Library Policies


The Union Presbyterian Seminary Library provides print and electronic resources as well as library instruction to support the curricular needs and research activities of Union Presbyterian Seminary. Within the bounds of this focus, the Library also offers resources to church leaders, congregations, and visiting researchers for their study and growing understanding of Christian faith and practice.

The policies set forth in this document seek to

  • support the educational mission of Union Presbyterian Seminary;
  • ensure for all patrons maximum access to the collection;
  • preserve the collection;
  • satisfy consortial agreements with area theological libraries through bilateral agreements;
  • permit access to the library’s collection to individuals and leaders in the church.


Charlotte Patron Policies

Anyone wishing to check out any item from the Library needs to have a library card. Students of UPSem should bring their student identification to the Circulation Desk and fill out a registration form. A barcode will be printed on the student’s library access card; it is needed to check out any circulating item.

All other patrons wishing to check out items must show a photo ID with current address and fill out a registration form.  Circulation workers have the authority to approve this request and issue a borrower’s card. No one may borrow any item until this procedure has been completed.  More information about membership and check out status will be found HERE.


  • Checking Out Items

    • The circulating collection located downstairs is available during library open hours. Most items checked out in person are checked-out and checked-in from the circulation desk located downstairs and must be checked out at least 15 minutes before closing time every day. Patrons must present an up-to-date Charlotte library card with user barcode in order to check out materials from the collection

  • Returning Items

    • Borrowers can return materials at the circulation desk or in the book drop next to the circulation desk.

  • Non-Circulating Materials

    • Most books are available for lending to all patrons. But certain materials in the collection do not circulate because it is essential that they be available to the entire community at all times. These include :

      • Periodicals, bound and unbound
      • Books on course reserve
      • Items marked “Ref.”, located upstairs
  • Borrowing Periods

    • Different privileges are accorded to different patron statuses. If a patron falls into several categories, the most permissive of the patron privileges will apply.

      For a table showing details of borrowing periods for Charlotte patrons, click HERE.


  • Renewals

    • Renewals, where permitted, may be initiated by the patron from the library’s online catalog, or a patron can request a renewal in person, by phone or by email.

      Renewals will not be allowed if a hold or recall is currently active on that item or if a patron has more than $10 in fines or other charges.

      To renew your borrowed items online, please follow the detailed instructions in our catalog tutorial. (These tutorials are currently being updated to reflect our new system.)

  • Recalls

    • Any patron can request the recall of any item in the circulating collection once the item in question has been on loan for 3 weeks. The library always reserves the right to recall any item from circulation at any time if it is required for Course Reserves or other instructional use.

      Items that are not returned within four days of a recall notice are fined at a rate of $1.00 per day.

  • Holds

    • On the library’s online catalog, a patron can place a hold on any item in the circulating collection that has been charged out to another patron. If a hold is placed on an item, that item cannot be renewed by the patron who has borrowed it.   For detailed instructions on placing a hold, please see our catalog tutorial.

      Patrons will be notified when an item that they have requested be placed on hold has been returned to the library and is now available. The material will be held at the Circulation Desk for one week after notification. If the hold was placed on behalf of an extension patron, the material will be mailed as soon as possible after it becomes available.

      Holds cannot be placed on items that are currently available on the shelves of the Charlotte library but Charlotte patrons CAN place holds on available items in the Richmond campus library.

  • Fines, Overdues and Replacements

    • For UPSem Faculty and Charlotte Students/Staff:

      • Overdue fines are not assessed or collected for most library items. Replacement fees will still be charged for items that are damaged, lost or simply not returned.
      • Due dates for library books are set on a “term of study” basis. This is the end of semester/summer for most students and on an annual basis (June 1st) for ThM students, PhD students and faculty.
      • Students who owe replacement charges will not be permitted to graduate until their accounts are settled. The Registrar will be informed of any charges owed.

      For Public and Alumni/ae Patrons:

      • Circulating collection overdues: $.10 per day/per item
      • Course reserve overdues: $.50 per hour/per item
      • Replacement charges: The library staff will determine the appropriate charge for items that must be replaced in the collection because of lost items or excessively overdue items. If a hard copy of an item is in print, replacement charges will include the cost of the hard copy plus a $30 processing fee. If an item is not in print and a valid replacement cost cannot be identified, the replacement cost will be $60 plus a $30 processing fee.
      • When a patron’s bill for fines or replacement costs exceeds $10.00, that patron’s borrowing privileges will be suspended until the items are returned and the full bill paid. All patrons will be sent a bill for unpaid overdue charges by June 1 of each year. No patron privileges will be renewed until fines/bills are paid.
      • In case of noncompliance with Library policy, the patron’s privileges may be revoked and the patron barred.
  • Overdue Notice Schedule

      • First notice: As a courtesy to patrons, an email will be sent one week prior to a borrowed item’s due date.
      • Second notice: Patrons will be sent either by U.S.mail or via email (if an email address is available to the Library) a notice that a borrwed items is overdue one week.
      • Final Notice: a final notice will be sent via U.S. mail or via email when a borrowed item is three months overdue.  The notice will be a bill for replacement for the cost outlined above.
  • Interlibrary Loan Policy

    • UPSEM students, faculty and staff may request books, articles and media through our interlibrary loan (ILL) service. Physical items may only be loaned from our Richmond location, however, so those who are unable to pick up and return items in Richmond will only be able to request articles or other items that can be delivered electronically.

      Physical items (books, photocopies, etc.) acquired via ILL will be held at the Circulation Desk of Morton Library in Richmond. Digital materials will be sent electronically. In either case, patrons will be notified by email regarding the status of their requests. Physical items should be returned to staff at the Circulation Desk of the Morton Library in Richmond.

      $1 per day will be charged to your library account for each overdue ILL item. Items overdue for 7 days or more will cause your library privileges to be suspended.

      Interlibrary loan services are only available for scholarly purposes. Those interested in materials for non-scholarly purposes and individuals not served through our interlibrary loan service should request ILL through a public library.

      If you place a request for our materials through a public library, please be aware that we will not loan curriculum resources and that we fill ILL requests in a particular priority order. We are occasionally unable to fill public library requests depending on the number of requests we are managing from our Virginia (VIVA) consortium partners and other American Theological Library Association schools.

      We will not borrow items that the library already owns (even if they are checked out), textbooks or other required readings for current UPSem courses.

      We will not borrow items via ILL for patrons who have overdue materials or outstanding fines.

      Whole issues or volumes of periodicals cannot be borrowed.

      The length and conditions of interlibrary loans are determined by lending libraries and may vary. Items may also be recalled by lending libraries at their discretion.

      Some material (such as microfiche and microfilm) must be viewed in the Morton Library building. Other libraries can also request that their books not leave Morton Library. If that is the case, we will let you know.

      A patron can borrow only five items at a time through interlibrary loan.

      We are only allowed to borrow five articles from one journal within the most recent five years of that journal’s publication – five cumulative articles, not five per patron. When we have reached that five article limit, we may attempt to purchase the article for your use.