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 libraries involved in the OCLC interlibrary loan system, and with other partner libraries;
  • permit access to the library’s collection to individuals in the church and visiting scholars interested in pursuing serious research and/or instruction.

    • UPSem participates in three different partnering programs with other libraries: the Atla Reciprocal Borrowing Program, the VIVA Cooperative Borrowing Program, and the Carolinas Theological Library Consortium. Each of the programs is described below. If you are a current student or faculty/staff member at UPSem, these programs mean that you have borrowing privileges at over 200 other academic and theological libraries around the U.S. and Canada. This is especially useful if you don’t live close to the Richmond or Charlotte campuses of UPSem, as you can check out books you may need for your work from campus libraries that are close to you.

      Here is a database/list of schools with which we have reciprocal borrowing agreements.

      You can also interact with a map of the schools with which we have reciprocal borrowing agreements. (Note: Be sure to click the down arrows under the check boxes in the left-side menu to uncover the full list of locations.)

      VIVA’s website includes an interactive list of websites, staff directories, and lending policies for each of its participating members.

      Atla Reciprocal Borrowing Program

      The Atla Reciprocal Borrowing Program creates an arrangement between participating North American Atla Institutional Members to grant check-out privileges to each other’s patrons/students. A patron/student walks into a participating Library, shows proof of current enrollment at another participating Library, and checks out materials based on the Library’s local lending policies. The borrower will be responsible for returning all items when they are due, to the Library from which they were borrowed. The borrower will be liable for any overdue fines or other penalty charges. For more information and for a spreadsheet of participating libraries, visit the ATLA Reciprocal Borrowing webpage at

      VIVA Cooperative Borrowing Program

      Faculty, staff and currently enrolled students of Union Presbyterian Seminary have the privilege of borrowing items on-site from any participating Library in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These libraries are members of VIVA, Virginia’s academic Library consortium. The borrower will be responsible for returning all items when they are due, to the Library from which they were borrowed. The borrower will be liable for any overdue fines or other penalty charges. For more information about the VIVA Cooperative Borrowing Program and a list of participating libraries, visit

      Patrons who wish to borrow media items from partner libraries should make those arrangements with the staff in our Instructional Resource Center.

      Carolinas Theological Library Consortium

      The Carolinas Theological Library Consortium (CTLC) was created to allow greater resource sharing among schools with theology and/or religion programs in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. It has grown over time to include institutions throughout North and South Carolina. Students are advised to have their current student identification with them to check out materials from another CTLC library. For more information about the Carolinas Theological Library Consortium and a list of participating libraries, visit

      Each school in the Consortium has agreed to abide by the following borrowing policies:

      • Circulating library materials may be borrowed by duly certified faculty, students, and staff of CTLC member schools and organizations from any CTLC member library in accordance with the borrowing regulations of the lending library.
      • Borrowers are responsible for learning circulation and access regulations at the respective institution’s library. Borrowers agree to be governed by these regulations.
      • Patrons need to borrow books in person. Libraries are not expected to answer telephone queries or provide materials by mail, except for inter-library loans requested through standard ILL request forms.
      • Users of any CTLC library are subject to all fines, rules, and regulations of the servicing library. Patrons will be notified of overdue material by the library from which the library material was borrowed.