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Patrick Miller to address role of theological libraries as part of Theological Libraries Month

by Louisville Seminary | Oct 22, 2010
In recognition of Theological Libraries Month, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will host Old Testament scholar Patrick D. Miller, who will remark on the role of theological libraries in his life as a scholar, teacher, author, and minster.

The public is invited to meet with Dr. Miller at Louisville Seminary’s Ernest Miller White Library on October 29, 2010, at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served.

Miller is the Charles T. Haley Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. He is coeditor of the Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching and the Westminster Bible Companion series and served for twenty years as editor of Theology Today, which is published by Westminster John Knox Press. Miller also is the author of numerous books that are widely read in academic, pastoral, and theological studies, including The Ten Commandments (2009), The Way of the Lord: Essays in Old Testament Theology (2007), Theology Today: Reflections on the Bible And Contemporary Life (2006), The God You Have: Politics and the First Commandment (2004), They Cried to the Lord (1994), and Interpreting the Psalms (1986).

Launched in 2006 by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA), Theological Libraries Month provides an opportunity to highlight the vital role libraries play in theological education. As a participant in this national emphasis over the past several years, the Ernest Miller White Library has hosted a variety of events, displays, and educational presentations to foster greater awareness of the Library’s resources. This year’s celebration also invites patrons to check out one of its newest “books”—LITS Facebook—to become friends of the Library and offer suggestions. Patrons and friends can also receive LPTSLibrary ”tweets.”

Ernest Miller White LibraryThe steadily growing collections of the Ernest Miller White Library include more than 175,000 bound volumes, almost 12,000 microforms, and around 7,000 audio-visual resources. The library also subscribes to around 600 current periodicals and provides access to a large and increasing number of electronic resources.

“One of the library’s most valuable resources is its talented and service-oriented staff, whose mission is not only to collect and organize this wealth of information but also to help students and others learn how to search intelligently and strategically for the information they need, evaluate that information critically, and use it effectively and ethically,” states Dr. Douglas Gragg, who has served as the director of Library and Information Technology Services since 2005.

The wide range of resources available at the library is easily accessed using the online catalog, “Morgan.” This catalog also includes the holdings of the library at nearby Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, allowing one to search the holdings of both libraries simultaneously. Students have borrowing privileges at both libraries. In recent months, a new “discovery” interface has been added—dubbed “Morgan-Plus”—that greatly enhances patrons’ ability to search multiple databases and refine their results.

In addition to “Morgan,” the library provides access to major electronic tools for research in theology and related subjects, including the ATLA Religion Database, the Family and Society Studies Worldwide Database, Old Testament Abstracts, New Testament Abstracts, the Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts, the works of John Calvin on CD-ROM, the Digital Karl Barth Library, and BibleWorks, among many more databases available on the Internet.

The library participates actively in cooperative programs with other libraries on local, state, and regional levels so that patrons can use an even wider range of resources. Locally, the Kentuckiana Metroversity consortium gives LPTS students and faculty privileges to borrow from more than four million volumes, housed at ten academic libraries in the Louisville area. Statewide, the Kentucky Virtual Library (KYVL) gives students access to many more electronic databases. Regionally, the Theological Education Association of Mid-America (TEAM-A) provides our students and faculty library privileges at four other regional seminaries.

Use of this extensive range of resources is supported by the library’s instructional programs. “These programs enhance the research and study of our students by educating them further about tools that can meet their information needs in seminary and in ministry,” says Gragg. “Course-related instruction, instruction in the use of information technology, and database training are designed to help students become increasingly confident and competent managers of information in our technological age.”

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