The staff at McCain Library recognizes that not all Seminary students are able to be on campus on a regular basis to utilize our library resources and services in person. In an effort to assist students who live a considerable distance from campus or are taking classes at one of the Seminary’s extension sites or through Erskine Online, we have created this guide to distance education resources and services. This guide is designed to help you access both electronic and print resources as well as the staff assistance you may need to support your academic coursework.
McCain Library Online Catalog
Use the Library Catalog to search for books, videos, CDs, etc. in the McCain Library collections. If you discover a book in the collection that you would like to check out for use, you may request that the book be delivered to you through the Library Materials by Mail program. The Library Catalog also allows you to view your patron record to renew items online and more.
The Databases section of the McCain Library website contains links to over 100 general and specialized databases that provide electronic access to indexes, abstracts, full-text journals, and other online content. A few of these databases are available only in the library or on the Erskine campus, but the majority is accessible off-campus, including at your home and work. You may browse the available databases by subject area or alphabetical listing.
Off-campus access to McCain Library’s electronic databases requires a login. For help with this process, see the instructions for off-campus access.
If you need assistance connecting to a database, email the library or call the Reference Desk at (864) 379-4348 or (877) 876-4348 (toll free).
IMPORTANT: You will need an Erskine student ID number in order to access the library’s electronic resources from off-campus. If you are a current student at Erskine and do not have an Erskine student ID number, contact Marissa Nino (864-379-8701) in Student Services for instructions on how to receive your student ID number and card.
McCain Library provides access to the full text of many online journals, magazines, and newspapers through periodical subscriptions and full-text databases. Use the Journal Finder to search (default) or browse (choose the “Titles” tab) for available titles. (NOTE: The Journal Finder also indicates the library’s holdings of journals in print and microfilm format. Copies of articles from the library’s print/microfilm journals, may be requested through the Library Materials by Mail program.) If you need assistance connecting with the full-text content, email the library or call the Reference Desk at (864) 379-4348 or (877) 876-4348 (toll free).
Over 250,000 electronic books (or e-books) are available to Erskine students through McCain Library. The e-book collections are searchable in several places:
- eBooks on EBSCOhost
- Ebrary ebooks
- Many of the library’s ebooks are also accessible through the McCain Library Catalog and the PASCAL Delivers Catalog (shared holdings in academic libraries across SC).
Requesting Books and Journal Articles Owned by McCain Library
BOOKS in McCain Library:
If available for use, McCain Library will send a requested book from the library’s collection to registered Erskine Seminary students through the Library Materials by Mail program. (Use the McCain Library Catalog first to determine if McCain Library owns a particular book.) At your request, the book is checked out in your name and sent to you via postal mail. You are responsible for returning the book to McCain Library in time for it to be received on or before the due date. You also are responsible for the cost of return postage. Overdue fines apply at a rate of $0.10 per day per item. Up to two renewals are permitted. You may log in your library patron account to renew your books online. Alternatively, you may send an email or call the Circulation Desk at (864) 379-8714.
Requesting a book from the McCain Library collection.
JOURNAL ARTICLES in McCain Library:
Articles from journals (and small portions from books) are photocopied or scanned and sent as email attachments, by fax, or by postal mail. Photocopies do not need to be returned to the library. You may use the Journal Finder to see if the library has a particular issue of a journal in its collection.
Request a journal article from the McCain Library collection.
Borrowing Materials Owned by Other Libraries
Erskine’s McCain Library participates in the statewide Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL). One of PASCAL’s programs, PASCAL Delivers, provides a way for any student currently enrolled in one of South Carolina’s colleges or universities to borrow books from any S.C. college or university library.
After checking the McCain Library Catalog to make sure McCain Library does not own a particular book, an Erskine student may use the PASCAL link built into the McCain Library Catalog to see if any other S.C. college or university library owns a copy of the book. If another library does own a copy that is available for use, the student may request online the use of the book from inside the PASCAL Catalog. You may choose to have the book delivered to McCain Library in Due West or any other PASCAL Delivers participating library across the state (for example, a college/university library near your home or where you are taking classes) for you to pick up. Alternatively, you may visit in-person a participating PASCAL library in your area and borrow items directly from that library’s collection as a visiting patron. You will need to present your Erskine ID to do so. The student is then responsible for returning the book either to McCain Library or any other participating PASCAL library on or before the due date. The checkout period for books borrowed through PASCAL Delivers is 6 weeks (with the option for a 3-week renewal).
For more information about PASCAL Delivers, contact the library.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL):
If an Erskine student needs a journal/magazine/newspaper article not owned by McCain Library or a book that is not available through PASCAL Delivers, that student may request the item through a service called Interlibrary Loan. Requested materials are sent to McCain Library, and the library then distributes the materials to you.
To request the use of this service or learn more about it, ask a librarian.
Online Library Research Guides
McCain Library provides general, subject-related, and course-related online guides designed to assist you with your research needs and to instruct you in the use of various library services. The library is continually updating the guides, so continue to check this area of the library website.
Librarians are available to help you identify/locate information sources and consult with you about your research needs. Visit the Ask a Librarian page to connect with a librarian by email, online chat, phone, or text message.
Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements with Other Libraries
McCain Library participates in several reciprocal borrowing programs. As a registered Erskine student, you may be able to borrow items in person from libraries in your local area. For libraries that make their collections available to Erskine students, you will need to present your Erskine student ID in order to check out items. If you are a current student at Erskine and do not have an Erskine student ID, contact Marissa Nino (864-379-8701) in Student Services for instructions on how to receive your student ID number and card.
For more information about the use of other libraries, contact McCain Library.
PASCAL Delivers (SC statewide cooperative library borrowing):
Atlanta Theological Association Borrowing Agreement:
Through the Atlanta Thelogical Association, McCain Library has a formal agreement with the libraries of the Candler School of Theology (Emory University), Columbia Theological Seminary, the Interdenominational Theological Center (Atlanta University Center), Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and the McAfee School of Theology (Mercer University).
Carolinas Theological Library Consortium Borrowing Agreement:
Through the Carolinas Theological Library Consortium, McCain Library has a formal agreement with over a dozen theological libraries in the greater Charlotte, NC area, including Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary–Charlotte, Reformed Theological Seminary–Charlotte, Union Theological Seminary–Charlotte, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gardner-Webb University, and more.
Other Borrowing Agreements:
McCain Library also has formal agreements with other individual libraries. To learn more or find out if a cooperative agreement exists with a library in your area, contact McCain Library.
Other Services to Distance Learners
Beyond the library, here are some other Erskine services available to distance learners:
Request an Erskine Student ID Card and Number
If you are a current student at Erskine and do not have an Erskine student ID, contact Marissa Nino (864-379-8701) in Student Services for instructions on how to receive your student ID number and card.
Erskine Campus Bookstore
Course textbooks, supplies, and Erskine merchandise are available for purchase from the Erskine Bookstore.
Access Erskine Online course content, online classrooms, syllabi, academic and student support services, policies, and more.
Erskine Online inquiries: 864-379-6588