Gann Library FAQ


Borrowing Materials

Course Reserves

The Library Catalogs


Off-campus Access

Library Services for Hebrew College Online (HCO) Students

Hours and Directions

Where is Hebrew College?
Hebrew College is at 160 Herrick Road in Newton Centre, Mass.

Once on campus, where can I find the Gann Library?
Library users will need to be buzzed into the building at the main entrance and then walk through the building to the library. Click here for directions to the Hebrew College campus and parking information. 

When is the Gann Library open?
Please consult the Hours page.


Borrowing Materials

How do I get a library membership card?
Faculty, students and staff may use their Hebrew College ID card as a library membership card. Students and faculty at Boston Theological Institute member schools may borrow with a BTI card. Others may purchase a library membership card at the circulation desk or with the application form (pdf). For more information about library membership, please consult the Library Membership page.

Who may borrow materials from the library?
Hebrew College students, faculty and staff, as well as those of Northeastern University, Andover Newton Theological School and the Boston Theological Institute may borrow materials. Borrowing privileges are also extended to all Gann Library members. See the Library Membership page for more details.

Can a member's partner or children borrow materials from the library?
If you have a family membership, up to two adults and all dependents living with you may borrow materials.

For what period of time do books and journals circulate?
Most books circulate for one month or longer, depending on the borrower status. Journals do not circulate.

For what period of time do videos/DVDs and audios circulate?
The loan period for videocassettes and DVDs is one week for all borrowers, with no renewals. The loan period for audios (CDs and tape cassettes) is one month or longer, depending on the borrower status. Audio items can be renewed upon request, provided there is no hold on the item.

How do I renew books and audios?
You may request a renewal at the library in person, by phone (617-559-8750), or via email. Library members and Hebrew College students may request up to two renewals per item, provided there is no hold on the item. Prozdor students are allowed one renewal, provided there is no hold on the item requested. Overdue fines will be charged for any days following the first due date and the day the renewal is granted.

May journals or newspapers be borrowed?
Neither journals nor newspapers circulate.

How many items can I keep out at any one time?

  • Hebrew College students and staff, as well as library members, may borrow up to 30 books, five videos and five audios at one time.
  • Faculty members may borrow up to 50 books, five videos and five audios at one time.
  • Prozdor students may borrow up to 10 books, five videos and five audios at one time.
  • Consortia or academic exchange borrowers may borrow up to 10 books, three videos and three audios at one time.

How can I get an item that someone else has checked out?
If the item you wish to borrow is in circulation, you may place a hold on that item by contacting the library (617-559-8750). You will be notified when the item is returned. If the item is overdue or needed for class reserves, the library will recall it.

How many simultaneous holds or recall requests may I place?
Library members and Hebrew College students may place up to three simultaneous holds or recall requests for books and audios and one hold or recall request for a video. Prozdor students may place one hold or recall request for books and audios and one hold or recall request for a video. Hebrew College staff and faculty may place up to 10 simultaneous hold or recall requests for books and audios and one hold or recall request for a video.

How can I return items to the library when it is closed?
When the college is open, you can return books using the book drop box in the library lobby.

What happens if I return borrowed materials after their due date?
Due to the nature of our specialized collections, fines are imposed for past-due items.

  • Most items: 25 cents per day, per item.
  • Reserve books, videos and DVDs: $2 per day, per item.
  • Recalled items: $1 per day, per item.
  • Interlibrary loan (ILL) materials: $1 per day, per item.

Fines more than $25 will be charged at a rate of $25 plus 25 percent of the remaining fine. Borrowing privileges are suspended when outstanding fines reach $10.

What happens if I damage or lose a book or my library card?
Borrowers of lost or irreparably damaged materials may replace the item with a new and identical item or pay the replacement value as determined by the library. In addition, there will be a nonrefundable processing charge of $25 per item. Library membership cards may be replaced for a fee of $3.

Can I borrow materials from other libraries with my Hebrew College ID?
Hebrew College faculty, students and staff may also borrow materials from the libraries of the Boston Theological Institute, according to the policies of each library.


Course Reserves

What are reserves? Where are they located?
Faculty members often select books to be reserved for primary use by their students. At the discretion of the instructor, some books on reserve may circulate for brief periods, while some will be designated for library use only. All books on reserve are shelved along with the rest of the library's collection in call number order.

You may search the online catalog for course reserve material. To check course reserves select "Reserves" from the menu at the top of the search screen. Click "Course Reserve," then click "Browse" from the menu at the top of the screen. Choose an index from the drop-down list (including course name, instructor, title, author, etc.)

On the shelves, reserve books will stand out because each one is marked with a sticker on its spine.

If you have any questions or difficulty finding items on reserve, please ask for assistance at the circulation desk.


The Library Catalogs

How do I use the online catalog?
The online catalog can be accessed and searched in English and Hebrew in the library and via the Internet. The online catalog includes records for all items acquired or catalogued since July 1999 as well as a growing number of pre-1999 items. For help in searching the catalogs, please visit the library's circulation desk or call 617-559-8750. If the library is closed or you are working from home, you can get help in using the online catalog by clicking "Help" in the browser window at the top of the catalog search page.

