School of Theology Library: COVID-19 Updates

Information current as of March 4, 2022.

Library Access

Visitor Access Policy as of March 7, 2022.

Due to concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic, the Theology Library follows BU health protocols and continues to update its policies concerning access to the library. As of March 7, 2022, the library:

  • Strongly encourages, but no longer requires, face masks within the public areas of the library.
  • Continues to require face masks in the two reservable library classrooms (202A and 209), and within the Archives instruction room.


    Accessing Library Resources

    Course Reserves/E-Reserves

    Course Reserve lists are available electronically. Now that in-person learning has resumed, some resources may be available for 2 hour reserve at our Circulation Desk. We recommend you check these lists out, and see what items you do not need to purchase.

    Contactless Pickup at the Theology Library

    Library Staff will safely pull items from our circulating collections (Stacks, Oversize, and Lewis Graphic Novels collections) and check them out to you ahead of time; they will be available for contactless pickup at the front of the School of Theology Library. All you have to do is flash your BU ID, pickup your bag of materials at the front of the library, and go! This service is available for all Boston University students, faculty, and staff.

    To place requests, search the library’s catalog for your needed resource. Make sure you are logged into the library’s catalog (sign in on the top right on the page).

    Once you find the resource you need, hit the “Request” option.

    This screenshot shows how to request items in the catalog available on shelf. We will pull the items and make them available at the front of the library with contactless pickup.

    That’s it! You will receive an email when the item is ready to be picked up at the front of the Theology Library. We will hold items for seven days before they are checked back in and re-shelved. When handling all library materials, staff will take proper precautions (e.g. washing hands and wearing gloves) to ensure all materials are safe for you when you’re ready.

    Scanning-on-Demand/Document Delivery

    Don’t need the whole resource? We are allowing scanning requests for all Theology Library materials (including open stacks, oversize, and reference) via Document Delivery Scanning. Patrons may request portions of a book, which will be delivered via PDF using ILLiad (link access via the “Interlibrary Loan Borrowing” page). Please allow up to 2 business days for processing. This service is only available to School of Theology students, faculty, and staff. BU Faculty and doctoral students can reach out to Theology Library staff directly at with scanning requests.

    To place requests, log into ILLiad by clicking here. The following screencast shows how to place and access scan requests.

    Mailing Materials

    We will mail needed Theology Library materials to you via the US Postal Service. Requests to mail items should be made through ILLiad (link access via the “Interlibrary Loan Borrowing” page). Requesting materials owned by Boston University is similar to placing requests from other libraries, with the exception that we own the resource! The following video shows how to place a request from another library; please use the same method when requesting to mail materials! Please note: we will limit mailing requests to School of Theology students, faculty, and staff only, and there is a limit of two materials per week. Interlibrary loan materials will not be mailed.

    Please ensure that your listed address in correct in ILLiad (Tools (on the left hand side > Change User Information).

    You will be responsible for mailing any BU materials back to campus prior to their due dates (graduate student loan periods are 133 days, and are subject to recall). When an item is recalled, a notice is sent changing the loan period to two weeks from that date. Since the material must be received within two weeks, please return the book promptly and pay attention to shipping speeds. When requesting this service, you agree to abide by these conditions.

    Items should be mailed back to:

    Boston University School of Theology
    Circulation Desk
    745 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd Floor
    Boston, MA 02215

    Inquire with your preferred shipper about “Media Mail” for the least expensive shipping rates.

    Recall Periods

    A recall is a process by which the borrowing period for a checked out book is shortened by the library because another patron wants to use the item. All items checked out from the School of Theology Library are subject to recall. If a recall is placed, the due date is changed to two weeks from that date. These items must be returned before the due date. Items can be returned to any BU Library, or mailed to the following address:

    Boston University School of Theology
    Circulation Desk
    745 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd Floor
    Boston, MA 02215

    E-Book Purchasing Requests

    Let us know if there is a book that you would like us to purchase in e-book format.  While not every book is available electronically, many are and we are happy to purchase e-books, even if we already have the physical book on the shelf. To request the purchase of e-books, please use the Suggest a Book for Purchase form. If an e-book isn’t available, we will let you know.

    Archives and Research Collections

    Appointments are required if you wish to read books in the research collections, or conduct research in the archival collections. Appointments will be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for Boston University students, faculty, and staff only. Non-BU researchers may request scans of archival or research collection material; please use the Ask an Archivist form to request an appointment or place a research inquiry. .

    Accessing Research Collections’ Books

    For access to the research collection books, use the Ask an Archivist form to make an appointment. Please include in the email or phone message the title of the book, author, accession number of the book from the library catalog, and the pages or chapters you would like scanned. If you do not know the section of the book you want to read, or need to see the whole volume, please arrange a time for a visit on Tuesdays and Fridays when Kara Jackman, the Archivist and Preservation Librarian, is on campus.  BU students, faculty, and staff are eligible for appointments.

    Accessing Archival Collections

    For access to the Archival Collections, use the Ask an Archivist form. Please include your name, email, inquiry, and records collection that you would like to research. If you are BU student, faculty, or staff member, you will be able to make an appointment on Tuesday or Friday. If you are a non-BU researcher, you can make a request for scanned archival materials, provided they are not restricted by deed of gift, and/or are in the public domain.