Commons Blog

What's New in the Learning Commons?

Welcome to a new school year at the Chicago Theological Seminary! Over the summer, the Lapp Learning Commons has been busy incorporating a few new services available to CTS students, faculty and staff. Here’s a snapshot of some of the new features you can now access.

Under  the “Find” menu on the Learning Commons website you will find the following services: 

Search Everything

This is exactly what it sounds like. CTS now subscribes to EBSCO Discovery Service, a new platform that allows users to search in one place all the content the Learning Commons either owns or subscribes to.  You can search here for books, ebooks, full-text articles, streaming media and more across the CTS Catalog and all of our databases (e.g. ATLA, EBSCO, JSTOR, Project Muse, etc.). You no longer have to replicate your search for each subscription database separately. Here’s a tutorial on how to use EBSCO Discovery Service. Consult as well the attached flyer for a full description of cool features.

Research Guides

The Lapp Learning Commons is in the process of  migrating the original subject guides to a more user-friendly site. To date, eight of the guides have been migrated. You can still access the original subject guides for a comprehensive list of topics. These will eventually all migrate to the new site, so pardon our dust during this period of migration.

The research guides are a curated list of books, ebooks, journals and databases for different subject areas. They are meant as  "starting points" if you're not familiar with the particular subject.

Do take the time to look at our how-to guides (e.g. how to navigate databases like EBSCO, ATLA, JSTOR and Project Muse). The Getting Started guide is a great place to start to familiarize yourself with all the information resources available to you at CTS.

Databases A-Z

This is an updated alphabetical listing of all of the databases and web resources that are available in the Learning Commons. Some of these databases will require you to login if you're off-campus (indicated by this symbol ), but several are open access and do not require a separate login (look for this symbol  ). Databases included in the Search Everything feature will have the following EBSCO Discovery Service icon  .

Find a Journal

If you know which journal you're looking for, this is where you can see if it's available in the Learning Commons collection and the coverage dates you have access to for full-text articles.

Alternatively, you can search for what journal titles are available for any given subject. Simply click on the discipline you’re interested in and browse through the titles. You can use the filters on the left-hand side to limit your search further (e.g. selecting the Peer Reviewed Journal option to limit to such journal types).

N.B. Please note that this is not where you’d search for a topic. It’s only useful if you're searching for journal titles, and not full-text articles.

New Borrowing Privileges

CTS now participates in the  ATLA Reciprocal Borrowing Program.  North American seminaries who participate in this program grant check-out privileges to each other’s patrons/students.  A patron/student walks into a participating seminary library, shows proof of current enrollment at another participating seminary, and checks out materials based on the library’s local lending policies.

Here’s the list of participating seminaries. Do ask to speak with the librarian if the person behind the circulation desk is not familiar with the ATLA Reciprocal Borrowing Program.

The ATLA program is different than the ACTS card. The ACTS card offers you borrowing privileges at Chicagoland area seminaries. These may or may not participate in the ATLA program, so please take your ACTS card with you along with your student ID. Here’s a listing of ACTS libraries

Phone chargers!

Due to constant requests last year, the Learning Commons now carries iPhone and Android chargers for your cellphone and/or tablet. Simply ask for a charger at the circulation desk, and it will be checked out to your account.

As always, the Lapp Learning Commons staff is available to answer any question and assist you with your research needs. You can call, email or simply drop-by.

Firefox Users: Important info!

The newest version of Firefox (version 45) is not compatible

Booker T Washington Papers

New for 2016! The Lapp Learning Commons has acquired access to the Booker T. Washington Papers.