Monday, October 18, 2010

Theological Libraries Month: SCATLA

The last two weeks I have mentioned the benefits of our membership in the American Theological Library Association. But the Darling Library is also involved at the local level. In fact, it just so happens that my tenure as President of the Southern California chapter of the ATLA (SCATLA) comes to an end this week as I turn over the reins to my colleague Tony Amodeo at Loyola Marymount University (pictured here with Sheryl Stahl of Hebrew Union College, both in Los Angeles.)

SCATLA "promotes and supports cooperative effort among theological libraries to reduce the duplication of services and resources." This membership allows us to share resources with 24 other theological libraries from as far north as St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo to Bethel Seminary 175 miles south of them in San Diego. Our shared values of cooperation and stewardship allow diverse institutions – such as Hebrew Union College, International Theological Seminary, and World Mission University that are within three miles of each other – to not only coexist, but work together.

To get some idea of the uniqueness of our collections, I asked my SCATLA friends for help. Four SCATLA libraries use Link+ which enables overlap analysis of its member libraries. According to the most recent statistics (January 2010), nearly 14% of their collective holdings are held by only one of these four libraries: Azusa Pacific, Biola, Loyola Marymount, and Point Loma Nazarene.

Liz Leahy of APU says, "On a very unofficial basis, I’d say that while we do have some overlap, I haven’t found it consistently. For instance, as both Point Loma and APU have collections in Wesleyan-Holiness studies we have some overlap but this overlap isn’t generally found with other schools (but we might overlap in other areas). I’d be surprised if after allowing that a core collection of commentaries and dictionaries would likely overlap significantly, if our secondary literature overlapped quite as much."

SCATLA member libraries agree to allow graduate students in Ministry, Religion, and Theology circulation privileges at member institutions. This means that students from seminaries such as Claremont School of Theology, Fuller Theological, St. John’s Seminary, and The Master’s as well as universities with graduate programs in these areas such as Azusa Pacific and Biola may apply to check books out from our library. And MA students in Ministry programs at Hope may apply to check out books from these and nineteen other SCATLA libraries.

To apply for a SCATLA card, graduate students in Ministry may contact a Darling librarian.
"This card functions as a letter of reference or introduction, and implies that the bearer of the card has been verified and authorized by the home (or sending) institution and has exhausted the resources of the home institution, and is therefore being formally referred to the host (or receiving) institution for additional resources."

Learn more about cooperation among SCATLA libraries.

Find SCATLA member libraries.

No comments: