving, or on order, and the due dates of books that are checked out.  
Print periodicals are located in alphabetical order by title on the first floor of the library. Microfiche periodicals are located in the first floor cabinet next to the microfiche printer. Please ask at the circulation desk if we can help.
To find material in journals, use the periodical indexes. The most helpful
is the American Theological Library Association's Religion Index, an extensive index of periodical articles, book reviews, collected essays, and theses published since 1949 (also available in print in annual editions). Now also consult ATLA’s ATLAS, which has the full text of over fifty journals. The public access computers also include other indexes, some of which include the full text of the item.
 A few hundred videos, hundreds of audio cassettes (many uncataloged),
and a few kits (cataloged) are available.
Newspapers and magazines
The most recent issues of newspapers (USA Today; Wall Street Journal) are kept on the newspaper rack on the second floor. Current issues of academic journals and popular magazines (Journal of Biblical Literature; Christianity Today, Christian Century) are kept in the current periodicals area on the first floor

Special collections

The Robert C. Cooley Collection of Biblical Archaeology and Early Christianity is named after the deceased son of President Emeritus Robert E. Cooley. The collection contains over 30,000 volumes and is designed for advanced students in biblical studies and Christian thought as well as for researchers in the fields of biblical archaeology and early Christianity.
The Ben Witherington Biblical Studies Collection is inter with 
The SIM Collection in World Missions and Intercultural Studies. The United States offices of SIM International are located next door to the Gordon-Conwell Charlotte campus. The Harold Lindsell Library houses the SIM Collection and it is available for use by members of the Gordon-Conwell Charlotte community.
For access, see the Director of the Library. Some materials may be unavailable because of confidentiality or because they may yet be in process of organization.


Current course syllabi are available on the Gordon-Conwell Charlotte Registration website.
Theses. Gordon-Conwell Doctor of Ministry theses have been cataloged and are
listed in the OPAC. Most of those bound and printed since 1995 are available for inlibrary
use and are located next to the reference section.

Circulation policies and procedures

Who may borrow? Any person who is welcome on campus may use materials within the library. However, external circulation is restricted to:
  • Gordon-Conwell students taking at least one course for credit at either the masters or doctoral level. This includes students in the Charlotte, Hamilton, Boston, or
  • Jacksonville programs and those taking extension courses for credit.

  • Ockenga Institute students.

  • Gordon-Conwell alumni/ae.

  • Gordon-Conwell faculty, lecturers while actively teaching at GCTS, trustees, and staff members.

  • Students and faculty from participating institutions in the Carolinas Theological Library Consortium Students from other academic institutions who wish to apply for library privileges must supply a written letter from their library director formally requesting library privileges.

  • Faculty from member institutions of the Carolinas Area Educational Consortium.

  • Charlotte area clergy (ordained or employed by a church).

  • Individuals who have been granted courtesy borrowing privileges by the Director of the Library, usually for a definite period of time.

  • Individuals who have been granted one-time borrowing privileges by any member of the full-time library staff. Application for such privileges involves a brief explanation of need and completion of the application form for the library card. However, no library card will be issued.

  • Guests who have paid a $30 fee (good for one year).

  • Responsible North American libraries on an interlibrary loan basis.

What about library cards?

All borrowers must present either a current Gordon-Conwell ID card or a current Gordon-Conwell Library guest card. Application for a library card requires appropriate photo ID. Usually a library card can be issued within minutes at the circulation desk and is good for one year. If guest cards are lost, a replacement fee of $25 will be charged. 
Borrowers are responsible for the materials which they have checked out in their name, and they will be required to pay fines, fees, and replacement costs that are incurred.

What may be borrowed?

