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I'm a new student at STH. Where do I start?: Library Basics

A guide that welcomes new students to the School of Theology, highlighting all of our services!

STH Library Quick Facts

Remember: Bookmark the Theology Library's website, www.bu.edu/sthlibrary, and visit us for all your research needs! All the information in this guide is available on that website. Search books and articles with the BU Libraries search, or use the quick links to access the ATLA Religion Database, our Archival Database, and more!

Academic Year Hours

School of Theology Library Hours

Monday – Thursday 8am – 9pm
Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Closed on Sundays and Holidays

Ask a Librarian at the Reference Desk: Monday-Thursday 10:30am – 3:30pm, email sthref@bu.edu after hours
Archival and Research Collection Hours (by appointment)*

Monday  10:30am – 4:30pm
Tuesday  10:30am – 6pm
Wednesday 10:30am – 7:30pm
Thursday 1:00pm – 9pm
Friday  10:30am – 5pm
Closed on Weekends and Holidays

*An appointment is required to access the church records and the other archival collections at Boston University School of Theology Library. Please call or email (617-353-1323 or sthrsrch@bu.edu) before you plan your visit to the library.

Note that our hours differ during intercession and during the summer!

  • Your BU ID (Terrier Card) is your library card!
  • Graduate students can check out items from the STH Library's open stacks and oversize collections for 133 days! These items can be renewed at the end of loan period (see here).
  • Behind our circulation desk is the course reserve section. Textbooks for your class can be borrowed here, and are limited to the time stated on the book and in the catalog (2 hours, 3 days, or 7 days). These items cannot be renewed.
  • We have more than just books! Check out DVDs, cell phone chargers, book holders, and A/V cords!
  • You are not limited to just our library! Borrow from all other BU Libraries, and libraries throughout Boston! See more here.
  • We are able to request books that we don't own from libraries throughout the world! Learn more about our interlibrary loan service here for more heavy-duty research.
  • We have a large archives/research collection with some very special materials. Learn more about it here.

The School of Theology Library is located on the second floor of the School of Theology building, at 745 Commonwealth Avenue. It is adjacent to Marsh Chapel, on the west side of the plaza. The library is on the second floor. To enter the library, you must use the doors closest to the elevators. Doors located in other sections of the library are for emergency use only.

Mailing Address:

Boston University School of Theology Library

745 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston, MA 02215

See our website for directions and information on getting to the library by public transportation.

Our library offers different studying environments, including single carrels, tables of four, and computers for student use. We now offer group study space in our library's conference room, if you are looking for a place to study with your classmates! To reserve the space, email Sean Smith (sgsmith@bu.edu) within 48 hours or less of the time you wish to reserve. You will receive an email back letting you know if the space is available during the requested time. Space will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Group Study Space can be reserved Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm.

For ground rules, see the Group Study page on our website.

In case of an emergency, contact the BU Police by phone (617) 353-2121. For fire emergencies, dial 911, then BU Police. To text BU Police anonymous tips, text 847411. Begin your text with "BU" and then the message.

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Technology Basics: Wi-Fi, Computers, Scanners, Printing...

All Boston University students, faculty, and staff can connect their personal devices to the university's Wi-Fi by simply connecting to BU (802.1x) with your wireless enabled device and entering your BU username (your email address without the "@bu.edu" part) and password. You are able to connect to this network from most buildings on the Charles River Campus!

We have over 20 computers available for public use, including 7 near the front of the library by the entrance and 16 in the Library Instruction Room (209, off the library Reading Room). You can print from all computers in the library using the MyPrint system, unless otherwise noted on the computer.

Self-service flatbed scanners are available free of charge at the School of Theology Library to all library visitors. Didn't bring your textbook to campus? Check to see if it is on course reserve, and scan the chapter assigned to you on our scanners! Materials can be scanned into 5MB PDF, text-searchable PDF, JPEG, and Word file formats. The scanners are halfway down the main hallway of the library on the left. Using our scanners, you are able to:

Send scanned material to your email address
Save scanned material on a USB drive
Upload scanned material to Google Drive
Save scanned material to your iPhone or iPad

All document scanning is subject to U.S. Copyright Law.

Pro-Tip: Use text-searchable PDF to be able to go back and search items you can! This file gets very big, so be sure you bring your USB drive to save text-searchable PDFs.

All the computers in the School of Theology Library are connected to BU IS&T’s MyPrint system, allowing BU students to print documents using your printing allocation, which is updated each semester.

Full-time graduate students receive $40.00 of free printing per semester, and each double-sided page costs $0.08 per page. This adds up to 500 pages per semester.

The School of Theology Library has a MyPrint printer located by the scanners. Most of our public computers are connected to the MyPrint system; simply click “print” on a document and choose the printer “MyPrintBW” for black and white printing or “MyPrintColor” for color printing. Note: You cannot use your free sheets to print in color. You can print in color only by purchasing and using Convenience Points on the StudentLink.

The BU MyPrint printers are self-releasing. To release a print job, go to any printer on BU’s campus (including the one by the scanners in the STH Library) and scan your BU ID (or type in your BU username and password). Select the document you wish to print on the touchscreen, and it will begin printing immediately.

You can set up your personal computer to print to any MyPrint printer, including the one at the School of Theology Library. Consult BU IS&T’s step-by-step guide on setting up your computer to print to the MyPrint printer or consult the guide available here and at the School of Theology Library circulation desk!

If you exceed your print sheet allocation for the semester, you can still print using BU Convenience Points, which can be purchased on the StudentLink.

Search all of BU's vast resources with BU Libraries Search, available on the top of our homepage (www.bu.edu/sthlibrary) or from the main library search page (www.bu.edu/library). Note that a search from both pages will bring up the same results! A normal keyword search will search for books and articles available throughout the entire BU campus. Use the filters on the right of the pages to limit your search. Need more help? Check out the "Library Research" tab!

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How Can I Contact a Librarian?

Staff at the Theology Library are always willing to help and are available in a variety of different ways:

  • At the reference desk (see our hours for more)
  • By Phone (Call the front desk at (617) 353-3034 or during reference hours, call the reference desk at (617) 358-2074)
  • Via email (see the staff directory here, or email all library staff directly at sthref@bu.edu)
  • Our online contact form here
  • Even our Twitter account!

Answering questions is what we love to do, so please do not feel shy!