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The Brengle Library is part of the total formation process of The College for Officer Training. We seek to nurture the union of sound learning and vital Christianity. We aim to provide access to key works relating to the disciplines of Salvation Army ministry.
The library primarily serves the instructors and students of the various training programs; we also serve corps officers and other Salvationists, and those researching The Salvation Army.
We take preparation for ministry very seriously, and operate on the basis of mutual respect.
The library is named for Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle, apostle of holiness. His personal library was donated to the training college (then in the Bronx) in 1936, after his death. When the archives and museum were separated from the library in the 1980s, Commissioner Brengle's library went to the museum at territorial headquarters, but his Order of the Founder medal and other objects are still on display at the library.
The Brengle Library today is mostly the work of longtime librarian, Major Lorraine Sacks. She saw the library through the move of the training college to Suffern in 1972, converted the collection to Library of Congress classification, and computerized the catalog and circulation.
The collection supports the training mission. The heart of it is evangelical, but we seek to represent the best of a variety of perspectives. The scope reflects both the range of ministry and the various learning needs of the library's users. Most of the works are on the Bible, practical theology, and The Salvation Army. Library users are encouraged to recommend titles for us to add, in line with the Collection development policy.
There are 34,100 books in the collection. 2,900 of these are in Spanish and 400 are in Korean. The audio, visual and media section has 2,600 items. These can all be found in the computer catalog.
There are 159 periodical subscriptions. Increasingly these include online resources; a few have gone exclusively to electronic newsletter.
Cadets also find the curriculum files, and the cameo files on The Salvation Army around the world, useful. There is a microfilm archive of Salvation Army historical documents, for which we are getting a new digital reader.
Library staff can show you how to use the databases and indexes, and can help you find reference articles and other resources that you won't find in the computer catalog, but which can make your research much easier.
The library subscribes to databases, including the premiere theological full text ATLAS. These can be accessed here. Our web site also has downloadable Salvation Army documents, and links to good, relevant web sites. We have reciprocal lending agreements with Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary for cadets and faculty.
Each section is arranged from the general to the specific, and from the whole to the parts. Reference works are at the beginning of each section.
The library settled in its present location in 1990, and was renovated and expanded in 2000. The new Susan E. Pichler Resource Center features a relaxing and elegant reading area just inside the glass entry, and also houses the Spanish and Korean collections. Cadets are welcomed into the library to relax with the puzzles, and otherwise unwind their minds!
A conference room with whiteboard facilitates group study, and there are private study rooms. Study carrels are wired for laptop computers, and in 2007 the library added wireless access.
The library has two computers for doing research. The library catalog can be accessed HERE.
The library houses networked printers, a photocopier, a scanner designed to be safe for books, a shredder, and other items for the convenience of the cadets. It does take a little training to use the equipment properly, and library users are responsible to get that training. All library users are also responsible to follow the protocols below, which describe the many library services in more detail.
Handouts are available to help you with everything from searching the catalog, to printing from the Web without violating copyright, to avoiding plagiarism by properly giving credit to sources.
The library staff are here to help you succeed, and offer tutorials in research and writing, as well as the answers to "Where is what I need to know on Abraham?" and many other questions!
Many donated books are for sale (25¢) on the used book truck. This helps cadets build their own libraries. E-newsletters update library users on the latest new books and other library services.
The children's library is just a few blocks away, at the Suffern Free Library! Suffern Free Library also has a stained glass window from the old training college.