Books from the circulating collection may be checked out for use outside the library or at a carrel unless on reserve (see reserve policy below). Materials in other media formats may be checked out provided that their use has not been restricted. If an item is checked out, a patron may have the circulation desk put a “hold” on it. A “hold” cannot be renewed, and the one requesting it will be notified when the item returns.
Periodicals, reference volumes, and materials in restricted areas, such as the Cooley Collection, are not generally available for external circulation. Special permission may be sought, however, from the director of the library. Since such circulation transactions are procedurally irregular involving specially made check-out cards, borrowers must be sure that records are cleared at the circulation desk upon return of the materials. The fine
structure for such irregular circulation transactions follows that of reserve materials.
Library materials must be checked out at the circulation desk. If no one is at the desk to attend you, please ring the bell.

How many items may be checked out?

  • Students and staff may have up to twenty-five (25) items checked out at any one time.
  • GCTS faculty may have up to sixty (60) items at a time.

  • Guests are limited to five (5) items at a time.

  • Audiovisual limits: CDs three (3), VHS (0), DVDs three (2), audio cassettes five (5) provided that they are not restricted from circulation. Exceptions may be granted by the director of the library or a member of the library staff.

  • For the sake of a course in progress or about to be in progress, the director of the library may limit to ten (10) the number of items on one topic that may be checked out.

  • Remote requests for library materials (e-mailed, phoned in, or written), are limited to a total of six (6) items checked out. Remote borrowing is limited to current GCTS students who are not taking a class at the campus from which they wish to borrow and who live more than 25 miles away. Borrowers should provide the circulation librarian with specific titles and call numbers.

How long may an item be borrowed?

The normal loan period is twenty-eight days.
  • Thesis loans. Gordon-Conwell students may apply to the circulation librarian for thesis loans of six months, subject to recall after twenty-eight (28) days. These extended loans apply to materials related to theses only and are subject to recall after eight weeks. In implementing the policy, the library staff requires from the student: (a) documentation of formal approval of the thesis topic, and (b) a list of the volumes involved.
  • Faculty loans. Gordon-Conwell faculty may borrow regularly circulating library materials for six months, subject to recall after twenty-eight (28) days. They may renew an item once.

  • Media. Video cassettes and disks may be borrowed for seven days provided that they have not been restricted from circulation. They may not be renewed. Sound recordings (“cassettes”) may be renewed twice.

  • Any library materials that are taken outside of the library, e.g., to a classroom or faculty member's office, must be checked out. Members of the faculty should note that, with the knowledge of the Director of the Library, "library staff may enter a faculty member's office with use of the pass key to search for any fugitive materials" (Faculty Handbook, with 1986 revisions, 4.6.13).

What about renewals?

Renewals may be done in person, by mail, by phone, or preferably by e-mail (to or by internet (library contact form). In any case you will need the bar code number. Renewals by phone are limited to six items at a time. An item may be renewed only if the borrower's accounts with the library are clear and no "hold" has been placed on the item. The general rule is that an item may be renewed twice. In exceptional circumstances, the circulation librarian may grant additional renewals. Note again: Videos, DVDs, and CDs may not be renewed.

What about recalls?

The circulation librarian may recall an item for the following reasons:
  • A library user has requested the item. Generally a borrower will be allowed use of an item for the original 28 day period, after which it is subject to mandatory recall.
  • The item is needed for a reserve shelf. Any item may be re-called immediately for this purpose.

  • The item is needed by the Technical Services Department.

  • Date due. The item must be returned to the library by the seventh day after receipt of the recall notice.

Where should checked-out materials be returned?

Library materials should be returned to the circulation desk or to the drop box located just inside the main library doors on the first floor.
Library materials checked out through an irregular circulation transaction should be returned directly to the staff person at the circulation desk.
Materials returned by mail or through a delivery service should be addressed to the Circulation Desk. (Regarding insurance, see below under "What about Lost, Mutilated, and Unreturned Items?")

What about internal circulation?

  • General. Materials being used within the library need not be checked out, except restricted items (such as reserve books). Circulation materials, including reserves, should be returned to the circulation desk. Reference books and periodicals should be returned to the circulation desk.

  • Restricted. Upon application to a full-time staff member, individuals may sign out special collections items for use within sight of the circulation desk. They are to be returned when not in immediate use. If needed over a period of days, arrangements can be made to keep them on reserve at the circulation desk.

