Greetings to you and welcome to the Schaff Library at Lancaster Theological Seminary. This guide is designed to introduce our spaces and services to you and help you on your way toward seeking, learning, and knowing. 

The list of quick links to the right is the same list of links you will find on our website and web applications. Along the top of the page are tabs that correspond to each one of these links. On each tab you will find a tutorial about that link or resource. If you go through each of the tutorials, you'll be on your way to becoming a super patron of the Schaff Library!

If at any point you have questions, or don't quite understand something, please let us know. We want to hear your feedback so we may continue improving our services.
Introduction to Schaff Library
Our Mission and Vision
Lancaster Theological Seminary educates and nurtures leaders to join in God’s redemptive and liberating work so that all creation may flourish.
Schaff Library supports the mission of Lancaster Theological Seminary by encouraging and fostering curiosity, creativity and scholarship.

Schaff Library is a place for:
  • Curiosity, where questions are encouraged and seeking answers is supported;
  • Creativity, with tools for writers and makers, and spaces for solitary or collaborative study; and
  • Scholarship, providing access to the latest theological and biblical research, religious news, and resources for ministry.
Our library catalog serves as our primary website: http://library.lancasterseminary.edu. On this site, the list of quick links is on the left, calendar and news items are in the middle, library account log in is on the right, and the search box is at the top. You'll notice in the top left corner, above our logo, is another logo that says "Koha." This is the name of our integrated library system (ILS). You will sometimes hear us refer to the catalog as Koha or the OPAC (which stands for Online Public Access Catalog). If you hear these terms, rest assured that we have just lapsed into librarianese and are still talking about the library catalog.

Our library catalog contains records for all the items in the Schaff Library collections and the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society's (ERHS) collections. ERHS is located on the second floor of the Philip Schaff Library Building, but is organizationally separate from the Schaff Library and Lancaster Theological Seminary. If you come across an item in your searches that shows a branch location of E&R Historical Society, that means the item is part of their collection and you will need to make an appointment with them to see it.

If you have used an online library catalog before, it is likely that you find that our library catalog is not much different from those you may have used before. The search box at the top can work similarly to Google: just type a few keywords and hit search. On the search results screen, the quick links on the left are replaced by several choices to help you limit or refine your search. If you know the title, author, subject, or call number you want to search, you can use the drop down menu next to the search box to change the type of search. This will help you get more relevant search results.

A one-page handout summarizing some of Koha's key features is available for download (to the right). You do not need to be logged in to the catalog to do a search, though you will find that many of the features will not work unless you are logged in. Logging in to your library account will enable you to place a hold, comment on items, add items to a personal list, add items to your cart and share your cart with others. From your library account page, you will be able to see what you have checked out, renew items, check your account balance, update your contact information, change your password, and make purchase requests.

Our library catalog is also linked to EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), a powerful tool that allows users to search our collections alongside our digital content, several indexes, and open access content across the Internet in one single search. You may activate EDS by selecting "Switch to Discovery" from the pull-down menu next to the search box. The search results will display within Koha just as with a regular catalog search. If you are trying to use EDS from off-campus and are not logged in to your account, the amount of information you see in the results will be limited. 
Search our Library Catalog now!

Koha Handout for Students
Videos about Koha
Our pals at ByWater Solutions have made some videos for patrons about the features of Koha. Some show older versions of Koha, but the features look and feel similar in the current version that we are using. Until we have time to make our own videos, we commend these to you:

Videos for Patrons by ByWater Solutions

The Digital Archive is a joint project of Lancaster Theological Seminary, the Evangelical & Reformed Historical Society, and the Mercersburg Society. It is a growing collection of digital assets from these three organizations and is maintained by the Schaff Library. 

The Digital Archive consists of items which are organized into collections. A search box is located at the top of the page, or you can click one of the tabs to browse either items or collections. The home page shows new items added to the collection, along with featured items and collections.

There are PDFs, images, audio files, and video files in the digital archive. When you open an item record, the viewer will appear at the top. If you would like to download the item, scroll to the bottom of the record and click on the file's thumbnail to download it.
Digital Archive Overview
Schaff Library subscribes to a number of databases and eResource collections. Most are linked in EBSCO Discovery Service, so when you do a Discovery search in the library catalog, it will include results from most of our subscriptions. For targeted searching, you may prefer to search within the database or eResource directly. 

This page is a directory listing of our databases and eResources. The links will work both on and off campus. Notes about who is eligible for access are included and will differ according to the resource. 

This directory includes additional information about the resources. Click the "i" to see a short description of the resource, and click the "?" to access help guides and tutorials about the resource.
Are you looking for more information about a particular subject or topic or need resources for a particular course? There might be a guide for that!

"Guides" takes you to a growing list of subject, course, and topic guides we are developing for students at Lancaster Theological Seminary. These guides are designed to provide research tips or a deeper look into a particular subject. Course guides are developed in partnership with faculty to provide students with the resources they need to be successful in the course. 

This introduction is a topic guide. Each guide looks and works similarly to this one. If you have questions or encounter a problem, just go to "Ask the Librarian."
Introducing Schaff Library Guides
Guides: Subject, Course & Topic
If you are looking for a book or journal article that we do not have in our collection, it may be possible to get this for you through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). This is a service where libraries share resources by shipping them to each other whenever there is a request. We extend ILL privileges to all LTS users. There aren't usually any fees involved, though sometimes an item is only available from a library that charges ILL fees. Any fees are passed on to the patron making the request. Here is a breakdown of the process:

Before making a request: Schaff Library has reciprocal borrowing privileges with several institutions including Franklin & Marshall College and all member schools of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association. If your searches within our catalog have come up empty, you might want to try a WorldCat Search (see link and search box to the right). If you find the record for the item you need, click the link under "Find it in libraries globally" to expand and show a list of libraries nearby that have the item. If you see a library on the list that we have an agreement with, then make arrangements to borrow the item directly from that library. Otherwise, proceed with submitting an ILL request.

