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Faculty Guide to Bethlehem University Library

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Bethlehem University Library is to serve the academic community of students, administration, faculty, and staff by providing materials, resources, services, and facilities to meet curriculum-related needs. The library pursues this mission through acquiring, organizing, and maintaining the requisite information resources, equipment, and materials in various formats; by providing production of audiovisual materials; and by creating an environment conducive to learning. Additionally, the library makes its resources and services available to visiting researchers and Bethlehem University graduates. The library serves as a vital component of the educational mission of the University.

Internal Telephone Directory


Office / Services Floor Room No.  Tel. No.
Journal Services Librarian Garden Floor   2487
Library Director Ground Floor 103 2024
Secretary to the Library Director Ground Floor   2263
Reference/Information Library Staff First Floor   2268/2263
Arabic Technical Services First Floor 205 2268
Turathuna Center First Floor 206 2428
Circulation Services Second Floor   2267/2263
English Technical Service Second Floor 306 2267
Archives Third Floor 401 2426
Digital Services Third Floor 401 2313



Bethlehem University Library serves the academic community of students, administration, faculty, staff, alumni, and visiting researchers. The four-story building, dedicated in 1978, has a capacity of 100,000 volumes, and seating space for approximately 320 library users, audio-visual materials, and equipment.

Bethlehem University Library features an open stack which provides quick and easy access to its readers, and uses the Library of Congress Classification System.

Library Opening Hours

The library is open on class days from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. It is closed on university holidays.

Library Floor Plan

Garden Floor

  • technology support unit
  • equipment lending
  • journal services
  • compactus
  • disability resources
  • garden courtyard




Ground Floor

  • library director’s Office
  • circulation services
  • Information
  • references
  • printing station
  • discussion rooms 1 - 3


circulating books: R28.3 - ZA 4480



First Floor

  • arabic technical services
  • turathuna center (special collections for palestiniana)
  • information
  • printing station
  • discussion rooms 4-7


circulating books: AC 1 - PR5442

Second Floor

  • english technical services
  • information
  • printing station
  • discussion rooms 8 - 11
  • café-library


circulating books: PR 5480 - QR981

circulating books: foreign languages

Third Floor

  • archival services
  • digital services




Loan Policies

Bethlehem University Library grants borrowing privileges to all faculty, staff, and registered students.

Books: Faculty may borrow up to 20 books at a time for a period of 8 weeks, subject to renewal if not requested by another reader. In cases when a student might need a book borrowed by a faculty or staff member, priority is given to the student.

Reference books do not circulate except for class use. Teachers are requested to pick up the reference book themselves from the Director and return it immediately after class.

Reference books may not be lent out for weekends or during vacations.

Periodicals: the latest issue of a periodical may be borrowed for the weekend only, and should be returned before 9:00 a.m. on Monday. Loose back issues may be borrowed any time for a period of one week. Bound volumes of periodicals are treated like reference books, that is, for Library use only.

Loan Procedure

Present your University ID card to the circulation staff. Faculty and staff are requested to keep their circulation record up-to-date. It is not recommended that teachers lend students books under their name, or get the books borrowed by a student. This causes confusion in the circulation records and loss of books. Special requests from students who need more than 5 books are always considered by the Circulation Librarian. Students with seminars are allowed 7 books.

Security: An automatic security system in place; be sure that all materials are properly checked out before passing through the exit.

Library Sections

Circulation Desk / Reserve Shelf

The Circulation Desk is the front desk of the Library where library materials are checked out/in.

Faculty may put books and other materials on the Reserve Shelf located behind the Circulation Desk. Faculty are requested to bring such materials and fill out the appropriate form themselves. They should indicate whether they want the material to be borrowed overnight, or labeled Room Use Only. Once instructions are given, Faculty members are expected to observe them or ask the circulation staff, not a student, to change them; if personal appearance is not possible, a phone call or an email will also do.

Loose pages or just stapled materials will not be accepted for Reserve, unless they are properly compiled.

Short documents for E-reserves can be posted on the library website.

Refer also to this link:

Reference Desk

The Reference Librarian is available to assist any library user who needs help in looking for library materials.

Refer also to this link:

Journal/Periodical Room (Garden Floor)

Periodicals are arranged on the racks by broad categories such as General, Science, Nursing, etc. Back issues are kept in red boxes until a volume is complete, then bound and kept on the second floor.

Reference Section

All reference books, including teachers’ dissertations and big sized art books are located in the Reference Section on the ground floor.

Books in other Latin languages are included with English.

Turathuna Center - Special Collections-Palestiniana Division

TheTurathuna Center - Special Collections - Palestiniana Division, was opened in 1990. Generous donations of Catholic Near East Welfare Association and Pontifical Mission to Palestine made this section of the Library a reality. Through the generosity of Ireland Aid a new addition to the first floor of the library was constructed in the year 2000. The new center was named Turathuna: Center for Palestinian Heritage at Bethlehem University. The Special Collection is now located in this center.


