Frequently Asked Questions

This page serves as official Library policy and is periodically updated to reflect current practice. (Revised 02.15.2017)

What is the mission of the P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library?

Historically, the library was viewed as a place to house collections of largely physical information resources—print books and journals; analog, magnetic, and optical audio and video media; documents on microfilm or fiche. The library’s primary mission was to collect, organize, and oversee the preservation of knowledge as a relatively scarce commodity in support of the academic aims of the College. Students and faculty were compelled to come to the library because it was the single point of access for information resources on campus. Spaces for users were also oriented toward interaction with information resources, typically as a solitary activity. Even “casual” spaces, when provided, were not purposed for socializing between library users but were designed for informal interaction with books and magazines.

Today, physical information resources, though still important, comprise only a portion of the library’s collections, which are increasingly virtual in nature—electronic books; journal articles accessed from online databases; audio and video files streamed through media servers. The library is still tasked with collecting, organizing, and facilitating access to information resources, including those pertaining to the College. But knowledge is no longer scarce. If anything, the problem is now one of over-abundance. The library is no longer a single point of access. A web browser opens many points of access to information resources from numerous sources. These resources are increasingly disassociated from the library as a physical location. A student or professor can just as easily access library or Internet information resources on a computer from home, or on a smartphone from a coffee shop across town—or another part of the world. Coming to the library is now a choice, not a compulsion. Support of the academic aims of the College remains primary to its mission, but the shape of the library’s handling of resources, use of space, and relationship with its users will continue to change.

In light of this, the P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library will:

  • Provide students and faculty with the best available information resources, in physical and virtual formats, oriented toward use, and selected for appropriateness to the curriculum of Milligan College
  • Facilitate trouble-free access to information resources through electronic and physical delivery services (including, but not limited to, on-campus and remote access to library resources from its website, resource discovery tools, interlibrary loan, and distance education book and media lending)
  • Promote a user-centric service attitude by being aware of and responsive to users’ information needs and information seeking behaviors
  • Instruct users in efficient searching, effective evaluation, and appropriate use of information resources
  • Show leadership in making users aware of new resources and emerging information technologies
  • Actively seek opportunities to collaborate with faculty in teaching and with students in learning
  • Design flexible and adaptable individual and group spaces that facilitate teaching and learning, cultural engagement, casual refreshment, and social interaction
  • Collect, organize, and make available the documentary history and research activities of Milligan College

Approved for adoption by the Library Staff 02.04.2011

Who is P.H. Welshimer?

Pearl Howard (“P.H.”) Welshimer (April 6, 1873-August 16, 1957) was a Restoration Movement leader and the long-time minister of the First Christian Church of Canton, Ohio (1902-1957). The three-floor library building that bears his name was first occupied in November 1961, the gift of the T. W. Phillips, Jr. Charitable Trust and the Phillips family of Butler, Pennsylvania, after an initial gift by the Kresge Foundation of Detroit, Michigan.

What are the Library’s hours?

Welshimer Library

Regular Hours (Fall and Spring Semester)Hours
Monday – Thursday 8:00 AM – Midnight
Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 2:00 PM – Midnight
Research HelpHours
Monday – Thursday 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Summer SessionHours
Monday – Thursday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM – 12:00 noon
Holidays and BreaksHours
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM*

*Library closes at 5 PM the day before break begins and opens 6 PM – 12 midnight the evening before classes resume.

Seminary Library

Regular Semester HoursHours
Monday 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM – 10:55 AM & 11:55 AM – 10:00 PM*
Wednesday 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM – 10:55 AM & 11:55 AM – 10:00 PM*
Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Summer SessionHours
Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM

*The Seminary library is closed for chapel on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:55AM – 11:55AM.

