Book & Reference Collections

General Book Collection

The book collection contains approximately 205,800 volumes shelved in open stacks and available for borrowing by library users. Books are arranged by call numbers located either on the bottom of the book spine or on the lower left-hand corner of the book cover.

The majority of the general collection is classified according to the Library of Congress classification system and is represented in the online catalog (ISAIAH). Computers in the circulation area, Jack Howard Computer Room, and on each floor of the Library provide access to the catalog. Books with Library of Congress classification numbers are in the following locations:

  • A – BQ Upper floor, south room
  • BR – BV Lower floor, south room
  • BX – Z Lower floor, north room

Oversize books are located in separate shelving sequences in the following locations:

  • A – BQ Upper floor, south room
  • BR – Z Lower floor, south room

The remainder of the collection is classified according to a system developed at Union Theological Seminary and used at Iliff from 1913 until 1974. These materials are accessible through a card catalog on the upper floor, north room; however, library users are advised to check the online catalog (ISAIAH) first. Books with Union call numbers are found on the shelves on the upper floor, north room. For exact locations, ask at the circulation desk.

Reserve Books and Articles

Each quarter, the faculty request that certain books and articles be placed on Reserve status; Reserve is a controlled circulation that permits many users access to materials being used for a particular course. Reserve materials are shelved behind the circulation desk. Library users must ask the circulation staff in order to borrow these items. Library users should provide the professor’s name and the author and title of the material. Reserve materials circulate for two-hour periods and must be used in the Library. However, two hours before the Library closes, reserve materials that are owned by Iliff may be checked out overnight; they must be returned no later than one hour after the Library opens the following day. Reserve materials that belong to other libraries or individuals must remain in the Library at all times. Library users may check out one item at a time during library hours or overnight; those who return materials late will be fined $.50 per item per hour. Items placed on reserve may be searched via the “course reserves” tab of ISAIAH (the online library catalog).

Reference Collection

The reference collection, located on the main floor, south room, contains dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, biographical sources, indexes, and biblical texts and commentaries. Reference resources are generally the first place to begin a research project since these usually help identify the names, dates, places, and issues related to a topic; good reference tools also provide a bibliography for further inquiry. Reference works do not circulate; entries are relatively brief and may be photocopied.

The reference collection also includes recent United Methodist conference journals, Justice and Peace newsletters, and current catalogs and newsletters from other seminaries in the United States and Canada.

New Books and Reference Materials

A selection of our newly acquired books is shelved near the south windows of the reference area. These books circulate for one quarter. New reference materials are displayed in a special section of the reference room.