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Borrowing Policies

Circulation Policies

All library users must renew their library cards each year. This can be done at the circulation desk. In order to check out materials, you must present Learning Commons staff with a valid I.D.

  • CTS Students, Faculty & Staff can checkout books, utilize online databases, request interlibrary loan services and research assistance. Patrons who are unable to come to the Learning Commons to pick up circulating materials can request that they be mailed to them.
  • Students from ACTS (Association of Chicago Theological Schools) schools need to have a valid ACTS card (updated every year) and a student ID in order to register.
  • Individuals from the University of Chicago need to show a U of C ID. Registration is also subject to verification of status with the University Libraries.
  • Alumni, UCC and local area ministers are given limited borrowing privileges at CTS:
    • At most, five books may be checked out at a time for a duration of 30 days. Books may be renewed twice.
    • All fines must be paid before more materials can be checked out
    • Privileges are limited to checking out books CTS locally owns, i.e. no interlibrary loans or ACTS cards

See the Student Services page for more detailed information for students.

Checkout Procedures

Circulating Books: Circulating books must be checked out by library staff members.
Reserve Materials: Reserve items are shelved behind the Circulation Desk and must be obtained and checked out for you by a library staff member. Reserve books may be checked out of the library 30 minutes before closing and are due 30 minutes after opening. Overdue fines for reserve material accrue at $3.00 per hour.
Non-book materials, Special Collections, and materials held in the lower level storage: Any item that is shelved in the lower level (basement stacks) can be recalled for use. Please allow an hour for retrieval
Recalls: Any book may be recalled after it has been checked out for two (2) weeks. Books needed for reserve can be recalled at any time. A recalled book is due within 1 week; fines accrue at the rate of $3.00 per day.

Circulation Periods

Reference materials, theses, dissertations, and periodicals do not circulate. Due dates for interlibrary loan items are set by the lending library and must be returned by their due date.

  • Books: 90 Days
  • Reserve Books: Three hours or overnight if checked out within a half hour before closing
  • Audiovisual materials: One Week
  • Curriculum: Special Arrangement


Patrons are responsible for knowing when their materials are due. Please ask the learning commons staff if they do not tell you the due date upon checkout. Failure to return, renew or pay fines on overdue materials will result in a hold placed on the student’s registration and transcript. Additionally, the student will not be permitted to borrow from any other ACTS libraries. When materials are nearing their due date, an email will be sent reminding the patron items are due.

  • Reserve Books: $3.00/hour
  • Recalled Books: $3.00/day
  • Interlibrary Loans: $0.25/day
  • Circulating Books: $0.25/day
  • Once a book has been overdue more than 30 days, the fine will be the cost of the book, plus a $10 processing fee


Books: Books may by renewed before the due date. There is a limit of two renewals for CTS students and staff. Books that have been out for a year must be returned to the library. They can usually be re-checked out at that time. Non-CTS patrons may renew materials only once.
Interlibrary Loans: Interlibrary Loan items may possibly be renewed, but a request must be made to a staff member one week before the item is due. Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library.