Circulation Policies


Patrons || Loan Periods || Renewals || How to Renew Online || Reserve Materials || Holds || Fines || Reading Room Guidelines


Any person welcome on campus is also welcome within the Library. However, all borrowers who wish to check materials out of the Library must have either a current Gordon-Conwell ID or a Library Guest Card. Guest Cards cost $30.00 per year, but are free for some categories of borrowers.

Loan Periods

The following guidelines apply to current Gordon-Conwell students and staff.

  • Circulating books: 25 items, 28 days (includes Microform & Vertical File items)
  • Reserve items: 3 items, 2 hours (overnight - 2 hours before closing until 2 hours after opening the following day)
  • All Media (DVD, Video Cassette, CDs): 3 items, 7 days (Maximum of 3 videos and 2 DVDs out at any one time)
  • Reference, Periodical, Thesis Collection, Archive and Rare Book Room materials: for use only in the Reading Rooms
  • Inter-Library Loans: determined by the lending library
  • Thesis loans: Students writing approved theses may renew circulating books eleven times (28 day checkout periods). All items are subject to recall or to be placed on hold by another patron..


Renewals of Goddard Library items may be requested by e-mail or by phone ( / 978.646.4074). You will need to provide the circulation staff with a list of all items to be renewed, along with their call numbers. You can also renew your books online (instructions given below). Please note the following renewal periods:

  • Circulating books: up to five renewals of 28 days each if book has not been recalled or placed on hold
  • Reserve items: unlimited renewals unless book has been requested by another person
  • Meda: 7 days, NO renewals
  • Inter-Library Loans: determined by the lending library. See ILL policy.
    To renew Inter-Library Loans, contact at least five days before the due date given.
  • Thesis loans: up to eleven renewals of 28 days each if book has not been recalled or placed on hold

How to Renew Online

  • Library Accounts can be accessed from these locations:
  • From the Library Homepage: Click 'Library Account' from the side menu or 'Log into your Library Account' from the WorldCat Discovery search box. The account log-in page will open.
  • Within WorldCat Discovery: Click 'Sign-in' in the top right corner.

New Log-in information: Library account username and passwords are now the same used for other Gordon-Conwell services (SAKAI, CAMS, and email). When your password changes, the updated password must be used here.

NOTE: Only current GCTS students, staff and faculty have online access to their WorldCat Discovery account. Guests and alumni will need to contact the library to request renewals.

  • Once you have logged into your library account you will be able to view borrowed items, contact information, and books on hold.
  • To renew one or more items, click the Renew button.

Reserve Materials

Items professors deem important are placed on reserve. These materials are kept behind the circulation desk and need to be requested for check out. All items are listed on the library catalog (see here) and can be viewed in a reserve notebook kept at the circulation desk. Items are listed by professor and class. When making your request for reserve materials, please have the call number(s) ready.


A hold may be placed on an item that has already been checked out by another patron. When a hold is placed, the library contacts the current borrower, asking them to return the item as soon as possible. The current borrower is under no obligation to return the until the end of their first loan period. Placing a hold will, however, prevent the current borrower from renewing the item. All items are subject to immediate recall after they have been in a borrower's possession for 28 days. Items that are needed for course reserves are subject for immediate recall regardless of how long they have been in the borrower's possession.

Only current students, faculty and staff may place a hold. Hold request forms are available at the circulation desk for those who qualify. Eligible patrons can also place hold requests online. To monitor or cancel a hold, log into your Library account. (See above for log-in instructions.)


As of February 1, 2013, all Gordon-Conwell libraries have adopted a new overdue book policy:

Fines are no longer be collected for overdue items, with the exception of those items placed on Course Reserves and items obtained by InterLibrary Loan.

Once an item is overdue:

  • Patrons with the overdue item will be sent four notices of their overdue items (once per week after the item is overdue).
  • All borrowing privileges for patrons with overdue items will be suspended.
  • All overdue items can be returned before the fourth notice without incurring any fines.
  • Once items have been returned, borrowing privileges will be restored.

After the fourth notice: (sent twenty-eight days after the items are overdue)

  • The items will be declared "long overdue" and essentially considered “lost." *
  • The patron will be charged a minimum of $100 for each item.
  • If the publisher’s suggested price of a single item exceeds $100, the patron will be charged the full price, plus a $15.00 processing fee.
  • These replacement charges will be sent to the seminary Accounting Office for collection.
  • The library will purchase replacement copies.
  • The patron will then “own” the items that have been declared lost.

*Please note that the library STRONGLY encourages patrons who actually lose items (or damage them beyond repair) to contact the library staff as soon as possible to explain the situation. The library has no desire to charge more than the cost of a quality replacement of the same edition in such cases.

Overdue Course Reserves will result in a $10.00 fine per item, per day. As is the current practice, any patron with a $10.00 fine will have borrowing privileges revoked.

Consent is required of all students, staff, faculty and guest patrons of GCTS libraries before checkout. Any library user must read and consent to the revised fine policy before checking out any library items. Consent can be given either online or by signing a written form at the circulation desk.

Reading Room Guidelines

General behavior and conduct should comply with the Community Life Statement found in the current GCTS Student Handbook.

  • Do not re-shelve items. Return items with which you are finished to the Circulation Desk (whether they have been checked out or not). Return Reference books and bound periodicals to the designated area(s) in the reading room. Current periodicals may be left on the round tables in upstairs Reading Room.
  • Do not have more than 6 Reference books in your possession at a time. This will provide other persons an opportunity to use limited resources.
  • Do not leave books on tables, at the end of shelves, or on the floor.
  • Do not leave personal items in the library overnight, except at an assigned carrel.
  • Do not leave unchecked books, Reference books or periodicals in a carrel overnight. Fines apply! (See above.)
  • If you remove books from a shelf, push in the bookend so the rest of the books don't fall over. Do not borrow library bookends for your office or carrel.
  • If you move furniture, return it to its original location when you leave.
  • The library has a liberal policy of allowing coffee, water, juice, etc. in the reading rooms in closed and non-spillable containers. IF you spill a beverage, please report it to the Circulation Desk immediately so the stain can be treated early.
  • Keep cell phone and computer noises turned off while in the Library. If you need to answer a cell phone, step outside of the reading rooms to talk.
  • Maintain a clean study area for the next student by throwing your trash in the wastebasket, removing any drink containers, and pushing in your chair when you leave.