Library FAQ

The library staff is delighted to answer questions, provide individual tutorials, or offer other personalized informational assistance. Just stop by or call the library at 262-646-6535, or email us at However, self-sufficient library users may find answers to many of their questions in our handbook or in the FAQ below.

Database Questions

  • How do I access Databases on my personal equipment or from off-campus?

    For access on personal equipment or from outside the library, users will be challenged for a username and password. In the username box, type your Nashotah House ID Number. In the password box, type your last name (make sure the 1st letter is capitalized).

  • What if I log in as above, but still cannot access databases?

    If you are not granted admission to the databases after providing the login credentials as described above, check to see that your browser is accepting cookies. Try again after adjusting your browser's security settings to permit the databases to set a cookie on your browser. Another issue to consider is whether traffic to the House's proxy server is being permitted by your personal firewall or any corporate firewall on the local network you are using. Personal firewalls permit users to adjust security settings themselves; however, if you are attempting to access the library's databases from a corporate or governmental network, you may need to consult with the Information Technology staff in charge of that network to obtain clearance for using the library's databases while on that network.

  • What if I need help using databases?

    Help menus. Many library databases provide a link to help menus from within the database. Look in the upper right corner of the screen to locate the help link.

    Online tutorials. Online tutorials for many databases are also available. Here are a few of the most helpful of these:

    ProQuest LibGuides. Access product information and support.
    Intro to Ebscohost. Other EBSCOhost tutorials are available at the EBSCOhost support site.

    Individualized Tutorials. For personalized assistance on the use of databases, stop by or call the library at 262-646-6535, or send email to

  • I am a Nashotah House alum, may I access library databases?

    Once a student is no longer enrolled, access to databases must end per our license agreements with database vendors. However, the library has made a special purchase of the ATLAS for Alum database, a sub-set of the ATLAS database containing the full-text of articles from 250+ core journals in theology.

    To access this database, alumni must send an email request for a user name and password to, who will verify alumni status and respond by email with the URL of the ATLAS for Alum database and with the login credentials necessary to access it.

  • Who can access databases?

    On the library's public access terminals, databases are available to all students, faculty, and guest users.

    On personal computer equipment in or outside the library, only students and faculty may access databases.

Catalog Questions

  • How do I access my library account?

    Go to HouseCat and click on “sign in.” Enter your barcode number (your Nashotah House ID Number) and password. Once logged-in, the Sign-in button will display your name. From the drop down by your name click on “My Account". Note: This password is different from the password used to remotely access the library's ebooks and databases.

  • How do I renew a book online?

    Go to HouseCat and click on “sign in.” Enter your barcode number (your Nashotah House ID Number) and password. Once logged-in, the Sign-in button will display your name. From the drop down by your name click on “My Account". A list of items checked out to you will appear along with their due dates. To renew an item, click on its renew button.

  • How do I discover what my professor has on reserve for my class?

    Go to the HouseCat reserve page. Enter a search term such as the instructor's name or a key word in the course title. Click on the link for the course to display items being held on reserve for that class.

Service Questions

  • For how long may I check out a book?

    Most books at the Frances Donaldson Library may be borrowed for the length of the term by faculty, staff, and seminarians in residence at Nashotah House. Non-residential seminarians may check out books for 8 weeks. Other materials (compact discs, audio-cassette recordings, videocassettes, and DVD's) circulate for 7 days. Periodicals do not circulate.

  • How do I print a document in the library?

    All of the library's computer workstations will print to the library copy machine. Users must enter the number on the back of their ID in the first box of the printing dialog box (leaving the second box blank) each time they print a document.

    In addition, Library staff can configure your personal, Windows laptop to print remotely to the library's copier. Be aware that configuring a personal laptop takes time, so it is best to schedule this activity by appointment (speak to the staff or email to schedule an appointment).

  • How do I get access to the Library Archives and Rare Books room?

    The Archives and Rare Books room may be used by our patrons. However, it is kept locked, and patrons must be admitted to the room by a member of the library staff. Questions relating to the library’s rare book collections and the archival collections should be directed to

  • How do I obtain books and journal articles that are not in the Nashotah House Library collection?

    Interlibrary Loan Service is available to all students, faculty, and guest card holders. The library has arrangements with regional, state-wide, and national library organizations to provide interlibrary loan service. Most loans are arranged through the OCLC system. In turn, the Library lends materials to libraries throughout the United States. Nashotah House library does not charge a fee for this service; however, if the lending library charges a fee, it will be passed on to the borrower. Request forms are available at the main entrance to the library, or an email requesting the loan can be sent to

  • Does the library provide reference service or library instruction?

