Frequently Asked Questions

How do I search for a book?

A search box is located on the main library page. Try the dropdown menu if you are searching for a title, author, or if you have the book number (ISBN).Watch a short video demonstrating a Basic Search from the library homepage.

You can limit your results using the links on the left side of your search results page. If that still leads to too many results, try using some of the search limits in the Advanced Searching option.They also have written some great search tips available on the right-hand side of that page. Watch a short video demonstrating an Advanced Search from the library homepage.

Are you not finding any results? Try broadening your search (for example, searching for “social network” instead of “Twitter”) or expanding to the “All Libraries” search in the drop-down box below the “Find” button to look at other library’s collections.

Where are the different collections?

  • Basement
    • Archives
    • Back issues of periodicals (moveable shelving)
    • Classrooms
    • Curriculum collection
    • Student Success Center
  • Main Floor
    • Current Periodicals
    • Reference collection
  • Ask at the Front Desk
    • Board games
    • CDs and DVDs
    • Equipment (headphones, dry-erase markers, etc.)
    • Reserve items
  • Top Floor
    • Children's and Young Adult collections
    • General collection
    • Oversize collection
    • Preus collection
    • Reference and Seminary overflow
    • Study rooms

How do I renew an item?

  1. Start at the library homepage:
  2. Click on My Library Account, and log into your library account in MnPals.
  3. Enter your User ID/Barcode (14-digit barcode on your college ID starting with 20219...) and Password (your last name).
  4. All Bethany items you have will show up immediately. 
  5. If the item is eligible to be renewed, a box will appear in the upper left corner next to the item. Check this box, and click Renew Selected Items.
  6. If the item is not eligible to be renewed, no box will be available. If you have questions please contact the Circulation Coordinator at ext. 437 or
  7. To renew Interlibrary Loan items that are not on or past their due date, click on the ILL Requests tab.
  8. Select the item you want to renew, and click on the "Renew ILL" button in the ILL Actions column. (Note: The library where you borrowed the book from is the place that decides whether or not the item will be renewed, not our library.)
  • ILLs from out of state need to be renewed by a librarian. Please contact Ramsey Turner at ext. 437 or for assistance.

Watch a short video demonstrating how to log into your library account and renew an item.

How do I search from off-campus?

Start at the library homepage. You will be asked to login. The username and password are the same ones that you use for your email account. Please contact IT Services (x411) if you are having problems logging in from off-campus.                                                          *Only current students, faculty and staff will be able to access electronic resources from off-campus.

How do I request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

When looking for an item, begin by searching our collection first before creating an Interlibrary Loan request from another MnPALS library:
  • Go to MnPALS to search of the Bethany collection.
  • If you do not see the item you are looking for in the results list, select All MnPALS Libraries from the Select a Location drop down list and run the search again.
  • If the item is listed in the results list, identify the MnPALS library where the item is located. If the item is available from more than one library, find the one geographically closest to Bethany (usually Minnesota State University-Mankato).
  • After identifying the library, click on the title of the item. This brings up the item record.
  • Click the Request Item button (located near the bottom of the record), and sign in with your User ID/Barcode (14-digit barcode on your college ID, starts with a 2) and Verification (your last name). Click Login.
  • Once logged in, you will be returned to the item record. Click the Place an ILL Request button.
  • Indicate the date by which you will no longer need the item. You may need to indicate agreement with the copyright statement, and then click Submit Request.
  • Though there are spaces to request a photocopy of a section of the book, that is up to the loaning library. Most libraries prefer to simply send the entire book.

You are not restricted to requesting books found in MnPALS. You may also request books through the MnLINK system which includes public libraries in Minnesota.

Common questions about ILL are answered here. Direct other questions to Ramsey Turner.

If you would like to use a blank ILL form, please be sure to include the title, author, date of publication, and a date after which the item is not needed. Any additional information is very helpful.

Watch a short video demonstrating how to place an ILL request.


How to I request a book from the seminary library?

  • Email the title and author to Books are delivered to Memorial Library on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  • Visit the seminary library between 1-5pm Monday – Friday. Special arrangements can be made by contacting the seminary librarian at or call 344-7360.

Which Resource Should I Use?

Articles On…
  • Most Subjects: Academic Search Complete, Britannica Academic Encyclopedia, EBSCO MegaFILE, JSTOR
  • Business: Business Source Premier, LexisNexis Academic
  • Communication/Arts:  Communication & Mass Media Complete, JSTOR, MegaFILE for current events topics, ProjectMUSE, Stash
  • Education: Educator's Reference Complete, ERIC
  • Health: Health Source, Consumer Health Complete, AltHealth for alternative/integrative medicine, PubMed for some topics (a bit tricky to use - library staff can help you!)
  • History: HathiTrust, primary sources (ArchiveGrid, MN Digital Library, ProQuest Newspapers), government documents (FedStats, Gov't Printing Office, US Census Bureau)
  • Spanish-language articles: Informe Spanish Journals, advanced search in JSTOR using “Spanish” as a language limit


  • Proquest Newstand Complete (includes current New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and local papers!)
  • Regional Business News


Streaming Video (Free)

  • Twin Cities Public Television (Excellent MN History, local, and multicultural topics)
  • National Public Television  (Arts performances, documentaries, and the latest Masterpiece dramas)
  • Khan Academy  (Amazing free video lessons on a wide range of topics-very strong in math/science)
  • You Tube Academic  (You Tube: Not just for videos of sassy toddlers! Check out these videos from universities and other academic centers)


How do I Search for Book Reviews?

