Connected Campus

Guide to the Library

On behalf of the entire staff of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, I welcome you to the Ora Byram Allison Memorial Library and all its facilities, collections, and services. This Guide to the Library that you are reading was prepared for the purpose of orienting you, the library user, to our policies and services. Your ability to make complete use of the library and its components is dependent, to a great extent, upon your familiarity with the material in this guide. We would, therefore, encourage you to 1) read the Guide to the Library carefully, 2) mark the Library’s web page as a favorite—for future reference and needs, and 3) never hesitate to approach me of any member of the library staff with regard to information in it.
The library is the heart of an educational institution, and, as such, should pump the blood of knowledge and understanding into the minds of its users. To insure that end, the entire library staff is ready and eager to assist you in any way possible. We are here to help you; please feel free to give us the opportunity.
Terence Neal Brown
Director of Library Services


Purpose Statement
The purpose of the Ora Byram Allison Memorial Library is to support the education curricula of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary by developing, providing, and maintaining facilities, materials, and services for the degree programs of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary – Associate of Divinity, Associate of Christian Education, Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies, Master of Divinity, Master of Missiology and Intercultural Studies, Master of Arts in Christian Education, Master of Christian Education, Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Philosophy – and for faculty, staff, and alumni patrons in traditional classroom and distance learning settings.


Academic Research Support
A primary objective of the Ora Byram Allison Memorial Library is to provide research resources for faculty members and doctoral students. Areas that are covered for doctoral students include material for seminar papers, seminar presentations, and dissertations. The Director of Library Services places priority in purchasing recommendations and specific requests from faculty members and doctoral students. The request form is available at the Circulation Desk. The form is used to make requests for books, theses, dissertations, microforms, journals, DVDs, CDs, databases, and other material formats.


Circulation Policies
Loan periods vary according to the type of materials borrowed.

Material Type Loan Period Overdue Fines
Book 2 weeks .20/day
Kindle, CDs, DVDs, Videos, Kits 2 weeks .20/day
Journals/Periodicals Non-circulating  
Microfilms & Microfiche 2 weeks .20/day
Rare Books Non-circulating  
Reference Books Non-circulating  
Reserve Books 2, 3, 5 day periods $2.00/day


Maximum Fines
Book - $20.00/book
Doctoral Students’ maximum fine is $500.00 per term
Reserve Books - $30.00/book
Lost Books – No fine will be charged, however, borrower must pay for the book plus a $35.00 processing fee.



Doctoral and Online Student Library Mailing Program beginning in January 2018


Doctoral and Online students living outside a 75 mile radius of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Mid-America are eligible to join the Library Mailing Program (LMP). To join the program, you must pay a minimum of $25.00 to the business office via check, cash, or money order.  As packages are mailed to you first class and insured*, we will deduct the cost from the $25.00.  As you near your limit, we will alert you that more money needs to be added to your LMP account.  Any books that you return to the Library by mail will need to be sent first class and insured, at your expense. 


The LMP is a Use-It-Or-Lose-It program.  If at graduation, or the end of your time as a student at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Mid-America, you have money remaining on your LMP account; it will be applied to the general budget of the seminary.


Materials available for shipping include: circulating books, audios, DVDs, microfiche and microfilm. Non-circulating items such as reference materials and journal articles not available online can be copied by a member of Library staff.  If you need a book or journal article copied and mailed to you, it will cost .10 per page.  This fee will be deducted from the money you have on your LMP account. No more than 10 items at a time will be mailed.


If you need items/articles mailed to you, you will need to e-mail a list of needed materials to  For circulating books, audios, DVDs, microfiche and microfilm, the list must include the title, author, year of publication, and call number for the items you need; the same applies for books needing to be copied. Should you need books only available at the Northeast Campus Library, we will request them and mail them to you as soon as they arrive at the Main Campus. If you need a journal article copied, please include title, year and volume of publication, title of article, and pages to be copied. Make certain your name, mailing address, and phone number are included in the request.


Doctoral and Online students living within the 75 mile radius of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Mid-America are not eligible to join this program and must obtain their books directly from the library.


*All books, going and coming, must be insured for replacement purposes on the offhand chance they are lost or damaged during shipping.



