Library Services

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Hours and StaffCirculation/Borrowing PolicyInterlibrary LoanDamaged BooksNew TitlesAlumni

William Perkins Library Hours

Regular semester hours are as follows:

  • Monday – Thursday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

William Perkins Library Staff

  • Librarian, Mrs. Laura Ladwig. Library tel: (616) 432-3415
  • Theological Librarian, Dr. Fred Sweet. Daytime hours: (616) 254-1662
  • Library Associate, Miss Kim Dykema. Library tel: (616) 432-3415
Circulation Policy for CULN Libraries

William Perkins Library is one of the members of the Cornerstone University Library Network, along with Cornerstone University and Kuyper College.

Borrowing Policy – Guests

The following guidelines determine borrowing privileges for anyone who is not a PRTS student or a PRTS or RHB employee (Exception: current students and faculty of Cornerstone University or Grand Rapids Theological Seminary have the same borrowing privileges as PRTS students/faculty):

  • Guests are asked to pay $10 annually to borrow books and will receive a library card. These cards expire at the end of the calendar year but are renewable upon request provided the guest is in good standing with the library and seminary.
  • Guest patrons are permitted to borrow up to 5 items at a time for a 4-week loan period.
  • Guest patrons may use the following resources within the library but may not check out: antiquarian volumes, or items on course reserve.
  • Guests will be charged the replacement cost (for a comparable copy) plus a processing fee of $15 per book for items that are lost, damaged, or never returned.

Borrowing Policy – Students

Students are encouraged to study in the library, where they will find study carrels with power access and network ports or wireless access to the Internet. Students may check out books or tapes for 4 weeks by writing their library-assigned student ID number on the checkout card found in most books; leave the card in the basket at the circulation counter. Online access to one’s library account enables students to renew books for an additional 4 weeks. All borrowers are expected to return books before their due date and will be liable for overdue, lost or damaged books. Overdue and replacement cost notices are sent automatically to the borrower’s email address.

Journals, reference books, and antiquarian books (pre-1850) are limited to library use only. However, free photocopying of journal articles or sections from reference books is available for PRTS student use. Photocopying of antiquarian books is generally prohibited due to the damaging effects of light and handling–ask library staff to assist in finding a reprint edition.

Interlibrary Loan for journal articles or books not in the William Perkins Library

The easiest way to request books is to use WorldCat. After finding the book you need, click on the ILL link at the top left-hand side, complete and submit the form using your name and the seminary’s address and phone number. This form goes to Kim Dykema’s email. She handles all ILL requests for the seminary library. She’ll take the request from there and let you know when your request has been processed or received.

The best way to request articles is to email the complete article citation (article title, author, journal, volume, issue, pages, date) to ALWAYS check our online library catalog first using a Journal Title search to make sure we do not already own the article. The ATLA Religion database also has many journals available full-text online. We do NOT fill ILL requests for items that we own or have access to.

It may take 1-2 weeks for a book to come, so plan ahead and don’t wait until the last minute. Journal articles are generally available in about 24 hours and will come as a pdf to your email address. Although we are delighted to provide this service, keep in mind that sometimes it may be easier and quicker for you to walk across the street to Cornerstone’s Library in order to photocopy a journal article, or drive down the Beltline to Calvin’s Library to borrow a book or copy a journal article.

In most cases, there is no charge for ILL items. Occasionally, a lending library may charge about $20, more or less, perhaps for a unique item such as a dissertation. However, we will always know this in advance and let you know so that you can choose to drop the request. If you lose or fail to return an ILL book, you will be charged a late fee and/or a replacement fee.

Renewals are only allowed in the one-week period, before the due date. It is up to the lending library whether a renewal is granted. Email or talk with Kim Dykema in order to place a renewal request for your ILL book.

ILL services are not available to guests or alumni, only faculty and current students at PRTS. This is not our decision, but the licensing restriction placed on us by subscription agreement.

How Many:
Each student may request up to ten ILL items at a time. Exceptions may be granted to students writing their theses.

Note: There is no ILL between PRTS and Cornerstone Libraries.

PRTS Damaged Book Policy

A book is considered “damaged” if it is returned to the library in a condition that requires extensive repair OR is unable to be repaired and will need to be replaced instead. Examples of damaged books include, but are not limited to: water damage, mold, pen/pencil marks, torn and/or missing pages, and damage to the outside covers of the book. Damage will be assessed by the Library Staff who will determine if the book can be repaired or not. If not, or if the repair work is extensive, the full replacement cost of the book will be charged to the student.
If patrons wish to check out a book that is already damaged, they should show the damage to the circulation desk staff, who will make a note in the record and not hold them responsible when the book is returned.

New Titles

You can see a list of new titles recently added to the William Perkins Library by visiting our online catalog page and then clicking on “Featured item lists” (in right side column) Then select “New PRTS titles.”

PRTS Alumni Policy

  • Alumni have access to the library 8-5pm Monday through Friday
  • Alumni may check out up to 10 books at one time; late items will receive overdue fines; lost items will be charged for the replacement and processing cost.
  • Alumni may use the printer/photocopier with their student password.  An invoice will be sent at the end of each semester for all printing / copying at the cost of $.10/page.
  • Alumni have access to all electronic databases only while physically in the seminary building, not remotely or off-campus.
  • Alumni may not request items via Inter-library loan. (Very often your local public library can provide interlibrary loan service.)
  • Alumni may use carrels and tables when they are in the library; however, because of the increase in the current student body, they are requested not to claim a table or carrel for their primary use as do current students. Because of the limited number of carrels and the growing number of on-campus and off-campus students who use the library on a regular basis, we do not have enough carrels for alumni to claim one for their own permanent use.  After the building expansion however, we anticipate having enough carrels available that alumni members may claim a particular carrel for personal use.
  • Alumni do not have reciprocal borrowing privileges with Cornerstone and Kuyper College as current students have; alumni members wishing to use these libraries will need to get guest cards from each of these libraries individually.