Does the Library have computers, wireless access, printers, photocopiers, scanners, etc. for use?
6 workstation PCs and 1 catalog PC on the 1st Floor, 3 workstation PC on the 2nd Floor, 2 workstation PCs, and LCD projector (Hopwood Room) on the Basement Floor are available for in-library use by Milligan College faculty, students, staff and authorized guests. Login required. All computers are connected to the Milligan College network.
10 laptop computers with adapters are available for in-library use only by Milligan College faculty, students and staff. Checkout from the Circulation Desk using your Milligan ID card. Login required. Laptops are preconfigured to connect to the Milligan College wireless network.
Wireless Access
Milligan College faculty, students, staff and authorized guests with personal laptop computers or mobile wireless devices can access the wireless network from any floor in the library. Ask a library staff member for assistance with connecting to the wireless network.
A networked printer is available on each floor in the library. Preconfigured printer drivers are installed on all library computers. Ask a library staff member for assistance with printing from a personal computer.
A copier is located on the 1st Floor near the Circulation Desk. A second copier is located near the foot of the main stairwell on the Basement Floor. Color copying is not available on these machines. Please respect laws regarding copyright.
Document Scanners
The above photocopiers are equipped with scanning functionality. Milligan College faculty, students and staff may scan documents at no charge to their Milligan College email account, attached as PDF files. Instructions for operating the scanner function are affixed to each photocopier. Please respect laws regarding copyright.

NOTICE: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using the equipment is liable for any infringement. That being said, under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

I have a mobility disability or injury. What services are available to me within the Library building?

The P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library building is an older facility that currently is not equipped with front door access or an elevator. Nevertheless, efforts have been made to accommodate persons with mobility disabilities or injuries. A marked disability parking space is provided in the parking area at the rear of the building adjoining ground level access to the building via a door with automatic opener. A door bell is provided to signal for library staff assistance, or key-pad access can be secured from library staff in consultation with the Office of Disability Services. The Basement Floor is a spacious, well-lit study area with tables, wireless network access, 2 computer stations and networked printer, and photocopier/scanner. Immediate assistance from library staff, including help with research or securing physical information resources is available from the call box located adjacent to the computer stations. A disability access restroom is also provided on this floor.

Is food and drink allowed in the Library?

Yes. We just ask that you clean up after yourself. Coffee, tea, and soda are available for purchase in the Coat Closet Cafe on the Main Floor.

Are there designated loud places and quiet spaces in the Library?

There is a formal “Quiet Zone” located at the rear of the Second Floor stacks. Otherwise, there are quieter and louder places located throughout the library depending on user need or preference (individual users tend to prefer quiet; while groups congregating for study or socializing appreciate being able to converse normally). We simply encourage users to be respectful of others at all times. Please talk with a library staff member if you have a question or concern.

Does the Library have group/study rooms? Can I reserve one?

Yes, the library has 4 group/study rooms on the Second Floor, the Welshimer Room on the Main Floor, and the Hopwood Room on the Basement Floor. These rooms are also equipped with white boards.

Persons affiliated with Milligan College can reserve group/study rooms for up to 4 hours at a time using the Group Room Reservation webform. Please give 24 hours advanced notice on all room reservations.

I have a research assignment and don’t know where to start. Can somebody help me?

Library staff is available during most of the hours that the library is open to assist with research. You can also chat with a librarian online using the Live Chat accessible from any page on the library website. For in-depth research assistance, contact Mary Jackson, mjackson @ or 423.461.8697 to schedule an appointment.

How do I find out what books, journals, DVDs, etc. are in the Library?

The entire collection is searchable via the library catalog, which is available on- or off-campus from the library website. Select the “Milligan & Libraries Worldwide” link from the “Catalogs” drop-down menu. You can search by Keyword, Author, Title, etc. Library holdings also display in MCSearch search results, complete with location and availability information. This is useful for discovering book and media resources available in the library relevant to your research.

An item with a status “Available” in the Catalog should be available for check out from the shelves. The Milligan College Library uses the Library of Congress Classification, an alphanumeric system of Call Numbers composed of letters and numbers to organize items and aid in location. Write down the complete Call Number for the item from the Catalog then browse to the item’s physical location to find the match.