  • Carrels. The Harold Lindsell Library allows students to use carrels on a firstcome first-serve basis. Unless a student has permission from library staff to leave books overnight at a particular carrel, books left at carrels are picked up just before library closing.

  • Guests. Guests are welcome to use library materials within the library facility. Furthermore, a guest who does not wish to pay a fee for borrowing privileges but who does wish to do research within the library over a period of days or weeks may make application to the circulation librarian for a shelf for internal borrowing of library materials for a designated period of time. Materials will be checked out to the shelf.

What about reserves?

Books on reserve are kept behind the circulation desk and normally must be used in the library. In some cases, with permission of the library director and the course instructor, reserve books may be checked out for up to one week. Late fees on overdue reserve books are $1.00 per day. Borrowing reserve books is a privilege that must be granted by the library director.
Classroom teachers are to observe the following policy as set forth in the Faculty Handbook (September 2000, p. 81-2):
  • Faculty may request through established channels in the library that up to 25 titles be placed on reserve for each course being taught in a semester or session. Journal literature and reference materials are not included in this total since they are already non-circulating materials and should always be available for use. The library staff will inform faculty of the schedule and process for requesting titles for reserve shelves.
  • The library requests that a list of reserve requests be given to the library staff at least four weeks before the beginning of the course. Library staff prepare the reserve shelves three times a year: August (for fall semester); December (for January and spring semester) and May (for summer courses).

  • Most items are returned to the stacks at the end of the course. So-called "permanent reserves" are limited to courses that are taught at least once a year. Items not checked out for a year will be returned to circulation.

  • The teacher, not the library, is responsible to observe copyright laws in connection with the use of photocopies which s/he places on reserve.

  • Reserves are kept behind the library circulation desk. Request the desired item at the circulation desk.


Any student in the course for which an item is put on reserve may put a "hold" on it, which will put that person next in line, provided s/he is ready to check it out upon its return.


  • Basic. The fine for a regularly circulating overdue item is 25 cents per day for each day overdue.
  • Recalls. The fine for an overdue recall item is $1.00 per day.

  • Reserves. The fine for an overdue reserve item is $1.00 per day.

  • Limits. The maximum overdue fine per book is $10.00. Bills for unpaid fines and replacement costs totaling $50.00 or more will be forwarded by the circulation staff to the Accounting Department at the end of each semester (ca. April 15 and November 30) and applied to the borrower's account. A borrower may appeal a fine in writing to the director of the library for a reduction if circumstances warrant it. Checks should be made payable to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and sent to the library.

  • Exceptions. None.

What about lost, mutilated, and unreturned items?

  • In the case of a borrowed item owned by Goddard Library that is overdue for six months, or lost, or mutilated, or mildewed, the borrower will be charged the replacement value of the item, plus a $15 processing fee, in addition to the $10.00 fine.
  • Borrowers are advised to insure adequately materials being returned to the library through the mail or other delivery services.

What about suspension of privileges?

  • In the event of abuse or non-cooperation, library privileges may be restricted or suspended by the Director of the Library.
  • Suspension is automatic for anyone owing the library more than $10.00.

What about branch libraries and distance learners?

  • S. Hamilton, Boston, and Jacksonville students may borrow in person, by contacting the Charlotte circulation desk at, or by using the contact form.
  • A maximum of six books may be requested via phone or Email. Students should provide their contact information (address, phone, email address, student ID number) and pertinent information for the books requested (author, title, call number). Requests without the proper call number will not be honored.

  • Ockenga, Semlink, and Doctor of Ministry students living at a distance may also borrow by mail by contacting, or by using the contact form

  • In each case, the limit is six items outside Lindsell Library at a time.

Keeping track. Want to know how many books you have out? When they are due? What you owe? 

