Services for Visitors
This page is a description of some basic services the library provides for visitors and registered courtesy-card users in the Dallas Fort Worth area, including DTS graduates with courtesy-cards. If you are not in the DFW area and wish to obtain books by mail, see this page instead. If you are looking for a list of electronic resources for graduates, you have reached the wrong page. See the Grad Electronic Resources page instead. See House Rules for additional information about rules. In the event of a conflict between House Rules and this page, House Rules take precedence.
Days and Hours of Operation
During the normal academic year the library is open more than 80 hours/week. Hours are shortened during the summer. See the Library calendar for exact details. Many library services are available whenever the building is open, but some services are available only 40 hours/week, M-F. Most electronic resources are available 22 hours/day, seven days/week.
Access and Reading Privileges
Dallas Seminary is a private institution. The library welcomes visitors from the general public who are seriously studying theology and related topics. Visitors must sign the visitor's logbook at the circulation desk every time they visit the library. Visitors are permitted access to library book stacks, periodical stacks, reference collection, and general reading areas. Visitors may apply for borrowing privileges (a courtesy-card). Visitors are permitted to read materials in the building without applying for borrowing privileges.
Reference personnel with theological and bibliographic expertise are available to help you use library resources and find information. They may recommend resources or teach you how to use those resources. This service is available 40 hours/week, M-F without advanced notice.
Access to Electronic Resources
The library catalog and scores of databases and other online resources are available on campus and via the Internet. Most of these resources require a personal library login and password. Visitors and registered courtesy-card users are eligible to use some of these electronic resources on campus, but most resources are limited to current DTS faculty, students and staff.
Borrowing Privileges. Loans and Renewals
The library allows registered courtesy-card users in good standing to borrow materials. Some materials, however, such as reference books and periodicals, are non-circulating and never leave the building. Loans must be properly recorded against the borrower's account before materials can be removed from the building. Circulation staff process all borrowing transactions. All borrowed items must be returned to the circulation desk on or before the date due. Regular books and other sturdy items may be returned after hours in the overnight book drop near the main entrance. Borrowers with overdue materials are subject to fines, and long overdue materials will be declared lost and the borrower invoiced. See House Rules for loan periods, renewal rules, and other details.
Any adult who lives in the DFW area may apply for borrowing privileges (a courtesy-card). Approval is not automatic. The current fee for borrowing privileges is $50.00/year. This entitles the user to borrow up to five books at one time. The current loan period for books is 21 days, with one renewal. DTS grads and former students pay a discounted fee of only $10.00/year to obtain borrowing privileges. The following categories of people are eligible for free borrowing privileges:
- Retired DTS staff who live in the DFW area. (That's retired staff, not former staff.)
- Currently active participants in the DTS volunteer program, as certified by Human Resources
- Current DTS Center for Biblical Studies (lay institute) students. (Note books must be returned by last day of current semester.)
- Current faculty and students in TexShare institutions who present a valid TexShare card and independent personal photo identification such as a drivers license
- Spouses of DTS faculty, students and staff may be (and regularly are) named on the library user record. This creates a shared account. These spouses may borrow against the shared account. In such case, the primary registered user bears full responsibility for all loans on that account, even those by the spouse. Spouses may also register as guests and borrow on their own separate accounts.
DTS has no special arrangements with Criswell College, Dallas Baptist University, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, or Redeemer Theological Seminary. DTS is not participating in the SWATLA lending program. Faculty or students associated with these institutions may apply for courtesy-cards. Many of these institutions participate in TexShare borrowing programs.
Visiting scholars may apply for limited privileges at the discretion of the library director.
Children under 18 are not permitted to register themselves or to use parental accounts.
Books by Mail
If you are not in the DFW area and wish to obtain books by mail, see this page instead.
Holds on Unavailable Items
Visitors, including courtesy-card users, may not place holds on items.
Course Reserve Collection
Visitors, including courtesy-card users, may not borrow course reserve materials.
Archives and Special Collections
These resources are available at the discretion of the Archivist. Details available on the archives page.
Media Center and Computer Lab Services
Visitors, including courtesy-card users, may not use the computer lab or media production facilities. However, they may use DVD, CD-ROM, video tape and audio tape players to listen to or view library media in the building. They may borrow some but not all AV media. Inquire at media center desk for details.
TexShare and Interlibrary Loan
We honor TexShare cards from other institutions. We issue TexShare cards only to current DTS faculty, students and staff; we do not issue TexShare cards to visitors or courtesy-card users. We loan materials to other libraries via ILL. We borrow materials via ILL only for current DTS faculty, students and staff; we do not borrow via ILL for visitors or courtesy-card users.
Proctoring of Tests
Sometimes distance education/online/extension students of other institutions (not DTS) ask us to proctor a test. We do not proctor tests. We do not provide rooms for testing.
See special services pages or ask library staff.