The main collection includes reference and circulating books in all fields of knowledge related to Palestine and Palestinian affairs except literary works which are kept in the general collection. Old newspapers and periodicals like Falastin, Palestine Post, Mira’t al-Sharq, Palestine Weekly and al-CarmeI are available on microfilm. A microfilm/fiche reader-printer is available also for all users. Other types of materials like rare books and manuscripts are for Room Use Only.

Borrowing Policy

Bethlehem University Faculty, Staff and registered students may borrow materials from this Division within the same borrowing policies and procedures of the main Library. Students need to have a valid library card.

* Researchers from outside the University may use the Division upon request of a special library card from the Director for a minimal fee. A researcher must seek permission for photocopying manuscripts and/or other materials for study purposes; the same holds true before publishing any manuscript. Indiscriminate photocopying, which can be tantamount to publishing is not allowed. Researchers should inform the Library in advance of their timetable for research and use of the division.


The Archives organizes and preserves the history ofBethlehemUniversity. Photographs, documents, brochures, newsletters, newspaper articles, course catalogs, and other memorabilia are collected. In 1999 the Archives was relocated to the third floor of the library and is included in the structure and organization of the library. It is open from 10:00-12:00 and 2:00- 4:00pm.

Library Services

Library Instructional Sessions / Organized Tours and Visits

The Library professional staff offers special sessions to students upon request from teachers on how to use the Library and its different resources.

Tours may be also organized for new faculty, staff, and students who wish to know the library, its different sections, holdings and services.

Arranging for the service in advance is required.

Prioritized Processing of books

The library continuously acquires new books throughout the academic year. These books are classified and catalogued as soon as they are purchased. Teachers are always informed of the arrival of such new acquisitions. If certain books are urgently needed, a teacher should inform the librarian in charge, and the books will be given priority in classification and prepared within 3 days at most.


Library Liaison Team

The Library Liaison Team was initiated in 1984 to provide a channel of communication between the Library and Faculty for the purpose of improving library resources and services. The L.L.T. meets once a term (or as the need arises) upon an invitation from the Library Director with a proposed agenda.

Information and ideas are communicated both ways, and suggestions acted upon when feasible.

Book Budget Allocation

Each department / faculty is allocated a certain budget for purchasing books. At the beginning of every academic year, the Library Director sends a memo to the deans and chairpersons to inform them of their budget allocation for that year. By the end of the Fall Term, the Director informs them of their expenditures on book purchases.

Book Selection, Ordering and Purchasing

The Library has a book selection policy within which the professional staff of the Library operates. However, the teaching staff is very much encouraged to recommend titles in their fields of specialty but the ultimate responsibility for book selection rests with the Library Director and the professional staff.

The Library usually provides the faculty with up-to-date publishers’ catalogs from which to select appropriate titles. Use “Online Acquisition” under “Library Services” on the library website to request new books for purchase. Once the request is received, the ordering procedure will be taken care of by the librarian in charge of book orders.

In very special cases and with previous arrangement with the Library Director, teachers may purchase books themselves and be reimbursed upon presentation of appropriate invoices or receipts.

The general policy is to purchase one copy of every title. However, in special cases, up to 5 copies will be allowed particularly when the books are to be placed on Reserve to cater for a big number of students taking the same course.

Periodical Selection

In selecting periodicals, the choices of the faculty are important and the Library Director should give great weight to their recommendation, but he/she should maintain some control of selection. With a change of teachers in the faculty, there will often be a change preference for periodicals.

While faculty member in general might be quick to drop periodicals and start new ones as their preferences change, the Library attempts to maintain continuity with its periodical holdings. The overall responsibility for the growth of the periodical collection lies on the Library Director and he/she should make effort to achieve a truly excellent subscription list.


Many valuable books and other reading materials are received as gifts and such gifts are encouraged and welcome. When gifts are made to the Library, adequate and prompt acknowledgement is done through a thank you note or a letter. Gifts in terms of cash/check are handed over to the Vice President for Development, who in turn submits this to the Finance Office. The Library keeps a record of all donors.

For Your Information

Study Atmosphere

A quiet study atmosphere should be maintained at all times in the Library. The support of faculty in this matter is very much appreciated.

Lost and Found

The Library assumes no responsibility for missing articles and valuables within its premises.

Food and Beverages

Food and beverage are not allowed in the Library.


Smoking is strictly forbidden within the Library premises.


Never hesitate to ask the library staff for help at any time.



Library of Congress Classification System


General Works



Russian Literature


Philosophy, psychology



Languages and Literatures of Asia, Africa, Oceania American Indian Languages Artificial Languages





General Literature


Auxiliary Sciences of History





History: General and Old World





History: America



French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese


Geography, Anthropology, Recreation



German, Dutch, Scandinavian


Social Sciences





Political Science















Music. Books on Music





Fine Arts



Military Science


General Philology and Linguistics Classical Languages and Literatures



Naval Science


Modern European Languages



Bibliography. Library Science

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine