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AMBS Library Resource Access Policy

Reference Collection

Reference books summarize information in an easy-to-find format and point to additional sources. Primary Bible commentaries and other key texts are shelved in the Reference Collection to assure availability. While most general information questions can be answered with a web search, the library selectively purchases specialized reference books in the subject areas covered in the curriculum. Online editions are purchased to expand access. Faculty are encouraged to use reference articles as basic course readings and to recommend them as an introductory overviews to a specific topic.

Children’s Collection

This selection of excellent children’s literature encourages growth in Christian faith and appreciation for the distinctive values of the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition. The primary audience is adults who select items from the collection for examination and use with children. The collection is not intended to be a substitute for local public and school libraries. Highly recommended books on these topics may be added:

  • Bible story books, books about the biblical world, and Bible study.
  • Books that may be used with children for worship and instruction.
  • Children’s books about peace and conflict resolution.
  • Children's books about church history, especially the history of Mennonites, and other peace church traditions 
  • Books that address social issues from a child's perspective such as death, divorce, illness, dealing with diversity, and understanding other cultures.
  • Curriculum samples for children and youth may be kept in the Children’s Collection area. Curriculum is kept at the request of faculty to be used for teaching Christian formation courses. Curriculum samples are not cataloged or circulated.

Special Collections

Old, fragile, and rare books are shelved in the Special Collections Room to reduce the risk of damage from handling. Some volumes were originally in the historical library of the Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Chicago. Older volumes from the Studer Bible Collection and the Hartzler Collection are shelved separately in this room. The remaining items were acquired by the library primarily between 1960 and 1990, mostly through donations. 
The library does not ordinarily purchase rare books. Donations to the collection are considered in consultation with the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen College. Preference is given to volumes that contribute to the mission of AMBS, typically by illustrating the history of theological scholarship and the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition.

Studer Bible Collection

The Studer Bible Collection consists primarily of books donated to the AMBS Library by Gerald Studer, a Mennonite pastor from southeastern Pennsylvania. It includes Bibles and portions of the Bible in various versions, translations, and editions, as well as commentaries and books about the Bible. Between 1971 and 2005, Gerald Studer contributed books to the library. He died in 2013.  
Rare, unusual, and fragile volumes are kept in the Special Collections Room. Other cataloged books are in the lower level storage room and are retrieved upon request. Uncatalogued non-English Bibles are arranged by language in the lower level. 
By prior agreement with the donor, books from the Studer collection may be added to the library’s circulating collection for the convenience of library patrons. The agreements regarding care of the collection that were made between Gerald Studer and Goshen Biblical Seminary/AMBS are filed in the library director’s office.