Pitts Library Use Policies

Pitts Theology Library Building and Resources Use Policy

The Pitts Theology Library is part of the Candler School of Theology and a professional library of Emory University. Its primary focus is to support the teaching, research, and service missions of the School of Theology and the University. Therefore, the library is open equally to all members of the Emory community, and all library users are encouraged to model the virtue of hospitality to one another. Pitts is also open to outside researchers whose work draws upon the collections of the library. Non-Emory patrons are expected to sign-in at the library entrance, and library staff may ask non-Emory patrons to leave if their work is not dependent upon the collections or library resources are needed by Emory patrons. If you have any questions about the use of the library’s facilities or collections, please contact Bo Adams, Director of the Library, at rmadams@emory.edu.

Services for Library Users with Disabilities

The Pitts Theology Library seeks to provide equal access to library services and collections for all library users. If you need special assistance, please ask for assistance at the circulation desk. Some services may require advance notice to ensure staff availability (contact information is available at http://pitts.emory.edu/contact). The Pitts Theology Library works in conjunction with Access, Disability Services, and Resources to accommodate reasonable requests for assistance in obtaining, accessing and making use of library resources, materials, and services.

Retrieval Service

Users with disabilities may request assistance in retrieving materials from the stacks at the circulation desk. Depending on staffing levels, this service may not be immediately available. Retrieved material will be held at the circulation desk for the user. We recommend contacting the circulation desk (404.727.4166) in advance for assistance in retrieving materials.

Food and Beverages

The consumption of beverages within Pitts Theology Library is limited to liquids carried in spill proof containers or re-sealable drink bottles which must be secured to avoid spills. Snack foods are permitted in general reading areas; please be mindful of noise and odors, and place all trash in a nearby receptacle. Neither food nor beverages are allowed in the Special Collections reading area or at computer work stations. Nearby spots for eating full meals include the Theology Atrium outside of the Library, Brooks Commons in Cannon Chapel, the tables in White Hall, and the tables on Rudolph Courtyard.


The Pitts Theology Library is committed to maintaining an environment for study and for active collaboration. As a result, our spaces are organized with designated volume levels to accommodate the scope of both these activities.

The second (main) floor’s open concept layout facilitates group work, both in the table seating area and in the Information Commons computer area. Conversations are permitted, but they should not be loud or disruptive of other patrons. If staff at either service desk can distinguish individual voices, we will ask you to lower the volume.

The first floor is designed for individual study space and is appropriate for whispered conversation only.  Don’t forget that the group study rooms are available as collaborative workspaces. However, small group study rooms are not soundproof, so be aware of your noise level there as well.

Stairwells, elevator bays, vestibules, and the scanning room are not appropriate places for extended loud conversation. The architecture of these spaces tends to amplify noise, so please consider other spaces for such conversations. As always, cell phone conversations are not permitted in the library. 

Please be respectful of your fellow patrons in abiding by these policies—feel free to contact a staff member if you notice any noise issues, and do not enforce policies yourself. 

Cell Phone Use

The Pitts Theology Library is committed to providing an environment that is conducive for study. To this end, patrons of the library are asked to turn off cell phones and pagers or to set them to “vibrate” when entering the library. If you receive a call while in the building and you must answer the call, please be considerate of others and keep your voice lowered. If your conversation will last more than a few seconds, go outside the library for the call, being sure to take your valuable belongings with you. To report inappropriate cell phone usage, contact a staff member at the nearest service point.

Minor Children in the Library

Minor children must be accompanied by parents and/or caregivers at the Library entrance and at all times while in the Library.

Study Carrels

Study carrels throughout the building are available on a “first-come” basis and are not available for storing personal items or library books. We strongly recommend that you not leave personal valuables (computers, cell phones, etc.) unattended anywhere in the library. Pitts Theology Library is not responsible for the loss or theft of personal belongings.

Small Group Study Rooms

Please click here for Small Group Study Room policies.

Book Donations

All inquiries about book donations should be made to Bo Adams, Director of the Library, at rmadams@emory.edu. In-person donations of fewer than 20 books can be accepted by a circulation desk supervisor; we will not accept in-person donations of more than 20 books. For a donation of more than 20 books, please contact Bo Adams. At the discretion of the library, donated books may be added to the library collection or included in our annual library book sale.