sth library

2nd Floor, School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue

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Hours: During the semester, the Library is open:

Monday: 8 AM – 9 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM – 9 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM – 9 PM
Thursday: 8 AM – 9 PM
Friday: 8 AM – 5 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 6 PM
Sunday: CLOSED

During the summer and semester breaks, the Library is open:

Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

The Library closes for University holidays.

Library users must complete check-out transactions at least fifteen minutes prior to closing.  Photocopy machines will be turned off ten minutes prior to closing.

Facilities: The School of Theology Library occupies the second floor of the STH building (745 Commonwealth Avenue).  It includes a circulating collection that supports the courses you will take at STH, current periodicals, and several collections of specialized research materials.  The Library, fully renovated and expanded in 1999, is equipped with carrels and a reading room offering approximately ninety networked study sites, a research collection reading room, and restrooms.  The library facilities are ADA compliant.

Collections: The Library primarily serves the STH community with graduate level collections to support the courses you will take and several significant research level collections.  STH holdings number over 150,000 volumes including print, audio, video, microfilm and a rapidly growing collection of electronic resources.  The Library’s special collections are concentrated in the areas of historic interest to STH: Methodist history and theology, biblical texts and translations, liturgy, worship and spirituality, missiology and hymnology.  The archives contain historical materials relating to STH and the records of the New England Conference.

The Theology Library’s collections complement those available in the other Boston University libraries.  STH students have full access to all the BU libraries defined by the use policies of each library.  STH students are able to use and borrow materials from the theology libraries in the Boston Theological Institute (BTI).  Before visiting one of these libraries, you should obtain a BTI card from the Theology Library Circulation Desk.  You can also borrow materials from libraries within the Boston Library Consortium.  You can search area catalogs here:  Materials will be sent via courier to our library once you have made a request in WorldCat Local.  You may also go to the Circulation Desk at Mugar Library to obtain a BLC card to borrow materials at the libraries themselves.

The Theology Library also provides inter-library loan services for its faculty, staff, and students.  Materials that are not available locally may be obtained from libraries in other areas of the country and abroad.  STH researchers should register for an ILLiad account online (

Circulation Policies: The basic circulation period for graduate students is 133 days for open stack books, with the possibility of two renewals if there has been no other request for the item. Items may be renewed online, after activating a PIN at any BU library.  All items are subject to recall after the first 14 days if requested by another patron.  Fines on unreturned books are 50 cents per day up to a maximum charge of $30, plus an additional replacement fee ($70) if necessary.  Fines for reserve books are $2/hour for 2hr loans up to $10/day, and $10/day fine for 3-day loans.  Replacement fees for reserve books total $150.00.  Most reserve materials, all periodicals, and special collections may be used ONLY in the Library. The Library reserves the right to limit the number of items that may be circulated to a given patron at any time.

Library Card and Account: Your library account is created and updated by data from the Registrar’s Office. Your BU ID card becomes your library card and can be used at any of the Boston University libraries.  The expiration date for your account is provided by the Registrar’s office every semester when you register for classes and extends through the semester.  This date is the date used for your BTI card as well.

Notices of approaching due dates, overdue books, and fines are sent by email when we have a valid email address.  Notices of approaching due dates for books are never sent by regular mail. Other notices are sent by regular mail, but subject to USPS delivery schedules.  Fines continue to accrue even after a notice has been sent.  You can us log in with your Kerberos password to check your account, renew books, and check on books that are on hold.

Photocopy Service: Two photocopy machines are available. They are operated by a photocopy card, which may be purchased at the Library, for any whole dollar amount of $1.00 or more.  Cards differ from those at Mugar Memorial Library.  Each copy costs 10 cents. Photocopying of research materials may be limited by several factors, including the item’s physical condition and copyright status.  The Research Collections Department is equipped with scanning equipment for use with brittle and fragile materials.  Copies of microfilm materials may be obtained by request, for 25 cents per page.

Microfilm Facilities: This collection includes monograph sets, extensive missions collections, periodicals, and some dissertations.  These items are listed in the online catalog and are located in the Research Stacks.  Readers can be found behind the bound serials stacks.  Students may photocopy microfilm using the microfilm reader with printer at no charge.  Requests completed by staff will cost $.10 per page.

Computer Services: The Library is fully networked to BU’s extensive electronic resource system.  The Library catalog is fully automated.  Eight terminals located throughout the Library can connect to the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC).  Printing is not provided at these stations, but patrons may download information to their USB drive or email it to themselves.  Patrons may utilize laptop computers at any of the 90 study sites, carrels, and reading room tables.  AC Power and network connections are available throughout the Library as well as wireless access in the Reading Room.  Further details may be found at the BU Office of Information Technology.  Should you need assistance while in the library, Christopher Knight in Rm. 424D may be available to help.  If not, email him at, or call him at 8-6108.

Bibliographic and Technical Services: The Bibliographic and Technical Services Office is STH’s center for detailed description of holdings on OPAC.  These resources may be monographs or serials, “hard-copy,” electronic, microfilm, or audiovisual.  The records entered include a physical description, subject analysis, choice of title, author, other access points (such as collection-level designations), and call numbers.  Beyond similar work in the cataloging of research collections, and in cooperative quality control and standardization of names and other records, the BTS Office participates actively in selection of holdings, vendor relations, systems troubleshooting, and grant initiatives, as well as in special bibliographic projects, exhibitions, and publications.  The BTS Office is located adjacent to the Library’s General Reading Room, and Electronic Instruction Room.  It includes six fully-networked workstations and facilities for book repair and conservation.

Exhibitions: The Library generally holds two exhibitions each year, featuring materials gathered from the Research and Archives Collections.  Exhibitions are free and open to the public during regular Library hours.