Circulation : Borrowing Information

Anyone wishing to check out any item from the Library needs to have a library card. Students of BTSR or UPSem should bring their student identification to the Circulation Desk and fill out a registration form. A barcode will be printed on the student's library access card; it is needed to check out any circulating item.

All other patrons wishing to check out items must show a photo ID with current address and fill out a registration form. Only the Circulation Supervisor or the Assistant Circulation Supervisor has the authority to approve this request and issue a borrower's card. If these staff members are not available, the patron's request will be held until the request can be approved and a card issued (usually by the following day). No one may borrow any item until this procedure has been completed.  More information about membership will be found HERE.

The Circulation Supervisor or Assistant Circulation Supervisor will normally be available during these hours :

Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Checking Out Items

The circulating collection is available during Library open hours. Most items checked out in person are charged and discharged from the main Circulation Desk and must be checked out at least 15 minutes before closing time every day.

Visual media items (videos and DVDs) are charged in the Instructional Resource Center, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday. If you wish to charge visual media at any other time, please make arrangements in advance to have the item(s) left for you for pickup at the Circulation Desk.

Materials sent through the Extension service are charged and discharged through the library’s Instructional Resource Center.

Returning Items

Borrowers can return materials at the Circulation Desk, in the book drop at the front of the Library when we are closed, or through the mail. Materials returned through the book drop will not be discharged until the following day. Materials returned through the mail will be discharged on the day the library receives the materials.

Non-Circulating Materials

Most books, media and curriculum items are available for lending to all patrons. But certain materials in the collection do not circulate either because it is essential that they be available to the entire community at all times, or because of their value or condition. These include :

§ Periodicals, bound and unbound
§ books on course reserve
§ Items marked “Ref.”, most of which are located in the Reference room
§ books marked “Rare”
§ books bearing a star (*) above the call number
§ unclassified graduate theses
§ records or minutes of church courts and archival records and manuscripts
§ pamphlets and newspapers
§ microforms

§ Graduate Seminar collection (Reserve Room)

§ Chapel Collection (Reserve Room)

§ vertical file material

Borrowing Periods

Different privileges are accorded to different patron statuses.
If a patron falls into several categories, the most permissive of the patron privileges will apply.

For a table showing details of borrowing periods for all patrons, click HERE.


Renewals, where permitted, may be initiated by the patron from the library’s online catalog, or a patron can request a renewal in person, by phone or by email.

Renewals will not be allowed if a hold or recall is currently active on that item or if a patron has more than $10 in fines or other charges.

To renew your borrowed items online, please follow the detailed instructions in our catalog tutorial. A video tutorial is also available on that page.


Any patron can request the recall of any item in the circulating collection once the item in question has been on loan for 3 weeks or in the case of media, once the media item has been borrowed for its normal loan period.
The library always reserves the right to recall any item from circulation at any time if it is required for Course Reserves or other instructional use.

Items that are not returned within four days of a recall notice are fined at a rate of $1.00 per day.


On the library’s online catalog, a patron can place a hold on any item in the circulating collection that has been charged out to another patron. If a hold is placed on an item, that item cannot be renewed by the patron who has borrowed it.   For detailed instructions on placing a hold, please see our catalog tutorial.

Patrons will be notified when an item that they have requested be placed on hold has been returned to the library and is now available. The material will be held at the Circulation Desk for one week after notification. If the hold was placed on behalf of an extension patron, the material will be mailed as soon as possible after it becomes available.

Holds cannot be placed on items that are currently available on the shelves of the library.

Materials in Assigned Carrels

Starred (*) books must remain in the Library building; they can be checked out to graduate students or faculty with assigned carrels and used only in those carrels. However, any books checked out to a carrel are counted in the total number of books allowed to be borrowed under a person’s patron status.

Every book in a carrel must be checked out properly on the occupant’s account; no unloaned book may be left in any carrel. No journals or periodicals may be kept in a carrel. A fine of $5 will be levied for each periodical or unloaned book left in an assigned carrel. The second time such an item is found in a carrel, the occupant’s carrel privileges will be revoked.

Fines, Overdue Notices and Replacement Charges

The staff of William Smith Morton Library would like to announce the following policy changes for all student and faculty account holders of Union and BTSR :

  • Overdue fines will no longer be assessed or collected for most library items and we are in the process of canceling all existing overdue fines.  Only interlibrary loans, equipment and course reserve items will accrue overdue fines.  Replacement fees will still be charged for items that are damaged, lost or simply not returned.

  • Due dates for library books will now be set on a "term of study" basis (end of semester/summer) for most students and on an annual basis (June 1st) for ThM students, PhD students and faculty.

  • Students who owe replacement charges will not be permitted to graduate until their accounts are setted.  The Registrar will be informed of any charges owed.

A.  Fines  (still pertain to public patrons and alumni/ae)

Circulating Collection overdues: 10¢ per day per item
Course Reserve overdues: 50¢ per hour per item
Interlibrary Loan overdues: $1 per day per item;
Interlibrary loaned Items overdue 7 days will result in suspension of library privileges.
Recalled items not returned within 4 days of recall notice: $1 per day per item

Replacement charges: The library staff will determine the appropriate charge for items that must be replaced in the collection because of lost items or excessively overdue items. If a hard copy of an item is in print, replacement charges will be include the cost of the hard copy plus $30 processing fee. If an item is not in print and a valid replacement cost cannot be identified, the replacement cost will be $60.

When a patron’s bill for fines or replacement costs exceeds $10.00, that patron’s borrowing privileges will be suspended until the items are returned and the full bill paid.

Students who owe replacement charges will not be permitted to graduate until their accounts are setted.  The Registrar will be informed of any charges owed.

In case of noncompliance with Library policy, the patron's privileges may be revoked and the patron barred.

B.  Overdue Notices and Replacement Charges

a.  First notices: As a courtesy to patrons, an email will be sent to patrons one week prior to a borrowed item’s due date.
b.  Second notices: Patrons will be sent either by U.S. mail or via e-mail (if an email address is available to the library) a notice that a borrowed item is overdue one week.
c.  Third notices: Patrons will be sent either by U.S. mail or via e-mail (if available) a notice that a borrowed item is two weeks overdue. This communication will indicate the patron’s borrowing privileges have been suspended and warned that the next notice will include a bill for the replacement of the overdue item (replacement cost plus processing fees).
d.  Final notice: A final notice will be sent via U.S. mail or via e-mail (if available) when a borrowed item is three months overdue. This notice will be a bill for replacement costs plus a $30 processing charge. If an item is not in print and a valid replacement cost cannot be identified, the replacement cost will be $60.

e.  Suspension of Patron Privileges: A patron’s privileges will be suspended if fines and/or charges to his or her account exceed $10. Privileges will be restored when all financial obligations have been settled and overdue items returned. All patrons will be sent a bill for unpaid overdue charges by June 1 of each year. No patron privileges will be renewed until fines/bills are paid.

C.  Morton Library reserves the right to revoke patron access and borrowing privileges in cases of noncompliance with Library policies, abusive language, and/or inappropriate behavior.


Phone (804) 278-4310
Library Fax (804) 278-4375
IRC Fax (804) 278-4374
Website :
Address : 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, Virginia 23227
For a map of our campus location, click HERE.