by Melody Detar, Divinity Librarian
Venerable Bede (672-735). English monk, historian, and Biblical commentator.
Biblical commentaries are an expensive, yet essential part of theological research. Since theological publishers have been slow to release commentaries and other theological resources digitally, students must often still rely on print materials for their research (although it never hurts to check for ebook versions as well!). Here are our tips for accessing commentaries as a distance student:
- The first thing to remember is to start your research early! Although you may take time in actually writing your paper, we recommend that you aim to gather the necessary resources as early as possible. This is so that you provide adequate time to ensure the resources you need are available and that there is time to acquire what you need.
- Select what resources meet your needs. If you are overwhelmed by the vast number of commentaries that are available, you are not alone! That is why the Regent University Library provides a research guide specifically aimed at helping you locate commentaries. This guide also houses a list of recommended commentaries developed by School of Divinity faculty.
- Request your selected resources through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). ILL can either ship circulating books to your home or provide resources electronically. When requesting commentaries, the book chapter option is recommended because the ILL department will scan up to 100 pages of a book and make it available as a PDF. This is faster than shipping books and is absolutely free of charge! Keep in mind that you do not need specific page numbers when entering a request; you can simply reference a passage, such as “Mark 9:14-29.”
- Consider local libraries. If you live near a theological library, you may prefer to browse their materials and check out books, if that option is available. The Regent University Library is now part of a reciprocal borrowing group composed of a growing list of theological libraries nationwide. Check if a theological library near you is part of the group and you will have free access to their materials and permission to check out books. If you do not find a library near you on the list, you may consider using ILL at a local public library or you may purchase a card to check out books at a local theological library. The Regent Library will reimburse our distance students up to $100 per year for an academic library card. Click here for more information and a reimbursement form.
- As always, contact a librarian if you have trouble finding what you need. We are excited to help you succeed!
It’s easy to save your pennies at the Library.
Higher education is expensive, and academic libraries have generally been in the happy position of being able to offer students an extraordinary array of free resources and services. Of course, they’re not really free, but paid for by student tuition, but we librarians still like to think that libraries provide just about the best value for your money anywhere.
On the 2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey, we received a number of comments about unexpected costs associated with using the Library, including these:
- “Sometimes the EbscoHost Academic Search Complete database shows me an item available through Linksourse result, and when I click on it, the paper isn’t available…Other times, I find it at the website for the journal which published the paper, and it’s usually a subscription or pay per article or both.”
- “Please advise online students about the fees associated with the return of requested materials. It is very possible that I could have purchased the book I borrowed for the shipping cost I incurred by sending it back.”
Here are three tips for saving money when using the Library:
- First of all, don’t waste money on fines! The Library offers online viewing and renewing of check-out materials. Do you know what you have checked out? Click here to find out.
- Never pay for an article. Not only journal websites, but even some of our databases will try to sell you articles for which the Library’s subscription does not include full-text access. Our InterLibrary Loan department can acquire nearly any journal article you need in 1-3 days.
- Although, the Library provides free shipping of books to our distance students, we do not pay for return shipping. This means that if you are not planning a trip to campus before the books are due, it might be a better option to get them from your local public library or use their InterLibrary Loan service if they offer it. Another option is to get a library card at an academic library in your area. The Regent Library will reimburse our distance students up to $100 per year for an academic library card. Click here for more information and a reimbursement form.
The Library recognizes that, for most students, attending college or graduate school presents a major financial challenge. We certainly do not want you to have to spend more money on fines and shipping fees. Following these simple tips will save you money and may even make the Library entirely free during your academic program.
Dorothy Hargett, Access Services Librarian
The Library is pleased to announce a new service for distance students. Until now, distance students have only been able to borrow books from the Regent Library collection. We receive comments about this limitation each year on our Customer Satisfaction Survey, such as these:
- “I have honestly avoided using any materials you don’t have because I am a distance student, and it’s not convenient to borrow. The one time I attempted to use Interlibrary Loan, they were unable to fulfill my request.”
- “Need to let distance students get books through Interlibrary Loan”
Beginning this semester, distance students residing within the United States may use their Regent ILLiad accounts to borrow up to two (2) books per quarter from other libraries through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department.
If you need a book that is not in the Regent Library, our ILL team will search holdings across libraries worldwide to locate an available copy. You can request these books by the same process you use for requesting Regent-owned items. As we have always done with our own books, we will ship items from other libraries to your home at no charge to you. You pay only the cost of shipping the items back (if you are unable to return the books in person). Returning borrowed books by the due date will enable the ILL team to ship them back to the lending library in a timely manner, saving us (and you) late fines.
Although we recommend using your local public library’s ILL service if available, we recognize that not all public libraries offer ILL, so we are glad that we can now make this important resource available to all our students.
To log into your ILLiad account click here.
Written by Sandra Yaegle, Head of Public Services
In the 2013 Customer Satisfaction Survey, we received a number of comments from distance students concerning the problem of making full use of a Library one rarely or never visits. The following three comments are representative:
- “I feel like I do not have a good grasp on how the Library services can be maximized by distance students.”
- “As a distance student, I find the website is a little convoluted, and I’m often not able to access helpful materials because I can’t keep the web locations straight.”
- “Being a distance student, I rely on full-text options. Unfortunately, when I need books I must travel 150 miles to the Library to access.”
The Library understands that being a distance student brings added challenges to the research process. Here are links to some of the most important pages on the Library website to help you maximize your Library experience, no matter where you are:
- LibGuides—LibGuides are research guides developed by the Library faculty that cover all the disciplines and many of the individual classes taught at Regent.
- InterLibrary Loan—Distance students can use our InterLibrary Loan service to obtain full-text articles not available from the Library databases as well as to have books and DVDs from the Library collection shipped to them at no charge.
- Services for Distance Learners—The Library will reimburse distance students up to $100 for a library card at an academic, public, or special library.
- LibAnswers—Search our knowledge base for frequently asked library and research questions or submit your question directly to the Reference Desk.
- Meet our Library Faculty—Find out who the Library’s subject specialist is in your discipline.
The librarians regularly review the website and strive to make it more easily functional. If you find something unclear on one of our webpages, please let us know by taking a minute to fill out an online Comments or Suggestions Form.
Image Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest, “The View From Akashi Kaikyo Bridge”, accessed 2 Aug 2013, http://0-quest.eb.com.library.regent.edu/images/105_1391714. Click here to find out where you can get terrific images (complete with citations) like this for your projects.