Circulation Policies & Procedures


The primary mission of Morton Library is to serve the students and faculty of Union Presbyterian Seminary. In addition, the Library maintains “partner” library agreements with certain academic institutions in the Richmond area so that our students can have access to their resources.The William Smith Morton Library is a valued resource of the UPSem community, and it provides access to its collection as well as bibliographic instruction and other services to members.

The policies set forth in this document seek to

  • support the educational mission of both schools;
  • 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 certain local partner libraries through bilateral agreements;
  • permit access to the library’s collection to individuals in the church and visiting scholars interested in pursuing serious research and/or instruction.

    • All patrons must present an up-to-date William Smith Morton library card with user barcode in order to check out materials from the collection.

      All users must be prepared to accept this statement :
      I agree to abide by all regulations and use policies of the Morton Library.

      For details about membership eligibility, please click HERE.

      Proxy Privileges for Teaching Assistants

      Students who serve as graduate teaching assistants for faculty members may also be registered as proxy patrons for the faculty member with whom they work. Notification of teaching assistant responsibilities must come from the Dean’s office or an individual professor. This patron status allows the teaching assistant to borrow materials on behalf of the faculty member. This does require a second library card that is clearly identified as a proxy card, and students must use this card when borrowing material for a faculty member. The loan periods associated with this card are the same as loan policies related to authorized faculty and any circulation activity will display on both the faculty member and proxy patron accounts.

      Extension Members

      When checking out materials in person at the library, Extension patrons must produce their patron barcode and photo ID. Materials shipped to Extension patrons will ONLY be shipped to the address on their photo ID card. For further information on the Extension Program, click HERE.

      Alumni/ae of Union, PSCE or BTSR

      Alumni/ae patrons are asked to indicate on their registration form the year of their graduation and the degree that they completed.  For Alumni/ae borrowing privileges, click HERE.  For information about electronic resources available to alumni, click HERE.


    • Most materials placed on reserve are located in the library’s Reserve Reading Room. However, media will be kept on reserve in the Instructional Resource Center, and items on closed reserve will be available at the Circulation Desk.

      Material on reserve must be used in the Reserve Reading Room (except for photocopying) or, in the case of media, in the Instructional Resource Center.

      Some reserve material can be checked out overnight. A patron can borrow no more than two reserve books or two reserve visual media items overnight, and such materials can only be checked out 2 hours before the library closes. Such items must be returned by 9:30 a.m. the following morning or an overdue fine will be attached to the patron’s record.

      A faculty member may check out items that they have placed on reserve to use in class. In this instance, the circulation staff will enter a due date for the material to be returned to the reserve collection.


    • The library provides interlibrary loan services only to UPSem current students, staff and faculty. Because Morton library is responsible for returning items on time to the library from which an interlibrary loan has been received, it is essential that patrons return such materials on or before their due date.

      An overdue notice will be sent to a patron via email the day after an interlibrary loan item in his or her possession is due. The notice will indicate that a fine of $1 a day per item is being charged to the patron’s account. Items overdue 7 days or more will cause a library patron’s privileges to be suspended.

      Patrons holding an overdue interlibrary loaned item are responsible for all fines and/or replacement costs charged to Morton Library by the lending library.

      Instructions for placing an interlibrary loan request may be found HERE.


    • 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.