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Library Information/FAQs

William Perkins Library services, policies, and FAQs



Borrowing Policy – Students

Students may check out books or tapes for 4 weeks. Items can be renewed for an additional 4 weeks. Items should be returned by or before the due date and borrower is liable for costs associated with 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. Journal articles or sections from reference books may be copied. Photocopying of antiquarian books is generally prohibited due to the damaging effects of light and handling–ask library staff to assist in finding an alternative.

Borrowing Policy – Guests

Guests have the option to purchase a library account for $10 annually. These accounts expire yearly but are renewable upon request provided the guest has paid all fines.

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 them out: antiquarian volumes, reference works, journals, 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.

Exception to this policy: current students, faculty and staff of Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, or Kuyper college have the same borrowing privileges as PRTS students, faculty and staff.

Guests participating in the Association of Christian Librarians’ Reciprocal Borrowing Program or the Association of Theological Libraries’ Reciprocal Borrowing Program may check out books from the William Perkins Library only, not other CULN partner libraries. Other restrictions may apply. See library staff for details.

Interlibrary Loan

Who: ILL services are available to faculty and current students at PRTS. ILL services are not available to guests or alumni.

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

How: The easiest way to request books is via Primo or WorldCat. Links for ILL  requests are contained within each site. Complete and submit the form using your name and the seminary’s address and phone number.  Journal articles may be requested through the journal databases via the ILL link and Primo links.   Special needs? Contact PRTS ILL directly at [email protected] with your request.

Costs: In most cases, there is no charge for ILL items. Occasionally, a lending library may charge $5 to $50.  Notice will be given in these circumstances.  The patron, not the William Perkins library, is responsible for lending fees. Patrons who fail to return an ILL book will be charged a late fee and possibly an additional replacement fee charged by the lending library.

Time: 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 within a week and will come as a pdf to your email address.

Renewing: 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 [email protected] in order to place a renewal request for your ILL book.

Restrictions: There is no ILL between PRTS, Kuyper, and Cornerstone.

Damaged Books

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 damage 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.

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.


Alumni have access to the library during normal posted business hours.

Alumni who live locally 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. See FAQ section for further information.

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.  Remote access is not available for alumni.

Inter-library loan services are not available for alumni.

Alumni may use carrels and tables when they are in the library. 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.

Alumni do not have reciprocal borrowing privileges with Cornerstone and Kuyper College.  Alumni members wishing to use these libraries will need to get guest cards from each of these libraries individually.


Who may use the William Perkins library? How do I get a library card?

Everyone is welcome to visit the William Perkins library during its regular hours. Guests may apply for a guest card (some borrowing restrictions apply and an annual fee of $10 is required). For more information about guest borrowing, see the Circulation policy above.

How do I check out books from CULN member libraries?
Checking out books from either Cornerstone or Kuyper requires a current student or faculty account.  If you are not a PRTS student, faculty, or staff, you will need to apply for a guest card from the individual library, whether Cornerstone, Kuyper, or PRTS.  The circulation policy for all three institutions is available here.

Zondervan Library hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 8 am to 10 pm; Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm; and Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.  Miller Library hours of operation are generally 7:30 am to midnight, Monday through Thursday, but closing on 5 pm on Friday and Saturday.

When are my books due? Can I renew them?

Most books are due in 4 weeks.  You can renew most books for an additional 4 weeks by going online with your PRTS ID card number (“My Library Account” link on the catalog home page).

What may NOT be checked out of the library?

You may not check out Reference books (shelved in the Reference section), magazines, journals, or antiquarian books.  Guest borrowers may have additional restrictions (see the Circulation policy above)

What are course reserve books?

Books restricted for limited class access are shelved separately in the William Perkins library.  These books are restricted to a 4-hour checkout time in order to make them available to all students in the course.  Overnight and weekend checkout options are available.

Are there late fees or other charges assessed?

Books that are not returned by the due date are considered overdue.  A courtesy reminder will be sent to the borrower’s email address three days prior to when an item is due.  An overdue notice will be emailed to the patron three days after the item is due.  If the item is still not returned within 11 more days, (14 total) a replacement bill is sent.  This will include a $40 default cost for any item, a $30 processing fee, and a $5 billing fee, for a total of $75.  If the material is later returned, the charges will be removed except for the $5 billing fee, per item.

What library services/books are available for distance education students?

PRTS students in the USA and Canada who are currently registered as distance education students are able to borrow books from the PRTS library and to have them mailed to their home.  They are responsible for return postage and must observe the usual loan periods (4 weeks from receipt of books, though they may also renew books online or by email).

Journal articles may be requested from Primo or any of our databases using the links within the databases and the Office 365 credentials received when first enrolled as a student at PRTS.  If requesting articles from our print journal collection, please email the librarian ([email protected]) to request the pdf article.

Distance students may also check out books through the Association of Christian Librarians’ Reciprocal Borrowing Program or the Association of Theological Libraries’ Reciprocal Borrowing Program. If a participating library is located near your home, you are able to borrow books there as long as you have an authorization form from PRTS filled out. Authorization forms are available by request from the William Perkins library and can be emailed to interested students. For further information, contact William Perkins Library staff ([email protected]).

Distance students who are Michigan residents are encouraged to use MeLCat (Michigan’s eLibrary catalog).  A Michigan public library card is all you need to request books this way.

Interlibrary loan requests for books are often more efficient when processed through the distance education student’s local library, though we are happy to provide research assistance in finding books as requested.

William Perkins Library has nearly 100,000 ebooks available from different vendors.  These are all discoverable in Primo.  Some of them are available through the EBSCO drop-down in Primo only.

I’m having problems accessing ebooks?

William Perkins Library has several ebook collections which have slightly different requirements for accessing because they come from different vendors.  EBSCO ebooks require the user to create a free EBSCO account first.  Proquest ebooks require users to create a free Proquest account.  Atla ebooks require the user to have Adobe Digital Editions first.  Users log in to their account using their library card number and last name.  More information for Atla ebooks can be found here.

What internet and computer access is provided in the library?

William Perkins library has individual carrels with network ports and electric outlets for laptop computers; wireless access to the network is also available.  There are four public access computers with internet access for student and guest use.

Do you have any questions? Ask a librarian.