The faculty and students of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary have the widest possible access to library resources needed for teaching, learning, and participation in ongoing scholarly conversation. This abundance is the result of four library commitments: efficient discovery tools, expedited delivery service, targeted acquisitions practices, and preservation priorities.
The library’s two basic search tools (for “books/media” and “articles”) produce accurate results that may be broadened or narrowed to reveal materials at the AMBS Library, online, and in libraries around the world. These search interfaces are user-friendly and accessible to persons with disabilities. Library staff further expand access by maintaining links to full text, digitizing primary sources, and recommending additional titles for database indexing. Carefully-selected specialized search tools are promoted for advanced research.
Search results clearly indicate access options including locations for items in the AMBS Library, reliable connections to online full text, and links to request forms. AMBS librarians collaborate with partner libraries to reduce the delivery times of both physical items and scanned articles by email. They promote projects to make relevant resources freely available online through open access and digitization.
Library purchase decisions are made in the context of multiple options for resource access, the needs of today’s users, and commitments to long-term preservation. Support for the AMBS curriculum is the highest priority, specifically faculty preparation, course readings, and assigned student research. AMBS faculty ordering practices ensure that significant publications in the core disciplines of the seminary are purchased. Materials are intentionally selected to represent the perspectives of minorities and global cultures.
Collection breadth is achieved in collaboration with the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) and other Indiana academic libraries. AMBS acquires specialized materials to expand PALNI’s shared collections. E-resources are purchased at point of use when possible. Advanced faculty and student research is well served by the library’s comprehensive search tools and expedited delivery services.
The AMBS Library preserves print materials to support likely future research. Damaged items are repaired or replaced to serve local needs. To avoid unnecessary duplication, preservation decisions are made in collaboration with the Mennonite Historical Library, PALNI, and other Indiana academic libraries. The library’s special collections are maintained for the purpose of learning from the past through samples of material culture.