Services for DTS Faculty

This is a description of primary services Turpin Library provides for current faculty. See House Rules for additional information about eligibility for services. In the event of a conflict between House Rules and this page, House Rules take precedence.

Orientation for New Faculty

Contact the library director to schedule a personalized introduction. We offer an orientation tour with information about services, course reserve procedures, interlibrary loan, TexShare (borrowing privileges at local libraries), etc. We will come to your office to familiarize you with library databases. In addition, come to the library for reference and research assistance morning or afternoon any weekday at your convenience. See also the library website for tutorials, rules, caldendar, etc.

Instruction for Your Students

We offer brief instruction sessions for new students at the start of the school year. More extensive instruction is included in RS5101 and some other courses. Send any student to us for help on an informal basis. Alternatively, we will conduct formal group instruction sessions for your students about how to use any library resource you specify, including reference works, bibliographies and databases, and primary source collections. Please schedule a full month in advance. We can accommodate up to 18 students in the media center or hold sessions in your normal classroom.

Reference Assistance

Library reference staff will answer faculty reference questions on a priority basis. Library reference staff will also help train your TA's and interns to assist with your specific long-term research project. We do not have sufficient staffing to provide long-term research assistance ourselves. At your request, we will profile monthly reports that will alert you to new library acquisitions in areas of special interest.

Access to Electronic Resources. Tech Support

The library catalog and scores of databases are available on campus and via the Internet. Most of these resources require a personal library login and password. If you are unable to access databases or other online resources at, then first try the tech support FAQ. If you continue to have trouble, contact the library. If you are unable to resolve the technical problems, we will do the search for you and email you the results. If you are having problems with your computer or browser software, you should contact faculty computer helpdesk directly, not the library.

Borrowing Privileges and Procedures

Faculty enjoy generous borrowing privileges. Faculty may borrow up to 100 items at one time. Loan period varies with item type; books, for example, are loaned for 90 days, with a maximum of one renewal possible. You may renew eligible items yourself via WorldCat. Faculty are not billed for overdue materials (but very long overdue materials will be declared lost and the borrower invoiced). Faculty may appoint surrogates to borrow for them (e.g., TA's or secretaries). Some materials, such as reference books and periodicals, are non-circulating, but faculty may take non-circulating reference books and most rare books to class for short show and tell sessions.

Loans must be properly recorded against the borrower's account before materials can be removed from the building. Circulation staff process all borrowing transactions including course reserves. Please use the media center desk (Mosher basement) for AV 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.

Faculty should not ignore due dates or overdue notices. If you find library borrowing rules create a problem for you in a specific situation, then contact the director.

Special Borrowing Priviliges for Your Assistants

You may request that your Interns or Teaching Assistants be given long-term faculty-like borrowing privileges if they are engaged in serious long term research for you. Please keep this to a minimum as it is easily abused by students.

Course Reserve Services

Items are placed on academic reserve by the library at the request of instructors. This is a means of guaranteeing an entire class has access to specific high-demand resources so the students may complete specific required assignments. The reserve collection is not a "best books" collection or a "just in case" collection. Reserve materials are loaned for a two-hour period during the day (or overnight if it is less than 2 hours until closing).

For your convenience, library staff maintain records of all materials placed on reserve for each of your courses. Before the start of each semester, staff will send you a list of materials that were previously on reserve for each course you will be teaching in the coming semester. This will provide you with an opportunity to update the list. Please submit all reserve requests three weeks before the semester begins so library staff can recall items currently on loan and process materials before the start of the semester. Required text-books are normally not put on reserve, but please contact the library if a required text-book is temporarily out of print or unavailable so the library can place multiple copies on reserve.

Photocopies of copyrighted materials present special problems. Students are probably best served by providing electronic copies of journal articles and book chapters. But there are sometimes good reasons for putting copies on reserve. We will store copies for you so they are available for future use unless you wish to retain them yourself. Be aware that copyright law concerning electronic copies differs from law concerning photocopies or multiple copies for students.

Hold Notification

Faculty may ask to be notified when unavailable items (e.g., items currently on loan, at the bindery, etc.) become available. This is called placing a hold. In most cases you may use WorldCat to place the hold yourself. When the item is returned, you will be notified (via email) and the item will be kept for you at the circulation desk. If a hold is placed on an item that is on loan to someone, the system will prevent the current borrower from renewing the loan. If the borrower has already renewed the item at least once, then the library will also notify the borrower that another person would like to use the item. However, the borrower is free to keep the item until the due date.

Search for Missing/NOS Items

Library staff will help you search for missing items. By missing we mean the item is supposed to be on the shelf, available for use, but it is not there. Once the missing item has been reported to staff, they will search the entire building for the missing item. If the item is not found within 90 days, a replacement may be purchased. It is possible to place a hold on a missing book in order to be notified when the item is found.

Archives and Special Collections

Faculty have full use of these collections. At your request, archives staff will teach your students how to use our archives and what to expect at other archives. Please schedule formal instructional sessions a full month in advance. Additional details available on the Special Collections page.

Media Center and Computer Lab Services

The media center has one computer-equipped classroom available for instructional use by appointment. It will accommodate up to 18 students. Schedule use with the media center desk. At your request either media center staff or library reference staff will conduct formal group instruction sessions for your students in the use of any particular lab equipment or software you are going to require students to use (e.g., Accordance, Endnote). Please schedule a full month in advance.

Interlibrary Loan

Use our interlibrary loan department to borrow items Turpin Library does not own. We can get almost anything (except rare books and unpublished manuscripts). ILL is intended to supplement our local collection, not substitute for it. If you discover the Turpin Library collection is not adequately supporting your teaching or research needs, please contact the collection development office of the library and explain your needs. We aim to meet all your teaching needs and most of your research needs from our own collection.

Please use one standard ILL form for each item requested. We need an accurate bibliographic citation for each item such as:

  • author, book title, edition, publisher and date; or
  • author, article title, journal title, volume, issue, pages, and date.

TexShare Cards and Letters of Introduction

Faculty who reside in Texas and wish to borrow books directly from other Texas libraries may contact Turpin Library to obtain a TexShare card. If a library is a member of the TexShare card program, it will allow TexShare card holders from other libraries to borrow books.

Faculty who will be traveling to use special research facilities may wish to secure a letter of introduction from the library director or get contact information from the library.

Miscellaneous Services

The library has four lockable, office-like faculty carrels, which are assigned on a semester basis to faculty doing intense library research. Apply far in advance of your need.

The library will help you send your personal books to our commercial bookbinder for binding or repair. The company delivers materials once each month.

Departmental photocopy cards are available at the circulation desk.

How You Can Help Us

Help us build the collection. The collection development office eagerly solicits faculty recommendations. While our first priority is to purchase materials that directly support the existing curriculum, we welcome recommendations in the broad scope of everything germane to the seminary mission and ministry.

Help us improve bibliographic instruction. Tell reference staff what specific library and research skills students most need to improve. Describe and define the level of proficiency they need. Help us develop practical programs that will equip graduates to meet their information needs throughout a lifetime of ministry after they leave DTS.

Help us manage peak demand. For large classes, give students research options so we do not have a situation in which many people want to use the same books at the same time. Stagger due dates or provide a range of topics for research papers.

Submit course reserve requests early, long before the start of the semester.

Serve on the library committee or communicate your concerns to the committee or to the director.