Books with call numbers starting A through L are located on the Second Floor. Books with call numbers starting M through Z, and all Juvenile books, are located in the Basement.
If a book’s format is “ebook” or, there is no call number listed, the book is only available online. Click the link that says, “View Ebook” or “ebook fulltext” to access the title. If you are off-campus, you will need to verify that you are affiliated with Milligan College. Please contact the library staff if you have any questions about accessing e-books.
DVDs are located in the large room off of the Reference Area on the First Floor.
Periodicals—Journals, Magazines and Newspapers
Most of our periodical holdings are online. To search for a specific periodical holding, go to the library homepage, click on “Journal Titles,” or “Resource Title Finder” from the “Resources” drop-down menu from any page on the library website, and type the journal title in the search box. If the library provides access to the journal, you will see holdings information and/or a link to access content. If you are off-campus, you will need to verify that you are affiliated with Milligan College. If the title is in the library’s print periodical collection, it will be located in the Basement. Print periodicals are non-circulating. However, you may scan or make photocopies of needed articles (please respect laws regarding copyright). Current issues of Johnson City Press are located on the Main Floor. Online databases are the best way to access our periodical holdings. A library staff member can also help you with selecting and using online databases.

Ask a library staff member for directions to “special collection” items such as CDs, music scores, graduate theses, or the Milligan College Archives.

What do I need to borrow items from the Library?

Milligan College faculty, students and staff must present a valid Milligan College ID card to check out library materials.

Emmanuel Christian Seminary faculty and students should present a valid Emmanuel Christian Seminary ID, which will serve as the Milligan College library card once staff create an account.

Milligan College alumni can also have borrowing privileges.

If you are not a current Milligan College student, faculty or staff, you can become a community borrower. See more information here.

If you are a Milligan College distance or online education student, you can request items from the library’s Lending Collection using this webform. Please also read the library’s complete policy for lending to distance or online education students by downloading this document.

How do I use Library resources off-campus? What do I do if I’m having trouble getting access?

The library provides an array of electronic resources that can be accessed anytime from our website, both on- and off-campus. Due to licensing restrictions, use of these resources is limited to current Milligan College faculty, students, and staff. When attempting to access resources off-campus, you will be prompted to verify (authenticate) your current affiliation. When you see the login screen or you are presented with a login link:

  1. Type the username and password of your Milligan College network/email account into the corresponding textboxes.
  2. Click Log In. You will only need to login once in a single session, even if you access multiple resources.

If you are having trouble accessing a resource off-campus, first make sure that you have entered the above login information correctly. Also, you will be prevented from accessing library resources off-campus if your account is blocked or expired. Occasionally, difficulty accessing library resources can be caused by network or server issues. If you are still having trouble, contact a library staff member using one of the methods listed on the library website for assistance.

What is MCSearch?

Launched in Fall 2011, MCSearch is a tool that functions like a web search engine (such as Google) applied to the library’s electronic information resources and catalog holdings. An MCSearch search box has been placed prominently on the homepage of the library website. It can also be accessed from the “MCSearch” link in the “Resources” drop-down menu. MCSearch is designed to make the task of searching for relevant research information resources more efficient by eliminating the necessity of applying repetitive searches to each of the library’s many databases individually. MCSearch is not necessarily a replacement for subject-focused database searching. However, because it searches across many databases at once, MCSearch can bring to the surface many resources that may have been missed when searching in more narrowly focused resources. A library staff member can help you get the greatest benefit out of MCSearch.

How can I read ebooks offline or from a mobile device?

Many titles in the library’s substantial e-book collection are available to be downloaded for offline reading on your computer or mobile device (smartphone, tablet, or e-reader). Detailed instructions for downloading and reading e-books on your computer are available here. Detailed instructions for transferring e-books from your computer for reading on your mobile device are available here.

How long can I check out Library items?

Milligan College students and staff, alumni and Emmanuel Christian Seminary students can check out books for 30 days (bestsellers for 14 days); DVDs and CDs for 7 days. Items can be renewed once if they are not on hold for other users, or billed (more than 35 days overdue). Alumni may check out up to 20 items at one time and 10 DVDs at one time, with the same lending periods as above.

Milligan College faculty can check out lending books for one calendar year, and bestsellers, CDs, and DVDs for 14 days. Items can be renewed once if they are not on hold for other users, or billed (more than 65 days overdue).

