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Instructional - Guide to the Library for Southwest Students: FAQs for Southwest Students

FAQs for Southwest Students

How do I get in touch with the library staff?

Email us at, call us at 512-478-5212, or stop by the Harrison Library at 606 Rathervue Place.

How do I access the library's ebooks and other electronic resources from my device(s)?

Log into your Seminary of the Southwest Google account, log out of all other Google accounts, and then follow these instructions.

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.

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.

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

Yes, but 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 your own, or share the library's copy. Library print books that are not on the Course Reserve shelf circulate for 30 days. 

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 does "APTS" and "SSW" mean?

APTS is the acronym for Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and SSW stands for Seminary of the Southwest. APTS is located right around the corner from us. The APTS library is called the Wright Learning and Information Center. APTS's library and our library share a library catalog, so when you use Seeker to look for library resources, you will see our library listed as "SSW" and the Wright Learning and Information Center listed as "APTS."

Can I borrow books from APTS?

Yes! You can walk over there and check books out yourself, or you can request the library staff retrieve them for you. Use this form to submit your request, or email If you visit APTS yourself, bring your SSW ID card.

Can I use APTS's electronic resources?

Yes, but only by visiting Wright Learning and Information Center in person and using the e-resources while you are there. 

What is Seeker?

Seeker is the seminary's discovery tool and the quickest way to find the library resources Southwest owns, resources at APTS, and resources available to you by interlibrary loan. 

How can I learn some helpful tips for using Seeker?

Please take a look at our Seeker tutorials and reach out to us if you need any more assistance. 

What is a LibGuide?

A LibGuide is an online platform used to organize and disseminate useful information. This guide you are reading is an example of a LibGuide. All the library LibGuides can be found here.

Who develops and updates LibGuides?

Most guides are created and maintained by the librarians. Some are made by professors, like this guide about spirituality and mental health counseling created by Professor Jangha. Some are made by a group of staff, faculty, and students working together. If you want to know more about LibGuides, or get involved in creating a guide, please reach out to us with your questions and ideas.

Do you recommend any particular LibGuides for students?

All the LibGuides are all useful, but below these FAQs you will find a hand chosen list of guides we think are particularly useful for Southwest students.

A book I need is not in your collection. What now?

Write us at with information about the book and a link to it on the web, if possible. We may be able to borrow it from APTS for you. We may interlibrary loan (ILL) it for you. We may, in consultation with the Library Policies, choose to buy it for the library collection and lend it to you.

How does Interlibrary Loan (ILL) work?

Read all about ILL services on the Interlibrary Loan LibGuide.

May I suggest titles for you to purchase for the library collection?

Yes! Please do. Email us the details at We can purchase suggestions in accordance to criteria set forth in the Library Policies.

Are there printers and scanners in the library?

Yes. You can find more information about our printers and scanners here.

What are the library's policies?

Library policies were updated in 2023 and are now housed in one document: Library Policies. It includes the library's collection development policy.

We also steward the Copyright and Licensing Agreement Compliance Policy, which we highly recommend all students, especially Research Assistants, read.

How do I get a library card?

Your Seminary of the Southwest ID card serves as your library card. We use it to check out physical material to you. Your library card does not help you access e-resources. To access e-resources, read our Accessing eResources LibGuide. If you lose your SSW ID card, please contact IT Services at

What other libraries can I use?

You are surrounded by amazing libraries in Austin! Read all about your access to area libraries on this guide

I need assistance with my academic or creative writing. Can the library help?

No, for that we recommend you contact our colleagues in Southwest's Center for Writing and Creative Expression. They are the experts in this area!

I have a question and I don't know who to ask. Can you help?

Yes, we are happy to refer you to the right person to bring your question to. Ask away! 

I'm doing research and I'm stuck. May I have a personal consultation with a librarian?

Yes. Email us at to schedule an appointment and we will be glad to give you personalized library and research instruction.