Who May Borrow
The primary patrons of the Library shall be members of the seminary family: students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Current student's attending affiliate program schools. Upon consultation with the Director, others may apply for a user’s card.


Library Materials are on loan for two (2) weeks and can be renewed for another two weeks unless they are on hold for another patron. Renewal’s can be made in person or by phone (901) 751-3007.


Holding Books
A patron may ask an attendant at the Circulation Desk to place a book on hold when it is returned. They will be notified when the book is available.


The borrower is responsible to return materials promptly. A reasonable effort will be made to notify patrons when items are overdue.


Reserve Books
Faculty may place often used material “On Reserve” for limited check out periods by students.


Food or Drink
Drinks with lids are permitted anywhere in the library. Food is now allowed in the desiginated lobby area ONLY!

No Talking Policy
The library observes a no talking policy in the following areas: reference room, journal area and the general stacks. Talking elsewhere in the Library should be kept at a minimum. Patrons causing excessive noise will be asked to leave the Library.


Cell Phone Policy
Cell phones are to be turned off or to silent/vibrate while in the Library. If you receive a call you must take, please step out of the Library to take the call. Please be considerate of your fellow library patrons as they are trying to do research and study.


Classification of Material
The Library of Congress (LC) classification system is used in organizing all materials. A call number is assigned to all materials according to the subject of the material. The ”call number” is used to locate an item on the shelves.
The Library of Congress classification for philosophy, psychology, and religion is shown below, since most of our collection is classified in these sections.

B Philosophy (General)
BC Logic
BD Speculative Philosophy
BF Psychology
BH Asethetics
BJ Ethics
BL Religion, Mythology & Rationalism
BM Judaism
BP Islam, Bahaism, Theosophy, etc
BQ Buddhism
BR Christianity
BS Bible
BS 701 - 1899 Old Testament
BS 1901 - 2970 New Testament
BT Doctrinal Theology
BV Practical Theology
BV 2000 - 3799 Missions (including evangelism)
BV 4000 - 4470 Pastoral Theology
BV 4485 - 5099 Christian Life
BX Denominations & Sects


Reference Assistance
Reference assistance is provided for library patrons in using the OPAC, locating materials, and searching for answers to questions. During regular business hours, the Director of Library Services is available to assist any patron. During other hours, questions should be directed to the circulation desk attendant.


Interlibrary Loan
Through a cooperative plan among libraries, research materials not available at one library may be borrowed from another. When Memphis area library resources are exhausted, then one may inquire at the circulation desk about Inter Library Loan service. Please allow at least two weeks to receive requested loans.
Formal and reciprocal cooperative agreements among libraries in the area enable students and faculty to draw on resources not available at MABTS. Because lending policies vary among the institutions, check with the librarian here before contacting other libraries.


Consult these schools before requesting Inter Library Loans

Christian Brothers University 901-321-3432
Harding Graduate School of Religion 901-761-1354
LeMoyne-Owen College 901-435-1351
Memphis Theological Seminary 901-458-8232 x106
Memphis Shelby County Public Library 901-415-2700
Rhodes College 901-843-3000
Southwest Tennessee Community College 901-333-5000
Union University - Germantown Campus 901-759-0029
University of Memphis 901-678-2208


The Ora Byram Allison Memorial Library is now a member of MALC, Memphis Area Library Council. In addition to the libraries listed above, we now have reciprocating privileges with the following Memphis area libraries:  Memphis College of Art, Southern College of Optometry, Baptist College of Health Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Library.


Ora Byram Allison Memorial Library Online Student Account
The Ora Byram Allison Memorial Library is excited to bring its patrons another enhancement to their online experience. Patrons will now be able to log in and see the items that they have checked out, know when their items are due, see how much they owe in fines, reserve items, and compile a printable list of resources for their various classes. The guide below explains how to log into your online account and the various features that the account offers. To set up your account, or should you have any questions, please see a member of the library staff.


Steps for Logging In:

You will need to speak with a member of library staff about activating your library username and password.