    The library staff is available to assist patrons during normal business hours; however, the staff seeks to train seminarians to be independent information seekers and evaluators. To this end, all seminarians receive an initial library orientation, so that they may begin developing skill in seeking and evaluating theological information. Course-related instruction and tutorial sessions are also available to further enhance the seminarian’s information-seeking skills. Complex reference questions should be directed to

  • Is help available for writing research papers?

    The library staff may provide short answers to basic writing questions; however, the House's Writing Center will be able to provide sustained assistance in improving writing skills.

    Helpful Documents:

    For more information, call the library at 262-646-6536 or send an email to

  • How do I make photocopies or scan in the library?

    The library copier is capable of copying and scanning to email. Copy charges are 7 cents for black and white and 17 cents for color; scans to email are free. Students will be billed by the business office for their copier use, but guest users should pay library staff directly.

  • May I use the library at Nashotah House if I am not a student?

    Guests are warmly welcomed in the library. Those who wish to obtain borrowing privileges may apply for a guest card by filling out an application form and paying an annual fee of $15. Guest card holders are permitted to use all of our database services while in the building, to check out books, and to use our interlibrary loan services. However, license agreements prevent us from offering guests off-campus access to databases. Currently enrolled students at Wisconsin institutions of higher learning and ATS-accredited theological schools may borrow materials from the library by showing their current student ID and filling out required forms during the library's regular hours.

  • Does the library accept donations?

    Gift books are welcome, but with the understanding that they may not be added to the collection. At the discretion of the staff, donated books may be added to the collection, given to seminarians, sent to other libraries, or sold. Donors are asked to sign a document stating their acceptance of the library's gift book policy. Donations can be made anytime during regular business hours although large donations should be brought to the library only after giving warning to the staff by phone 262-646-6535 or via email to

  • I have an old book that I think may be valuable. Can the library staff tell me what it may be worth?

    The library does not provide valuation services.

Distance Learning Questions

(The services and policies explained in this section apply only to students who are currently enrolled in Nashotah House Distance Learning courses.)

It is our policy to provide those who are enrolled in Nashotah House distance learning courses all of the rights and privileges usually accorded to on-campus seminarians of the House. The Library will make all reasonable accommodations to overcome the obstacles presented by distance. Nevertheless, we encourage distance learners to form appropriate relationships with public libraries and with college or university libraries in their own area in order to have convenient access to essential reference materials and in order to obtain other materials without the lag of shipping times. Many college and university libraries allow local residents to purchase a library membership for a modest fee. Most distance learners will find that using the services of the Nashotah House library in conjunction with the library resources in their local area will result in the best and fastest access to needed materials.

  • How do I check out books from the Nashotah House Library?

    Use the HouseCat Catalog to identify books in the Library’s collections and submit requests for those items. Before requesting a book, be sure to check local libraries to save you the time it takes to deliver the book by mail and to avoid shipping expenses. Students assume responsibility for the return postage and for returning the book on time and in good condition. The loan period is 8 weeks to allow for time in transit.

  • How can I access the Nashotah House Library’s databases?

    The Nashotah House Library offers an array of general and subject-oriented databases, some providing full text. In particular, the Library offers the ATLAS database which includes full-text articles for many-core theological journals, the Ebrary Religion and Philosophy Collection, which contains the full text of 16,000 recently published books, and the ATLA Historical Monographs Collections, which contain over 30,000 volumes published in the field of religion between the 13th century and 1923! These and other databases are accessible to distance learners from off-campus by obtaining a user name and password from the Library. This login information is provided to students during their on-campus intensive, but if you have forgotten your username or password, consult the library’s FAQ page or send an email to the library circulation assistant or call 262-646-6535. Choose a database from among those listed above or from the comprehensive Database List page.

  • How can I get journal articles from the Nashotah House Library?

    Many magazines and journals are available electronically to distance learners. To identify these titles, use the databases as described above. You may also use the HouseCat Catalog to verify that the Library carries the journal you need in hard copy, and submit a request for the item via email: Articles will be faxed, emailed, or mailed. Remember to obtain articles locally whenever possible. Photocopy charges will be billed to the student’s House account at the rate of 7 cents per page.

  • When should I use Interlibrary Loan?

    When the item you need is not listed in the HouseCat Catalog or in the collections of the local libraries to which you have access, you should request it through Interlibrary Loan via the services offered by a local public or another local library at which you have privileges. If no local library offers you this service, you may submit your request to The difficulty with this latter scenario is that the lending library will send the book or journal article to the Nashotah House library, and the library staff will need to re-mail it to you: this results, of course, in an additional delivery delay.

  • Who can I contact for further help with an interlibrary loan or document delivery request?

    Feel free to email the circulation assistant or telephone the library at 262-646-6535.