Book reviews are actually much easier to search for using library databases than a general Google search! Not only is it a short process, but the reviews in our databases are sure to be the full review (not an excerpt) and from trusted sources.EBSCO (Databases marked with an “E” logo such as EBSCO MegaFILE and Academic Search Premier):

  • Go to Advanced Search (link is under main search box).
  • Under “document type,” select “Book Review.”
  • Enter the the name of the book you’re searching for in quotes in the main search box (example- “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”)
  • You might also wish to check the “Full Text” option in the “Limit Your Results” section if you want to be able to read your article immediately.

Watch a short video demonstrating a search in EBSCO for a book review.

JSTOR Searches for Book Reviews:

  1. Click on the JSTOR link in the “Journals and Articles” section of the library homepage.
  2. Click the “Advanced Search” link underneath the main search box on the JSTOR homepage.
  3. Enter the title in quotes in the search box (example- “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”)
  4. Click on the checkbox marked “Reviews” in the item type section.
  5. Check the “Reviewed works” under the title of each search result to see if the review covers the title you are searching. This will save you time (and paper)!

Watch a short video demonstrating searching for a book review in JSTOR.

How do I Search Databases?

How Do I Search for Scholarly or Peer-Reviewed Articles?

EBSCO Databases (EBSCOMegaFILE, Academic Search Premier, any option in the Journals/Articles section with a Blue “E” to the left of its name):  In the Advanced Search option (located underneath the main search box when you first click on the page), there will be a checkbox for “Scholarly/Peer-reviewed articles.” You can also limit the “Material Type” to Journal Articles.

JSTOR does not have a limit option for Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed since that is already the type of items on that site. However, if you use the “Advanced Search” option (underneath the main search box on the main page of JSTOR), you can limit to Articles using a checkbox. This option will eliminate book reviews from your results.

I Get TONS of Results in my Database Searches. How Can I Fix That?

The Advanced Search option (located underneath the main search box in each database) will let you limit your search using the following options:

  • Connecting several search words together, putting each into its own search box. You can use up to seven search boxes connected together! (Example: “social media” AND Facebook AND teacher if you’re interested in articles about teachers using Facebook)
  • Limit by date: Certain classes will ask for articles that have been written in the past five years. This option is also a good choice if you’re working with something that’s fairly recent, such as South Sudan, which became a country in 2011.
  • Limit to “Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Articles” (Checkbox)
  • If you’re using a phrase, put it in quotes (Example “social network”, “developmental psychology”)
  • Each database has a “Subject Guide” or “Thesaurus.” These words are the words the people who create these records use to arrange the articles. Searching for these words (switching the drop-down box next to the search boxes where you put the words to “SU-Descriptors”) will give you very strong results!

How do I access e-Books or audio books?

  1. Start at the library homepage
  2. Click on Library Services in the left-hand menu
  3. Click on either Audio Books or e-Books
  4. Browse by category or enter the title of a book
  5. View an eBook immediately on your device OR
  6. Download an e- or audio book by creating and/or signing into your Ebsco account

*Please note that BLC Memorial Library focuses on academic material and does not hold many popular titles. E-books and audiobooks can rarely be requested via ILL. Public libraries have more extensive popular collections; feel free to visit the Blue Earth County Library or the North Mankato Taylor Library for those titles.

Once I find an article I want to read, how do I find out if Bethany has it?

Make note of the article title, journal title, author, page numbers, etc. Then:
  • See if the library has access to it: Search by Journal Title
  • Enter the journal title, click Search
  • Results will appear by journal title and databases that contain those articles (holdings)
  • Click on a database that has access within the date range of your article
  • Find the article by date, or click the "Search within this publication" option to search by title

Want to view an article you found in JSTOR or EbscoHost?

  • Click "View as PDF" or "HTML Full Text"
  • If these options are not available, click "Where can I get this?" or "Find it at Bethany!" to request it via ILL.
Still can't find the article?

No problem! Contact your friendly Reference Librarian, Alyssa Inniger, at or ext. 874.

Is there a book drop outside of the library?

  • Yes! There is a book drop just outside of the main doors to the library as well as a book drop in the front entryway of Old Main. This drop is checked Monday-Friday in the afternoon. 
  • All DVDs, CDs, course reserves, and ILL items need to be returned to the circulation desk.

How do I get a student ID?

Come to the library! Registered students can get a free ID during the first week of each semester. Replacements for broken IDs are free, otherwise a new ID costs $10 after the first week. The library only accepts cash or check. Credit cards can be run at the Business Office, but you must bring your receipt with you. 

How do I print wirelessly on campus from my laptop computer?

Equipment Available for Checkout at the Library

Kindles (Note: Fiction and Nonfiction are on separate Kindle devices and can be checked out for 2 weeks)

Equipment available for Student and Faculty/Staff Checkout includes:

Dry erase markers/erasers VCR, CD, & DVD players
Portable DVD Player Practice keys for piano             
mp3 Players Graphing Calculators
Headphones Record Player
Digital Voice Recorder Colored Pencils
Light Box (for Seasonal Affective Disorder)  

Cross-Terrain Sports Club Equipment for Student Checkout:

Ask for these items at the front desk! All items are a one-day, non-renewable rental unless otherwise noted.
Croquet Set Bocce Set
Tennis Balls (2 cans) Tennis Racquets (4)
Bike/Ball pump (2 hours) Disc Golf Frisbees (4)
Jump Rope (2) Slack Line Kit