Borrowing Privileges

Getting a Card at the GTU Library

On-campus Students: Your data will be imported into our system, and you will have access to electronic resources using your Student ID number after you register for classes. You will also receive a Photo ID card. The first time you check out a book, we will apply a library barcode to your ID. You must have your library card with you to check out items; no items will be checked out to you without your library card. Library cards are not transferable and should not be used by anyone other than yourself.

Distance Students: If you are a remote student, you do not need visit the library in person to get a barcode. After you register for classes, you will be able to access resources remotely using your Student ID number. 

GTU Member School's Faculty, Trustees, Staff, & Visiting Scholars: We will create an account for you with information from your registrar. You will be able to use this barcode number to access resources remotely and check out items, and if you are in the Bay Area, you will get a photo ID to check out physical items. Please visit us if you would like to set up a proxy borrower, someone (like a research assistant) who you would like to be able to check out books on your behalf. To get started, have your registrar contact us!


Additional Information:

The first Photo ID card is free, replacement cards are $25 (cash or check). 

PLTS students will receive a student ID card from California Lutheran University, and JST students will receive a student ID card from Santa Clara University. 

To purchase a card, bring one of the following to the library or send via email to diploma, or a letter from the registrar of your school stating completion of a degree program. If your thesis or dissertation appears on GRACE, the GTU Library catalog, this will also be considered proof of alumni status. Alumni cards cost $30/year and allow you to continue to check out physical items from the library collections.

This card does not allow remote access to our electronic resources. It is for borrowing physical items only. To obtain access to the ATLA alumni database, please visit the alumni & visitor page and fill out the form. 

UC-Berkeley students, faculty, visiting scholars, and library staff are entitled to a free card. Please bring your CAL ID in to register for a GTU library card. UC-Berkeley non-library staff and alumni are eligible for a community patron card. 

Faculty members from any accredited college or university in the U.S., who do not have visiting scholar status, may obtain a $75 reduced-fee library card with proof of a Bay Area address and a letter from the head of his/her department on college/university letterhead.  Those who do not have a local address may consult with the Circulation Desk to see if special circumstances apply for obtaining a reduced-fee patron card. The GTU's Visitng Scholar program is also an option, and accepts applications year-round. Accredited means accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) or the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) or one of WASC’s partner accrediting organizations.

Students & Faculty of ATLA Reciprocal Borrowing schools: If you are a student or a faculty member of a school that participates in the reciprocal borrowing program and is not under the category "Borrower Only" (check the spreadsheet posted here), you are entitled to a free GTU library card for borrowing from the library's physical holdings. You must bring in proof of current semester enrollment, such as your ID and schedule. Another option would be to log in to your schools course management system to show librarians your current registration. If your school is not on this list, but you think your school is an ATLA member, please visit the reference desk. We are happy to see if there is an agreement in place. 

If your school is listed as "Borrower Only," you may purchase a community borrower's card. 

Residents of California may purchase a Community Patron borrowing card. Purchase of a library card enables checkout of materials only; possession of a library card does not imply "membership" in the GTU or the GTU Library. This card does not allow remote access to our electronic resources.

To purchase a card, bring a picture ID that states your California address. Community Patron cards cost $40 for three months, $80 for six months, or $145 for 12 months.  If you live outside of California and there is material at the GTU Library that you wish to borrow, please inquire at your local public library about  its Interlibrary Loan services. We accept check, cash, or credit cards. 

Borrowing Policies

Borrowing Policies

Most items may be renewed online, over the phone with the circulation desk, or in person. Exceptions include materials that have exceeded the maximum number of renewals, items on reserve for courses, and items that are on hold or have been recalled by another person.

Circulation Desk: (510-649-2500) during library open hours.

Are you looking for an item that should be on the shelf but you can’t find it? Ask at the Reference Desk for assistance. If it still cannot be located, bring the call number up to the Circulation Desk. We will put it on our Missing Search List and notify you once it is found.

Rare materials are available for use Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Special research needs may be accommodated; please contact the reference desk for questions: 

Rare materials may not leave the library and require ID for use. Please consult the Rare Materials Use Guidelines for more information. To view a Rare Material, please visit the circulation desk. 

If an item is already checked out, you may request a recall or a hold be placed for that item online, on the phone, or in person at the circulation desk. If placing a hold with a library staff member, please have the call number of the item ready. 

Hold requests will make you the next borrower; we will notify you when the item is returned.

Recall requests require the current borrower to return the material so that you can check it out. This process can take two weeks or more, so please allow sufficient time. We will notify you when the item is available. These requests can only be made with a library staff member, on the phone or in person. 

The California Information Practices Act of 1977 prohibits Library staff from divulging information about an item's current borrower.

Some items located in storage are held on the premises and can be retrieved while you wait. Please have the call number of the item ready when you request items to be paged from storage.

Items that are held at locations SFTS (if you are in Berkeley), GTU (if you are at SFTS), CSS (Center for Swedenborgian Studies Library) and GTU Storage Offsite can be paged for you online or over the phone. For online, click the request button above the item. To reserve with a library staff member, please have the call number of the item ready when you request items to be paged.

Generally, available items from SFTS or GTU will arrive via courier in 3-5 business days. Storage and off-site items will be available in 1-2 weeks, depending on location.

Items not owned by the GTU Library or any of the libraries of the University of California, Berkeley, can be requested via Interlibrary Loan. This service is available to GTU students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars only.


Overdue Fines

Borrowers are responsible for overdue fines that accrue on their records. Fines of $10.00 or more will block further borrowing privileges. Overdue fines are as follows:

  • Regular items: $.50 per day
  • 3-day items or recalled item: $1.00 per day
  • Course Reserve items: $1.00 per hour

Avoid fines by:

  • watching for due-dates and Recall Notices;
  • renewing your checked-out items early (up to 10 days before they are due);
  • returning items before you leave town for extended periods. REMEMBER: items may be recalled. You are responsible for returning these items regardless of where you are.

If your library fines excede $25, you will lose checkout and electronic resources privileges. Excessive fines can also block you from registering for classes. 

Lost or Damaged Items

Borrowers are responsible for returning items on time and in good condition. Items must be returned to the Circulation Desk or placed in the Return slot on or before the due date to avoid fines. Items outstanding beyond the maximum fining period will be billed for replacement. Items returned in damaged or poor condition will be assessed a repair or replacement charge.

  • Replacement charges are a minimum of $100.00. 
  • Repair charges are a minimum of $45.00.

If you are concerned or confused about a charge that has been assessed to your account, please call the Circulation Desk at 510-649-2500.



The GTU Library is responsible for safeguarding the confidential nature of all borrower transactions, according to the California Information Practices Act of 1977.