Community borrowers can check out books for 30 days, with a limit of 20 books. Books may be renewed once if they are not on hold for other users, or billed (more than 25 days overdue). Community borrowers may not check out DVDs or CDs.

Where do I return Library items?

When the library is open, please return items of any type to the Circulation Desk. When the library is closed, place items in the Book Return slot at the front of the library, to the left of the front doors.

How can I get an item that is currently checked out?

Place a hold on a checked-out item via the library catalog. Locate the item in the catalog and click “Place Hold” button to the right of the Milligan holdings information. Fill in your username and password, choose your pickup location, then click the “Submit” button. When the item is returned the library will contact you via email, and you may check out the item at the Circulation Desk using your Milligan College ID card. If you have any trouble placing a hold, please contact the library.

Can you tell me who has an item that is currently checked out?

No. Librarians take patron privacy very seriously. Library records of patrons are private. Library staff cannot tell you who is using, or has used, a library item. Tennessee Code statutes 10-8-102 and 10-8-102(a) exempt library records identifying patrons from the Tennessee Public Records Act. Library staff cannot disclose who is using or has used a library item, or who has requested information on a particular topic, except to a person inquiring about their own record, or law enforcement officers with warrants for specific information.

How can I get an item that the Milligan Libraries do not have available?

Milligan College students, faculty, and staff may borrow materials from other libraries through interlibrary loan (ILL). Search for books and media (CDs, DVDs, etc.) through WorldCat. Once you have found the item you would like to request, click the blue “Request Item” button. Fill out the form with your name, ID barcode, Milligan College email address, and preferred pickup location. Library staff will process and submit your request. You will receive an email when the item arrives, and you can pick the item up from the Circulation Desk at either the Seminary or Welshimer Library. Library workers will deliver faculty and staff ILLs to the staff/departmental mailboxes in Derthick Hall during academic semesters.

The library will gladly fill interlibrary loan requests for items in its holdings that are unavailable for check out because they are billed, missing, lost and paid, claims returned, or in repair. See a staff member for assistance.

You can request journal articles via interlibrary loan using the Journal Article Request Form available on the library website. You can also click the “Request this item through interlibrary loan” link from any citation through MCSearch or in an EBSCOhost database. Before making an article request, please check the Full Text Finder because the library may have immediate access to the full text of the desired item in an online database, or in print. When your request is fully processed you will receive the article in your Milligan College email.

A variety of factors influence the length of time required to fill an interlibrary loan request. Consequently, the library is unable to provide a guaranteed arrival date. Please allow plenty of lead time when requesting items.

In rare instances, libraries assess a charge for lending interlibrary loan items. Milligan Libraries will pay this charge on your behalf. However, before filling the affected request you will be notified by email and asked to confirm your continuing need for the requested item. Once confirmation is received we will process your request immediately.

As of December 1, 2010 Milligan College students may no longer request textbooks or required course texts through interlibrary loan.

Books and media borrowed through interlibrary loan include a label or strap with the due date of the item. Do not remove this label or strap, but make note of the posted due date. Return interlibrary loan items to the Welshimer or Seminary Library Circulation Desk on or before this due date.

Milligan College Library reserves the right to block the library account of any user with interlibrary loans that are more than 14 days overdue or that have been recalled by the lending library. You will be notified via email if an item has been recalled. Interlibrary loan items may be renewed at the lending library’s discretion provided they are not overdue or recalled. Please contact User Services ( ; 423-461-8495 – Welshimer; 423-461-1540 – Seminary) to request a renewal.

Loss of or damage to an interlibrary loan item will result in a $20.00 replacement/processing charge per item in addition to any fees charged by the lending library.

If Milligan College Library is invoiced for an overdue interlibrary loan item, the library will forward the invoice to you for payment. If the item is not returned to the library within seven days, Milligan College Library will pay the invoice and you will be charged the amount owed plus a $20.00 processing fee.

Any questions or concerns should be directed to the User Services Librarian at Welshimer Library (423-461-8495) or the User and Technical Services Coordinator at the Seminary Library (423-461-1540).

