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Welcome to Gordon-Conwell Library Systems

Overdue Book Policy

In essence, the libraries do not charge overdue fees for the majority of circulating items (with the exception of overdue reserve items). This means that you will no longer be fined for books if they are simply overdue for a few days. It is not our desire to ‘charge’ anyone. It is our desire to see our collection get used to its fullest potential while protecting the collection’s integrity. To that end, the libraries focus effort on caring for the collection rather than collecting fines!

While we do not charge daily fines, once a book has been declared "long overdue" (as indicated below in Tab 2), the library does charge a substantial replacement fee and the student will then own the "long overdue" book.


Click through the numbered tabs above to review the policy.

Overdue Items

Fines will no longer be collected for overdue items, with the exception of those items placed on Course Reserves.* (See Tab 3.)

Once an item is overdue:

  • Patrons with the overdue item will be sent four notices of their overdue items (once per week after the item is overdue).
  • All borrowing privileges for patrons with overdue items will be suspended.
  • All overdue items can be returned before the fourth notice without incurring any fines.
  • Once items have been returned, borrowing privileges will be restored.

*InterLibrary Loan books are an exception to this policy because they are not property of Gordon-Conwell. The library will pass on any fines or book replacement costs that have been levied by the lending library to patrons who may have lost, damaged, or kept overdue, the lending library's books.

Long Overdue Items

After the fourth notice (sent twenty-eight days after the items are overdue).

  • The items will be declared "long overdue" and essentially considered “lost." *
  • The patron will be charged a minimum of $100 for each item.
  • If the publisher’s suggested price of a single item exceeds $100, the patron will be charged the full price, plus a $15.00 processing fee.
  • These replacement charges will be sent to the seminary Accounting Office for collection.
  • The library will purchase replacement copies.
  • The patron will then “own” the items that have been declared lost.

*PLEASE NOTE: The library STRONGLY encourages patrons who actually lose items (or damage them beyond repair) to contact the library staff as soon as possible to explain the situation. The library has no desire to charge more than the cost of a quality replacement of the same edition in such cases.

Course Reserves:

Patrons with overdue Course Reserve materials will be charged $10.00 per item, per day. As is the current practice, any patron with a $10.00 fine will have borrowing privileges revoked.

Your Consent:

All students, staff, faculty and guest patrons of GCTS libraries must read and consent to the Overdue Book Policy before checking out any library items.

Please fill out the "Acknowledgment of the Overdue Book Policy" below.

Fill out my online form.

Loan Periods

The following guidelines apply to current Gordon-Conwell students and staff.

  • Circulating books: 25 items, 28 days (includes Microform & Vertical File items)
  • Reserve items: 3 items, 2 hours (overnight - 2 hours before closing until 2 hours after opening the following day)
  • All Media (DVD, Video Cassette, CDs): 3 items, 7 days (Maximum of 3 videos and 2 DVDs out at any one time)
  • Reference, Periodical, Thesis Collection, Archive and Rare Book Room materials: for use only in the Reading Rooms
  • Interlibrary Loans: determined by the lending library
  • Thesis loans: Students writing approved theses may renew circulating books eleven times (28 day checkout periods). All items are subject to recall or to be placed on hold by another patron..


Renewals of Goddard Library items may be requested by e-mail or by phone at your local campus library. You will need to provide the circulation staff with a list of all items to be renewed, along with their call numbers. You can also renew your books online. Please note the following renewal periods:

  • Circulating books: up to five renewals of 28 days each if book has not been recalled or placed on hold
  • Reserve items: unlimited renewals unless book has been requested by another person
  • Media: 7 days, NO renewals
  • Interlibrary Loans: determined by the lending library. See ILL policy.
    To renew Inter-Library Loans, contact at least five days before the due date given.
  • Thesis loans: up to eleven renewals of 28 days each if book has not been recalled or placed on hold (only available for students writing an approved masters thesis or Doctor of Ministry project).

Thesis Loans

GCTS students writing approved theses may check out circulating books for a total of 12 months (each item can be renewed 11 times for 28 days each).

DMin Students: Thesis loans are ONLY available once a student has finished all residencies and proof of thesis approval can be provided. The DMin Office automatically informs the library if you are working on an approved thesis.
Masters Students: Thesis loans are ONLY available once you have been approved by the appropriate faculty division.