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Instructional - Guide to the Booher Library for Southwest Faculty: Populi & Library Resources FAQs

FAQs for faculty

I'm trying to select the right resources to assign for my upcoming course. This is hard work...and potentially expensive. Can the library help?

Yes. We can help you acquire copies of books you want to preview so you can decide if you want to assign the book. The same goes for journal articles. Email us at and tell us what you need. You are always encouraged to come to us first before you buy anything. 

Here's a real life example: the book They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, is assigned for at least one seminary course. Currently the 4th edition is assigned, but a 5th edition was published in 2022. Should the professors assign the 4th or 5th edition this year? The Southwest book store has the 4th edition in stock already, as does the library, but the 5th edition may have valuable updates. The library purchased the 5th edition so the professors could view it and make that call as to whether it was worth it to move everyone forward to the 5th edition.  

I've submitted my required and suggested book list to the Southwest Book Store. What now?

When the Southwest Book Store publishes the semester's book list, the library staff put together a Course Reserve Collection that contains all the books assigned for courses in that semester. The collection is a combination of print and electronic resources. 

What is the Course Reserves Collection?

The Course Reserves Collection is a curated collection of all the books assigned for courses at the seminary in a given semester. If the library acquires a book in print, it will be added to a physical shelf in the library under the book's course number. If the book is an ebook, it will appear on the Course Reserves LibGuide. Most professors link to the Course Reserves LibGuide from their Populi page if any of their assigned text books are provided by the library as an ebook. 

We create a Course Reserves Collection for two main reasons: 1) to prevent one individual from borrowing an assigned course book for the entire semester and 2) to make course books easier to find and access.

How will my students access the books I assign for class?

If you required a book for your course, students can buy the books for themselves or access the book through the library's Course Reserves Collection. For the student, it is a matter of personal preference that is often driven by their financial priorities. 

Does the Course Reserve Collection include the journal articles I've assigned for my course?

No. Professors link to assigned journal articles from their Populi course page. Some professors also link to journal articles from their syllabus. If you assign journal articles, we highly recommend you read the document Course Prep: Seeker, Populi, and Permalink (and Copyright)! 

Can I borrow the print items from the Course Reserve shelf?

Yes, but you must follow the same rules as the students. The physical books circulate for 4 hours only. No one can check out an assigned course book for the semester. You must acquire your own copy of assigned text books if you want one, or share the library's copies. You might try requesting a copy from the publisher. These are often referred to as examination copies, instructor's copies, or desk copies. Here is an example of how a publisher might handle these requests.

Can I borrow ebooks from the Course Reserve libguide?

Yes. Notice that the amount of users that can access an ebook at the same time varies from book to book. If the library can provide an ebook that allows for unlimited simultaneous users, we will. Sometimes that is not an option, and the ebook might only allow one user at a time. Most single user ebooks can be accessed for 4 hours at a time and then they become available to other users.  

What if I've assigned just a part of a book for a course? How will my students access the assigned portion of a book?

If you wish to assign a single chapter of a book for your course, you have two options: if the book is an ebook, simply link to the ebook from your Populi page and specify the chapter you want your students to read. If the book is only available in print, scan the chapter and upload it to your Populi page. We highly recommend you read the document Course Prep: Seeker, Populi, and Permalink (and Copyright)!

How will my students find readings I assign in an ebook?

Each ebook platform is different. Most do not provide page numbers due to the differences in screen sizes and the amount of information that can be displayed. For that reason, we suggest providing them with the chapter numbers, chapter titles, and possibly chapter headings if only a portion of the chapter needs to be read. 

I need a chapter scanned. Can the library help?

Yes...but remember that scanning print resources is our last choice. Say, for example, you want to assign chapter 2 from Gena St. David's book, The Brain and the Spirit: Unlocking the Transformative Potential of the Story of Christ, to your students. If the book is only available in print, yes, the library staff would scan chapter 2 for you and send it to you in PDF format to upload to your Populi page. But since the library has Professor St. David's book as an ebook, we would instead send you the permalink to the ebook that you could link to it on your Populi page. Permalinks allow to track actual usage. PDF's will only count as one usage even if thousands of people read the resource. It is best to take the permalink route so accurate usage counts can be made.

I need help actually using Populi. Can you help?

For technical assistance with Populi, reach out to the seminary's IT staff at for help using Populi.

Still have questions?

Contact the librarians. We are happy to help you with your specific questions.

How to Contact the Librarians

Have a question for the librarians? Please email us at

Photo depicts a place to sit in the Deanery, near the new book section in the sunroom on the second floor. Photo credit: Alison Poage