Submitting the request to our Circulation Manager: The form on our website (linked on the right) is the first step toward making an ILL request. The form asks for your contact information, asks you to confirm that you are an LTS user, and the date by which you need the resource. Next, fill in as much of the publication information as you possibly can. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for us to find it at another library.

Waiting for the Circulation Manager to obtain the resource: If you have requested a journal article or chapter from an edited volume, it is likely that we will be able to obtain that for you electronically within 1-2 business days. If you are requesting a print resource or media item, it will likely take longer. A lot depends on how far away the lending library is and how long it takes to ship the item. ILL materials ship by USPS Library Rate, which is similar to Media Mail. We generally expect to receive ILL requests within 5-7 business days.

Picking up your ILL item: Once we have received the requested material, the Circulation Manager processes it and send you an email that it is ready to be picked up. ILL items are available for pickup at the Circulation Desk. The loan period will vary depending on the due date set by the lending institution. We will assign your due date based on the amount of time it will take to return the item to the lending library by their due date. 

Renewing your ILL item: Generally, ILL items are non-renewable. If you need the item past its due date, please let us know and we can try to negotiate a renewal from the lending library. We like to hear from you at least 5 days before the item is due if you are requesting a renewal.

Returning your ILL item: ILL items may be returned to the Circulation Desk just like any other circulating item. Once checked in, the Circulation Manager ships it back to the lending library. If your ILL item is late, your account is charged a fine of $2.00/day.
WorldCat Search
Go to WorldCat , or type your search in the box below.

Search for an item in libraries near you:
WorldCat.org >>
For more information:
    We have posted all of our library policies and detailed information about the Schaff Library in its own guide. This includes our circulation policies, library services, building use policies, and donation policies. The guide also includes an interactive map of the library to help you become more familiar with our building and what we have to offer.

    It is worthwhile to spend some time becoming familiar with these policies. Any questions or concerns about the policies should be directed to the Seminary Librarian.
    We know you have questions and, as the library, we are ready to receive those questions and help you find answers. If you are not here in the library in person, our "Ask the Librarian" page has all the information you need to contact us with your questions. There are a variety of methods to choose from:

    Call us on the phone at 717-290-8707 - This is the number for our Circulation Desk. A staff member should answer if you call during library hours, otherwise you will have an opportunity to leave a message on our voicemail.

    Email us at library@lancasterseminary.edu - This email address goes to both the Seminary Librarian and the Circulation Manager, and one of us will get back to you within one business day under normal circumstances.

    Check our FAQs for answers to common questions - We are developing a list of frequently asked questions (some of which appear on the right), so depending on your question it may be possible to find an answer there.

    Book an appointment with the librarian - If you would like to meet with the seminary librarian to go over a research question or would like assistance with citations, you may book an appointment with her online. This booking site links directly to her calendar and will only show available times. If there is not a time available that works for you, fill out the form.

    "Ask the Librarian" and send us feedback - The webpage features a form that you can fill out to ask your question or send us a suggestion. This form is ideal for email reference questions, suggestions for collection development, ideas for guides, and feedback about our spaces and services. The form gives space for you to type your question or feedback. Your email address is optional, though if you do not include your email we will not be able to follow up with you directly. At the end of the form, enter the answer to the math question to prove a human is submitting the form.

    We strive to answer questions promptly, but we are a small staff with a lot of things going on. We strive to respond to your questions and feedback within one business day. We will publicly post questions and answers that we feel would benefit the Seminary community and can anonymize your question or feedback at your request. 

    We post our hours and events to a public Google calendar. This calendar is embedded on many of our websites, like you see to the right.

    Checking our calendar is important when planning your visits to the library. Our hours are set according to the Seminary's schedule and will change based on which classes are meeting and on holiday observances. The Google Calendar is the most reliable place to check for our hours.

    If you use Google Calendar, you are welcome to add our calendar to your personal account. Simply click the "+Google Calendar" button at the bottom of either calendar view. This will take you to your personal Google Calendar page and give you instructions for adding our calendar to your account. Or you can always just check back on our website to find out when we are open.
    Schaff Library's Monthly Calendar
    Library Hours and Events
    We publish an occasional email newsletter to inform you of the latest happenings at Schaff Library. You may have indicated when you signed up for a library account that you wanted to be added to our mailing list. If you do not have a library account and would like to keep in touch, or if you missed signing up for our newsletter in the past, then please fill out the subscription form on this page.

    If you enjoy social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, then we hope you will add us to the groups you "like" and "follow."

    Our Facebook page can be found by clicking the link to the right or by searching within Facebook for "Schaff Library at Lancaster Theological Seminary."

    Our Twitter feed can be found by clicking the link to the right or by searching Twitter for @SchaffLibrary.

    We do our best to post regularly. During classes we post a #TuesdayTip and #FridayFeaturedNewBook. Information about our exhibits and special events also find their way into social media. Our Twitter feed is connected to our Facebook page, so if you only use Facebook you will still see our Tweets.

    If you would like to set up a Facebook account or need help using Facebook, try visiting the Facebook Help Center.

    If you would like to set up a Twitter account or need help using Twitter, try visiting the Twitter Help Center.

    Subscribe to our occasional newsletter

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