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Library Manual for Students

Library Manual for Students

Library Services


Smith Library offers a variety of services to its students to meet their research needs.  Most services are available twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty-five days a year through phone, email, and instant messaging. Requests for services during non-business hours that require staff assistance will be responded to on the next business day. The following section will review those services.

Circulation Policies

Circulation Policies


Availability of Collection:  The library houses a collection of over 60,000 printed volumes and the library subscribes to well over 500,000 downloadable electronic books in many subjects. Over 38,000 full-text journal titles are available through 100 databases. The library also houses a collection of CDs and DVDs. All of the materials in these collections can be found through the library catalog or through One SEARCH on the library homepage. 


Arrangement of the collection:  Most of the Smith Library collection is arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System.  Single or double letters are initially used to categorize all areas of human knowledge. Labels are affixed to book spines displaying call numbers. A numerical system is employed to arrange audio-visuals on the shelf such as DVD 101. Journals are shelved alphabetically by the first word in the title.


Limits to Availability:  While the majority of these resources are available for check out, included in the library collections are some items that are not to be removed from the library premises. These items include reference books, course reserve books, print periodicals, and Doctor of Ministry research projects.


Borrowing Materials:  Up to 25 items may be checked out at one time by undergraduate and graduate students. Doctor of Ministry students may check out a maximum of 35 items. A valid library card/student ID is required to borrow in person.  

Loan Periods and Overdue Fines:

      Returning Materials:  Materials may be returned to the circulation desk and deposited in the book return slot. During non-business hours, materials can be deposited in the drop box in front of the library.

All returns are expected to be completed by the end of the courses in which the student is enrolled. 


Suspension of Checkout Privileges:  A student may be denied checkout privileges if he or she has library materials more than 30 days overdue or unpaid library balances in excess of $5.

A student may be denied checkout privileges if he or she has an outstanding Student Accounts balance greater than $50.00 that is more than 120 days past due. If student is currently enrolled in at least one course, an exception may be made to allow limited checkout privileges for course use.


Overdue, Lost or Damaged Materials:  Library patrons are responsible for returning or renewing items by their due date. Library borrowing privileges are suspended for patrons who have materials more than 30 days overdue or unpaid balances.

      Library patrons are charged replacement costs when materials are damaged beyond repair, when materials are declared lost by the borrower, or when materials are presumed lost by the library. An item is presumed “lost” if it is more than 30 days overdue.

      For each lost or damaged item, the student will be billed for the replacement cost of the item (including shipping charges), the accrued overdue fine, and a $10 processing fee. The maximum overdue fine is $6.00 per item.

      If a lost item is subsequently returned to the library after paying the replacement cost, the replacement fee will be waived; but the student will be responsible for the overdue fine and the processing fee.

      When a patron claims to have returned an item that is still on record as being checked out to the patron, the library will designate a "claims returned" status on the item for a period of 30 days. During this time period, the library and the patron share the responsibility of locating the library item. Library staff will search the library collection and the patron, in turn, is expected to search for the item. At the end of the 30-day search process, if the item remains unfound, the patron will be billed for the replacement cost plus a processing fee and the accrued overdue fines.


      Reserve Books:  Reserve books are those books intended by the instructor to be available to a large number of students for a short period of time. Reserve books may be used in the library only and must be returned to the Circulation Desk.


Confidentiality: The library follows the code of ethics of the American Library Association that protects users’ right to privacy. Crucial to these standards are the following:

  • Checkout records, registration records, materials requests, and reference and Internet search records are confidential. 

  • Patrons seeking information from their personal accounts must first verify their identity by providing identification or specific account details to library staff. Books in the library account may be renewed and the due dates provided, but no other information (including book titles) may be relayed to the caller, without a positive identification.

  • Any documents containing sensitive information are shredded using the electronic paper shredder before disposal.

Copy Services

Copy Services

The library provides self-serve photocopying. The fee is ten cents per page. Copyright compliance is important when making copies. For information on copyright law, see the following link:

Items left behind will be held until the end of the work week and then will properly disposed of, if not claimed.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Services

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Services

Requesting an ILL

Students may request books and articles through ILL service. To request an interlibrary loan, students may email or call us at 770-484-1204 x5756 or (800) 442-1577. Please include all bibliographic or citation details you have for the item (Ex: Title, author, publisher, date, etc.)

Turnaround time 

The typical time it takes to receive a copy of a requested article from another library is less than 24 hours. The average turnaround time for an ILL print book request is about 1-2 weeks from the date of submission to the date of arrival in the library. Some ILL requests can take much longer. Although we will make every attempt to fill your request, we cannot guarantee that we can find a lender to supply the item. Please Note: Textbooks are not requested through ILL.

Cost of ILL  

While Smith Library will make every effort to obtain materials for free, at times the lending library will assess a fee. Students will be consulted, through email, regarding any costs associated with the ILL, before the terms are accepted. Interlibrary loan items not returned by the due date on the Interlibrary Loan Agreement Form accrue a $1.00 per day late fee.

Library Catalog

Library Catalog

The Koha Online Public Access Catalog, available through the Luther Rice Library website at lets you locate, reserve, and borrow library materials in the Smith Library Collection. The Catalog is available 24 hours a day and can be found on the library homepage. Learn about the Library Catalog's capabilities and how to use it through the Koha video tutorials

Research Assistance/Library Tour

Research Assistance/Library Tour

The Luther Rice library information/service desk can typically assist students with research questions immediately. However, if students feel the need for more help with using the library resources, they may schedule an individual or a small group research consultation by contacting the library staff by phone, email, or in person. A librarian will:

•    Introduce you to the library’s website
•    Teach you how to find books, videos & other documents
•    Teach you how to find newspaper and journal articles
•    Teach you research strategies that can help make the best use of your time.


Books by Mail

Books by Mail

Print books may be requested through the Smith Library online catalog cart system. Please remember to include your student ID number and mailing address. See video for instructions.

The materials requested are sent to students by mail at no charge. Students are responsible for returning the library materials.

Smith Library mailing address:

Smith Library
Luther Rice College & Seminary
3038 Evans Mill Road
Lithonia, GA 30038