  1. Go to the Library Catalog:
  2. Click the "My Account" link.
  3. Enter your Patron / Alternate ID Number
    • For students the student ID number
    • For guests and BibleJourney students the library card number. 
  4. Enter your PIN
    • For students the last 4 digits of the student ID number.
    • For BibleJourney students the last 5 digits of the library card number. 
  5. Click the Submit Request button.
  6. Click the "Current Loans" button in the left menu to display a list of items you have checked out.
  7. Review the list of items you have out and put a check next to the ones you would like to renew.
  8. Click the "Renew" button at the top of the list.
    The screen will reload, indicating the new due dates, and showing the message "Item(s) have been renewed."
  9. If you receive an error message, or if you have any difficulties, please use the contact form.


What about de-selection (that is, removal of items from the collection)?

  • An item may be removed from the Lindsell Library collection for the following reasons: It is beyond repair, irrelevant to theological education, at an intellectual level too low to be helpful to graduate students, or offensive to commonly held morality and without significant social value. It should be kept in mind that this is a graduate academic institution which presents its patrons with a variety of views on theology, ethics, social issues, politics, etc. Items in the collection may contain ideas, descriptions, or visual material distasteful to some (even many) patrons. This distaste may be more prevalent in connection with cultic material, fiction, and video recordings.
  • A patron or staff member may present a case in writing to the director of the library explaining why an item should be removed. The director will make a decision. If the issue is ambiguous, s/he will usually do so in consultation with the staff and/or the academic dean. In no case may an item be removed without it being returned to the library.


Special Library Services:

Reference services are provided by the Lindsell Library director and
other members of the library staff. Feel free to seek help.
Lindsell Library has a number of carrels available to Gordon-Conwell
students on a first-come, first-serve basis. At times the library staff will use downstairs
carrels for exam proctoring and may ask you to move if the carrel is needed for that
Photocopiers are located on both levels of the library. The price is 10
cents per copy. The photocopiers will make change. Scanning is free. A microform reader/printer is located in the library office (copies 10 cents per page). Please take care not to damage material being photocopied.
Other Libraries
Faculty, students, and staff of Gordon-Conwell may use all the libraries in the Charlotte Theological Library Consortium. To view the catalogs of member institutions and find directions to member libraries, please consult the following webpage:
InterLibrary Loan
The Lindsell Library currently does not offer InterLibrary (ILL) loan services. Students are encouraged to use the ILL services at their local public library. For certain requests, the Library Director will consult with ILL services at Goddard Library, the main Gordon-Conwell library located in S. Hamilton, Massachusetts.











Your cooperation is much appreciated!

  • Please do not re-shelve books.

  • All library materials that users wish to borrow must be checked out at the circulation desk.

  • Library users must maintain quiet on the second floor.

  • Library users are welcome to use private computers in the library. They are to be operated quietly and with minimal distraction. Computers are in the library at the owner's own risk.

  • Take special care not to mark or damage library materials. Underscoring can be particularly distracting for subsequent readers. No food and drink including water in the library. Insect and rodent infestation could be damaging to collection materials.

  • Bare feet are not allowed by law.

  • Cell phones should not be used out of common courtesy for fellow patrons. Users who receive a cell phone call while in the library should step outside into the rotunda.

Donations of gift books:

Lindsell Library is glad to receive donations of books. We reserve the right to determine which gift books should be cataloged into the library collection. Some books may be transferred to one of the other Gordon-Conwell libraries in need of those particular titles. Books not deemed appropriate for the collection are placed on the sale table on the first floor, or donated to other non-profit agencies. Gifts of any kind are acknowledged. If an
appraisal is needed for tax purposes, by law it must be made by an outside party before the donation is made. Gordon-Conwell subscribes to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability Standards of Responsible Stewardship. It states that Property or gifts in kind received by an organization should be acknowledged
describing the property or gift accurately without a statement of the gift's market value. It is the responsibility of the donor to determine the fair market value of the property for tax purposes. The organization should inform the donor of IRS reporting requirements for all gifts in excess of $5,000.
Donors are referred to IRS Publication 448, Federal Estate and Gift Taxes; Publication 526, Charitable Contributions; and most especially Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property (rev. 2000; see Gordon-Conwell is thankful for the participation of donors in helping to promote the mission of the library!