A local library has an item I want. Can I get borrowing privileges at that library?

Milligan College has formal borrowing agreements with the library at Emmanuel Christian Seminary (ECS), and Sherrod Library at East Tennessee State University (ETSU).

To obtain borrowing privileges at ECS, present your Milligan College ID to a member of ECS library staff and fill out a brief form. The Milligan College Library does not act as an intermediary between Milligan College patrons and ECS. You are responsible for abiding by ECS’s policies, and returning all items directly to the ECS library in a timely manner.

To obtain borrowing privileges at ETSU, a member of Milligan College Library staff must sign a Library Responsibility Form, which you fill out and present at the circulation desk at Sherrod Library. Forms are available from a library staff member during research desk hours. The Milligan College Library does not act as an intermediary between Milligan College patrons and ETSU. You are responsible for abiding by ETSU’s policies, and returning all items directly to the Sherrod Library in a timely manner.

Milligan College does not have reciprocal agreements with any area public libraries. If you are interested in borrowing privileges at a local library, please contact that library directly.

What are the fines for overdue items? What happens if I fail to return an item checked out in my name?

The library sends automated email notices when items are overdue but does not charge daily fines for overdue items. An item is billed when it is 25 days overdue for community/alumni borrowers, 35 days overdue for staff/students, or 65 days overdue for faculty. You will be charged the library’s cost of replacing the non-returned item plus a $20.00 processing fee per item. Your library account will also be blocked.

Students will have charges added to their student account. All other patrons will receive an invoice by mail. Your account will be blocked until all billed items are returned and/or charges paid. Students may settle their accounts in the Milligan College Business Office. All other patrons may settle their accounts at the library during regular business hours.

If you return a billed item, the User Services Librarian will remove the charge from your student account and/or rescind the invoice. If you have already paid the charge, Milligan College will issue a full refund minus the $20.00 per-item processing fee.

Outstanding library charges, as with any other unresolved student fees, may prevent you from graduating, registering, transferring, receiving transcripts, withdrawing, or transferring credits to another institution.

What happens if an item checked out in my name is lost or damaged?

All items checked out to you are your responsibility until returned. If an item is lost or damaged, you will be charged the library’s cost of replacing the item plus a $20.00 processing fee per item. Students will have charges added to their student account. All other patrons will receive an invoice by mail. Your library account will be blocked until charges are paid.

Outstanding library charges, as with any other unresolved student fees, may prevent you from graduating, registering, transferring, receiving transcripts, withdrawing, or transferring credits to another institution.

I am a Milligan College student in a graduate program. What do I have to do to submit my thesis to the Library?

As of May 1, 2013 the library enters electronic copies of all completed graduate student theses into its permanent collection. Before submitting your thesis to the library for scanning, download and complete the Graduate Thesis Library Submission Form (available here). Follow the instructions on the form closely. The library cannot accept your thesis without this form. For more information, please contact Lindsay Kenderes at lrkenderes @ or 423.461.8901.

Students interested in bound printed copies of their thesis can contact HF Group (not affiliated with Milligan College) regarding their “Thesis On Demand” bindery service.

How can I find out more about the history of Milligan College?

Lindsay Kenderes is the Milligan College Archivist. She would be happy to help answer your questions and provide access to the Archives. Contact Lindsay at lrkenderes @ or 423.461.8902. You can also visit the Milligan College Archive online here.

How do I access the College Archives?

Milligan College Bulletins, Catalogs, Yearbooks and Stampedes are available online here.

The College Archives is located on the Ground Floor of the P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library and is available by appointment only. Please contact the College Archivist, Lindsay Kenderes, by phone (423.461.8901) or email lrkenderes @ to arrange a meeting.

Archive Hours

Monday 8am-5pm
*Tuesday 1-5pm
Wednesday 8am-5pm
Thursday 8am-5pm
Friday 8am-5pm
Saturday CLOSED
I have a question not answered above. Who do I contact?

Visit the Library Staff page for specific contact information. General contact information, including our Live Chat service is accessible from any page on the library website.