Call for Chapter Proposals for the Sixth Volume of ‘The Theological Librarian’s Handbook’ Series


Atla seeks proposals for the sixth volume of The Theological Librarian’s Handbook, an open-access book series published by Atla Open Press, on the topic of services in theological libraries. Projected to span seven volumes, previous titles in the series include:

  • Volume 1 – Introduction to Theological Libraries, published 2020;
  • Volume 2 – Administration in Theological Libraries, published 2021;
  • Volume 3 – Collection Development in Theological Libraries, published 2022;
  • Volume 4 – Preservation of Collections in Theological Libraries, published 2024.
  • Volume 5 - Management in Theological Libraries, due Spring 2025.

Series Description

The Theological Librarian’s Handbook is a multi-volume guide to the practice of theological librarianship. It is intended for library staff at theological and religious studies libraries who do not possess professional training in the library and information science field. This handbook offers perspectives and advice from theological librarians working in different types of theological libraries and institutions worldwide.

Volume 6: Theological Library Services

This volume will introduce the most important principles and practices of successful public services in theological libraries and will guide the reader to:

  • Understand the ethical principles, values, and cultural competencies a theological librarian needs to pursue in his/her work.
  • Understand how to best utilize and organize the library’s physical and virtual space.
  • Communicate and promote theological library collections and services.
  • Realize the importance of collaboration in enhancing library services.
  • Cultivate a culture of information ethics and literacy.


Appropriate chapters for this volume include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • The ethics and values of library public services 
    • Code(s) of Ethics and values of librarians
    • Confidentiality and privacy
    • Cultural competencies and diversity
  • Library as space
    • Physical space
    • Virtual space
  • Reference and information services
    • Library anxiety
    • Instructional and information literacy services, information ethics
    • Subject guides
    • Virtual reference and information services (LMS, social media, chats, email)
  • Circulation and document delivery
    • Interlibrary loan
    • Cooperative resource sharing
  • Extension services of the library
    • Direct/home delivery
    • Distribution of library collections (branches, department libraries)
  • Marketing, communication, social media and public relations
  • Outreach, book events, exhibitions, and other promotional events


Submission Instructions

Proposals are welcome from single or co-authors. Authors from different global contexts are especially encouraged. Proposals must include a 250-word abstract describing the topic, a working title for the chapter, and a current CV or resume for the author(s). Inquiries on this project and proposals for chapters should be submitted electronically by October 18th, 2024, to

Review of submissions will begin immediately with the determination of final selections by December 1st, 2024.

Accepted authors must submit completed chapter manuscripts by 30 June 2025. Chapters should be approximately 1,500 – 2,500 words and conform to the Books@Atla Open Press Manuscript Preparation Guidelines. The anticipated publication date is Spring 2026. The final product will be available open access under a CC-BY-NC license as PDF and EPUB and also available in print on demand.