  • Go to the Atriuum Catalog online
  • On the top right hand side of the page you will see an Account box.
  • Click Log In. Your Patron User Name is your Student ID Number, your Pin is your Sonis password. Once both of those blanks are filled, click Log On.
  • To log off of your account simply click Log Out.
  • * Once you are logged into your account you will see the following options. *



Items Checked Out:
At the top of the page you will see a list of items that you currently have checked out. For each item you have checked out you will see the title of the item, the author of the item, the due date for the item, the call number for the item, and the amount of fines owed for each item if it is overdue. At the bottom of this section you will see the total amount of fines owed and the total number of items that are overdue.


Steps for Reserving an Item:

  • If you are logged in, you can search for items like normal.
  • If you find something in your search results that is currently checked out, that you would like to reserve, simply click on the item.
  • You will then see the information about that item. Next to the items call number you will see which campus the item is located and whether it is available, checked out, or on reserve.
  • If you want to reserve the item click on the Reserve This Item link.
  • You will then be prompted to confirm that you want to reserve the item. If you want to reserve it click on Reserve This Item; however, if you do not want to reserve the item click on Cancel.
  • If you then scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see that the item was reserved for you.
  • If at any time you do not wish to keep the item you reserved you may click the box next to the item to select it and then click on Cancel Reserved Items in order to take the item off reserve. The item will now no longer be on reserve for you.


Important Information on Reserving Items:
When you reserve an item our system is not alerted to the fact that you reserved a specific item. However, when somebody does a search and clicks on the item that you reserved they will be altered that the item is reserved and hence not available to them. Should someone take the item you reserved to be checked out our system will tell us that that particular item is reserved for you and so the item may not be checked out.
When you reserve items please be mindful of other students. If you live on campus please come by the library during the school day or when we are open to obtain your books rather than reserving them because you have easy access to the library. However, if you live off campus or if the library is closed, feel free to reserve items because you do not have easy access to the library. Please be aware that you will need to pull the items you reserved yourself. We will not pull them for you. If you no longer need a reserved item please remove the item from your reserved list (see step 7 on Steps for Reserving an Item).


Steps on Creating a Bookbag:

  • Under Your Bookbag click on Create Name Bookbag.
  • Enter a name for your new Bookbag and then click Save.
  • Select which Bookbag you would like to use by clicking Make Active.
  • If you find something in your search results that you would like to add to a Bookbag simply click on the item.
  • Once the item information is displayed, click Add to Bookbag. The item is now added to the Bookbag that is Active.
  • If you click on the My Items link on the left hand side of the page, you can then go down to the bottom of the page to view your various Bookbags.
  • If you click on a Bookbag you will see a list of books in that particular Bookbag. Here, you will see the title of the item, the author of the item, and the call number of the item.
  • If you want to print out a list of the items you have in a Bookbag so you can look them up simply click on Printable Version. You will then be prompted to print the list.
  • If at any time you do not wish to keep the item in your Bookbag you may click the box next to the item to select it and then click on Remove Selected in order to take the item off reserve. The item will now no longer be in your Bookbag.
  • If at any time you do not wish to keep a particular Bookbag go to the bottom of the My Items page. Here you may click the box next to the particular Bookbag you want to delete just select it and then click on Delete in order remove the Bookbag.



  • A self-operated photocopier/scanner is available for use in the copier room. For all students and visitors, the cost of copying is .05/page. All students will need to set up a Copy Machine account (a $5.00 minimum) Business Office.
  • All pages printed from the library computers are $.05/page. All students will need to set up a PaperCut account through the Business Office.



Sign Up

Sonis Web
New or prospective student?  Sign-up here for access to application information, grades, and account billing status.


Career Center

Alumni may register here to have their resume loaded into our career center.  Allow us to connect you with churches looking for qualified personnel.


Witness One:Seven Report
New Students may sign-up for access to the Witness One:Seven site here.



Sonis Web
Students, Faculty, staff may access their SONIS web account here.  Please enter your SONIS ID and password/pin number for access.


Career Center
here to access your resume and make changes.


Witness One:Seven Report
Students may update their Witness One:Seven information here.


Student Email
Sign-in here to access your student email account. Your Office 365 account name is [Student_ID] (e.g. Your password is your MABTS assigned PIN.


PhD Form
Click here to access the PhD form.