Care of books and other materials


As we appreciate our collection, we also highly emphasise the care of our resources from both librarians and our users. Many of the resources we have were donated while others have been purchased through funds generously provided by friends of TCZ. We therefore highly commend everyone to be careful in the way we handle our resources to preserve them for years to come. The Library reserves the right to charge persons with the replacement cost of materials returned in poor condition, so please treat all the library holdings with utmost care.




Guide to the information retrieval process


Effective information retrieval is the ability to get specific information from a large collection of information resources with the intent to answer a specific information need. To get the specific information, a conscious decision should be made to make the information retrieval process efficient. The process involves the following:

  • Knowing the reason for your search
  • Identifying the broad topic for your search
  • Identifying the narrow topic from your broad topic
  • Sift through what you already know and what you still need to know about your topic
  • identify possible sources to your topic
  • identify actual sources to your topic
  • identify key words from your topic and search using them

If your initial key words are retrieving irrelevant information, try coming up with more key words until you begin to retrieve relevant information.




Guide to using the OPAC


The OPAC- Online Public Access Catalog is designed to assist in searching the library collection anywhere. TCZ uses the DDC system to organise its resources. This system follows the number sequence from 000 to 999 and adds the first 3 letters of the author’s surname to the specific number of a book. This number is called a call number which is used to locate books from the shelves. An example of a call number is 262.096 MUG, leading you to the exact book “The Church in African Christianity: innovative essays in ecclesiology written by J.N. MUGAMBI. To begin your search go to the OPAC page: Click here


You can search for books using different points as given below:

1. By title of the book, eg: To retrieve the following book, “Footprints of God: a narrative theology of mission”, simply type the titles as it is without spelling mistakes. The book with this exact title will show if it is available in the library. If not, the OPAC will show that there are no results for your search meaning the book is not available.

2. By the author’s name, eg: eg. To retrieve books written by John Piper, simply try John Piper in the search box. All books written by this author are available in the library collection.

3. By a general subject of the topic you are researching on, eg: Eg: you can type biblical exegesis. Here you can see a list of books available for that subject topic.


What to do after your search results show
    • Select to search by either Author, Title or Subject using the drop down arrow on the Library catalogue box such as one below:
    • When you select author search, then type the name of the author, when you select title search, then type then name title of the book in the search box, etc.
    • Click enter or the green Search icon to initiate your search.
Opac lib guide
  • Record the call number of the book(s) you are interested in.
  • Using the example above, after starting an author search by typing Mugambi in the search box, one should record this number 262.096 MUG.
  • Go to the library shelves along the 260’s section and pick the 262.096MUG book(s). That is your exact book.
  • You are done with the search.If you want to take the book home, proceed to the circulation desk.


Guide on using e-journals

TCZ has both on campus and off campus e-journals. To access these:

  • Visit our institution website
  • On the navigation bar select library
  • On the drop down menu, select the e-Journals link
  • Depending on what you want, select either on campus, off campus or Theology databases
  • Select any of the journal databases given
  • A search box normally appears on the front page.
  • In this search box, type in your keywords to retrieve the information you want.

Please note that each database has a different interface so you need to learn to get around the interface of different databases.



Plagiarism and Cheating

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a situation where an individual uses someone else’s information as their own failing to give credit to the originator of the information.

Ways of avoiding Plagiarism

  • Make sure you record all the bibliographic information of the originators of information sources you are using.
  • Maintain sources of the materials you used
  • Use plagiarism checkers
  • Practice ethical writing honestly
  • Plan you’re your work in time
  • Give yourself time to revise what you have written
  • Whenever you use the authors direct words, put them in quotation marks

Most importantly, do in-text citation and a reference or bibliography at the end of your work.



Referencing and Citation

Importance of referencingquoting: using

Academic writing such as assignments, dissertations, reports and research articles requires that one built on previous knowledge to generate new knowledge. Referencing a scholar is providing evidence to the general overview of their knowledge in a particular topic. One is therefore required to reference the works that they consult in their academic work. This shows one’s ability to relate to other authors’ scholarly work to your own work. Referencing is done both within the text and at the end of the work by presenting a bibliographic list of all the work that has been consulted. In-text referencing can be in the form of:

  • Quoting: using the exact words from another author.
  • Paraphrasing: using the ideas of another author in your own words.
  • Summarising: giving a brief of the main points of what another author explained in detail.

NB: TCZ uses the APA referencing style and the manual is given APA Manual for your downloading.

You are encouraged to use online referencing tools such as zotero for creating your references.




Your way to unlimited learning!

TCZ is currently using Moodle for online Learning. Once you log in you will see the guidelines on how to log in to classes and upload assignments, etc


Library rules and regulations for using the library

The purpose for these rules is to help the library protect the common interest of every library user and library staff so that we can operate in a conducive environment, suitable for study and research as well as so that we can be effective in our operations. The guiding rules for using the Library include:

  • Only registered library users are allowed to utilise the library resources.
  • No eating or drinking is allowed in the library
  • Users are expected to observe silence in the library
  • Phones should be put on silence mode
  • Patrons are highly expected to take care of all materials issued out to them
  • Users are liable for long overdue, stolen, lost and/or damaged material checked out on their accounts
  • Loss of library materials should be reported immediately to the librarian
  • Patrons are not to shelve back books they have used but must leave them on the reading desks
  • Patrons are encouraged to ask for assistance on issues they do not understand
  • Do not tear or fold book pages at all cost
  • Do not mark books with pen or pencil
  • Patrons are highly encouraged to clear all dues with the library every semester
  • Patrons are responsible for providing the Library with a valid e-mail address and phone numbers for easier communication
  • Ethical and professional conduct is required at all times within the library.
  • The library is closed on Public Holidays.
  • The following rules apply when using library computers, Patrons should not:
    • Download or install any software program
    • Play computer games
    • Download, view or send content of sexual nature or offensive images

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the library open during holidays?

The library is closed during public holidays unless it has been specifically communicated.

How long can I stay with a borrowed book?

You can stay with a borrowed book for two weeks and if you still need the book, there is a chance renewal for a further two more weeks. After this renewal, you have to return the book to the library.

Can I borrow materials from the reference section?

Materials on the reference section are for reading within the library, hence you cannot borrow them.

What is the reserve section?

The reserve section is the section where books that are critical and recommended for a particular course by your lectures are placed so that there can be fair circulation of those materials.

Can I access e-journals when I am at the campus if I don’t have a laptop?

Yes you can access e-journals on campus even if you don’t have a laptop. You can use the library computers or you can use computers in the main computer lab or log in through your phone.

Can I book a one on one research assistance session with the librarians?

If you need research assistance, you are free to book the librarian through the Ask A Librarian page where you will need to fill up a form explaining your challenges so that the librarian can know the extent of your challenges and slot time for you either physical or online.