Policies and Procedures

Library Policies

Loan Periods

Faculty*         Staff*




Due at end of academic year with 1 renewal
84 days with 1 renewal
21 days with 2 renewals 42 days with 1 renewal


Due by closing the next day
Due by closing the next day Due by closing the next day Due by closing the next day


42 days with 1 renewal
3 days; DVD Series: 21 days with 1 renewal 3 days; DVD Series: 21 days with 1 renewal 3 days; DVD Series: 21 days with 1 renewal

Music CDs

28 days with 1 renewal 28 days with 1 renewal 21 days with 1 renewal 21 days with 1 renewal


Due at end of academic year with 1 renewal 84 days with 1 renewal 21 days with 1 renewal 42 days with 1 renewal


Determined by faculty member placing materials on reserve.
Determined by faculty member placing materials on reserve. Determined by faculty member placing materials on reserve. Determined by faculty member placing materials on reserve.
42 days with 1 renewal 42 days with 1 renewal 42 days with 1 renewal 42 days with 1 renewal


  • *Note: if a student needs any item that is checked out to another patron, the library can recall the item, requesting its immediate return. If the original patron wishes to check the item out again, the library can hold the item once the student returns it.

Library Cards

Your Houghton College identification card (ID) is your library card.

Courtesy cards will be issued free of charge to Alumni, Retirees, Pastors, Missionaries, and immediate family members (12 years or older) of faculty or staff.

Community members not affiliated with the College may request a library card for an annual fee of five (5) dollars.

Fine and Fee Policies (Students and Courtesy Card Holders) 

  • Overdue books, scores, leisure reading items: $0.10 per day.
  • Overdue Interlibrary Loan items: $0.50 per day.
  • Overdue video recordings and periodicals: $1.00 per day.
  • Overdue reserve materials: $1.00 per hour.
  • Lost in-house library materials: the cost to replace the item plus a $15 non-refundable processing fee per item
  • Lost Interlibrary Loan item: fee determined by the lending library


A copy machine is available for patron use at $0.10 per page.

Privacy Issues

To protect the patron's right of privacy, library staff may not legally disclose who checked an item out. Please do not ask for this information. Any patron needing a book already checked out should have circulation personnel place a "HOLD" on the item to notify him/her when it is returned. If library material is checked out to a person who has circulation privileges for more than 21 days (i.e. administrators, staff and faculty), the library will "RECALL" the item for the patron.

Long-term Loans

Students doing independent studies, honor projects or senior seminar work may acquire an extended loan period for their library materials. Request forms requiring an appropriate faculty member's signature are available at the Circulation Desk. 

Reserve Materials

The library circulation staff organizes and maintains the reserve collection. The intent is to make the often limited number of needed materials available to an entire class.  These items are placed on reserve by written request of faculty members only. (Forms are available at the circulation desk.) The faculty member designates the circulation period (1 hour, 2 hours, 3 day, etc.) for each item.

Library Procedures

Interlibrary Loan Procedure

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service for eligible Houghton College patrons. The purpose is to allow access to research material from other cooperating libraries when a book or periodical article is not available at the Willard J. Houghton Library.   

Textbooks and required course material are not acceptable interlibrary loan requests.

 Before requesting a book or a journal article, please check our online catalog (GRACE) or the library online databases to determine whether our library owns the book or provides access to the full text of the journal issue.

When a book or journal article is not available through our Library, you may fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request Form, a paper request form (available at the circulation desk), or you may take advantage of “Direct request” --  a feature of several databases.

Please complete as much information as you can on each form, including where the citation for your request was found.   

Houghton College patrons are not charged for interlibrary loan; should an exceptionally high delivery fee be mandated from the lending library, prior notification will be made before an order for the item is placed.  

Reserved Readings: Procedures for Faculty

Below is a list of a few simple policies and procedures that were designed to reduce student frustration with the RESERVE READING element of their educational experience, to comply with the 1976 copyright laws, to minimize faculty members' responsibilities, and to simplify the paperwork tasks of the library staff. Thank your for your cooperation in making this system work.

  • When books or articles are to be placed on reserve in the library, please be sure that the author and title information given on the reserve request slip matches the information which is on the course syllabus and on the folders which contain the photocopied articles.
  • Please supply a folder for each photocopy: each photocopy must have the faculty member's name on it (for copyright compliance) and each folder should be labeled with the author and/or title exactly as it appears on the course syllabus. Example: If you consistently refer to a reading as "the Berger article," please be careful to indicate on the request slip and the folder label that the author is "Berger'.
  • IMPORTANT : please note on the course syllabus whether the item is a book or a photocopy in a folder.
  • Please specify the edition or editions of the books which your are requesting for reserve.
  • It would be very helpful if you would give us a copy of the syllabus for each course that will involve the use of reserve materials. Students occasionally come to the reserve desk without a clear idea of the item that they need. Being able to refer to the syllabus often helps the student and eliminates a tedious and lengthy search on the part of the library staff.
  • Due to copyright restrictions we are asking that you comply with the following:
    • a) Any copies of uncopyrighted materials or materials copyrighted 75 years prior to the present calendar year can be accepted for reserve. (In some cases, there may be materials published as far back as 1906 which may still be copyrighted. For a clarification of this, check the copyright file in the Reference Office.
    • b) Up to three (3) photocopies per course section of any of the following or copies of up to six (6) items from separate volumes on the following list may be accepted: a chapter, an article, a short story, poem, or essay, a graph, chart, or picture.
  • Copies can be accepted for one semester or session only; they are the property of the professor and are so marked, and will be returned to said faculty member at the end of the academic term.
  • Copies of the following consumable items cannot be accepted for reserve if they are copyrighted: workbooks and exercise, tests and test booklets, answer sheets or booklets, pages from textbooks.
  • The library staff will stamp each copy with a notice of copyright.
  • Photocopied materials that a professor wishes to use in multiple courses or successive semesters require permission from the owner of the copyright. A copy of the letter granting permission will be kept on file in the library and must accompany the photocopies at the time of submission for reserve. In certain instances a copy of the faculty member's request for permission will be accepted pending receipt of the appropriate permission.
  • We will try to have your reserve items on he shelf within 48 hours after we receive your request. This time period may be slightly longer over weekends and during the first week of each semester. We will accept items for the next semester's reserve as early as you can get them to us. The requested reserve items are processed on a first come, first served basis. Here are a few hints that will facilitate your requests:
    • If the item that you want on reserve is an article out of a periodical, make copies of the article and put them in labeled folders. Please follow steps 1, 2, and 6.
    • If you have looked for the item that you would like put on reserve and have been unable to locate it, please indicate this when you turn in your reserve request slips. We will put the item on search status and when the item is found it will go directly to the reserve shelf.

(NOTE: Remember we are here considering library reserves. ALA (American Library Association) guidelines suggest multiple copies of any of the above may be distributed in class as long as the copies do not "exceed the number of students in the class." However, the limit of six separate items, which conforms to ALA guidelines, is an effort to avoid anthologizing, and does apply to both library reserves and classroom distribution.)

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