When do I use the card catalogs instead of the online catalog?
If you cannot find an item in the online catalog, please consult the card catalogs. The Gann Library has two card catalogs: one for Hebrew materials and one for English and other languages. The card catalogs have records for all holdings not in the online catalog. For help in searching the card catalogs, please come to the library's circulation desk. Eventually, all materials will be accessible through the online catalog.

Why isn't everything in the online catalog?
Until 1999, all books in the Hebrew College library were organized according to the Freidus classification, a system designed specifically for Judaica collections. To find materials, users had to search separate English and Hebrew card catalogs. In 1999, when we implemented an online catalog, we began to use the Library of Congress classification common to most academic libraries in the United States. All materials acquired since 1999 are in the online catalog. As we change the call numbers of Freidus older materials, we add them to the online catalog, which can be searched in both English and Hebrew.

What if the Gann Library doesn't have what I need?
We will try to obtain the material through interlibrary loan.


Interlibrary Loan

Who may use ILL?

ILL service is available to current students, faculty, staff, and all Gann Library members in good standing. Hebrew College Online students may request articles, but not books, due to the time it takes to ship them; articles can usually be delivered to patrons electronically. We recommend that you attempt to obtain ILL resources from local public and academic libraries.

What type of material can be requested through ILL?

Material can include (but is not limited to) books, articles (including encyclopedia articles), videos and microfilm.

How do I place a request?

Before submitting a request, please check the Hebrew College online catalog as well as the card catalog to confirm that the item is not held here. If you are unable to search the card catalog, you can call the Gann Library directly at 617-559-8750 or email To order material, you must fill out an ILL request form for each item. A patron may request up to five ILL books and 10 ILL articles at one time.

Is there a fee for this service?

While priority is given to borrowing materials from libraries that do not charge, occasionally an extra charge is involved, which is passed on to the patron. Please indicate on the form the maximum you are willing to pay when additional charges become an issue. In addition, be aware that fines are assessed on overdue ILL books, and replacement costs charged when books are lost.

How soon will my material arrive?

All items requested through ILL are processed as quickly as possible; however, the wait time depends on the lending institution's response rate.

How will I know when my material has arrived?

You will be notified by email or by phone. You may then pick the item up at the circulation desk or, if the item is delivered to us electronically, we can transfer it to you electronically as an email attachment.

How long can I keep the material? May I renew it?

Loan periods are generally four weeks, and renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending institution. A slip informing you of the due date will be inserted with each item. If you wish to renew, please contact the library's front desk at 617-559-8750 or

If a book is returned late, are there late fees?

It is very important that material borrowed through ILL is promptly returned so that we have time to return it to the lending institution. If material is not returned on time, an overdue fee of $1 per day, per item, will be charged to all borrowers.

Whom may I contact with questions?

Please contact the library's front desk at 617-559-8750 or



Where can I find photocopiers?
The library has two self-service photocopiers: one on the main floor next to the card catalog and computer workstations, and another behind the library circulation desk.

How much does photocopying cost?
Photocopying is 10 cents per page. You can buy a rechargeable copy card at the circulation desk for easier photocopying. Microfilm images can be copied on our microfiche/film reader-printer for 20 cents per page.


Off-campus Access

How do I use the library's online resources from off campus?
If you are a Hebrew College student, faculty or staff member, use your last name as the login and the number on your Hebrew College ID as the password to use the library's electronic resources from the library webpage. 

Library Services for Hebrew College Online (HCO) Students

What is the library's policy concerning HCO students?
The library will provide, wherever and whenever possible, all regular services and resources to currently enrolled Hebrew College Online students (full- or part-time) by phone, surface mail and email. Students are required to have a current Hebrew College ID card. Contact the registrar if you are a student in need of a Hebrew College ID card.

What materials can I get from the Gann Library?
The library will send you requested items from its collections via surface mail. Since this can be a lengthy process, we highly recommend that you first attempt to obtain resources from your local public and academic libraries. Photocopies of articles from bound journals and newspaper collections may be sent via surface mail or email. The only exceptions to this service are audiovisual materials, which may only be borrowed in person, and reference books and items on reserve for other courses, which may only be used in the library. 

How do I place a request?
Email or call  the library.

Are there any costs involved?
Please note that the library will bill you via email for the cost of postage for all materials sent to you as well as 10 cents per page for photocopying.

Can I use interlibrary loan for other materials?
If you need an article that is not available in our collection, use the Interlibrary Loan Request Form. Unfortunately, we cannot provide books we receive through interlibrary loan for HCO students, solely articles.

How do I return the materials I receive?
You are responsible for returning books at your own expense and in a timely manner that guarantees they will reach us by their due date. You do not need to return photocopied articles. For assistance, contact the circulation desk at 617-559-8750 or by email.

How long can I keep the material? May I renew it?
The loan period for books is four weeks. You may receive a maximum of three loan renewals (one more than allowed on campus), provided there is no hold on the items in question. This procedure is not automatic. You must request your renewal via email or phone one week before the due date. If we send you a book that later is required for course reserve reading before its due date, you will receive a notice by email to return it within one week, regardless of its due date; however, if it is requested by another student or faculty member while it is checked out to you, you may retain it until its due date, at which time no further renewals will be allowed.

How many items can I have on loan?
You may have up to 30 books out on loan at any one time.

What happens if I return borrowed materials after their due date?
Overdue fees for library items are 25 cents per day per item, including days in transit. Borrowing privileges are placed on hold when outstanding fines and mailing fees reach $10.