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Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Five: Church Libraries

Church libraries seem to be diminishing and even disappearing in some churches. Our church is full of scholarly books that no one looks at, and how should it change, be developed, or continue? As the de-facto chairperson of the library, I need ideas and suggestions about church libraries in this day and age. Please help!

1. Does your church have a library? What is it like?

2. Has this church library changed in recent years?

3. Does your church library serve as space for other activities, such as meetings or as a multi-purpose room?

4. Is a church library necessary? What does a library need?

5. Imagine the library your church would use and describe it.

Bonus: Any suggestions or ideas about church libraries that you'd like to offer!

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  1. A subject dear to my heart! We re-visioned the library at my then-home church a few years ago. The most fun part might have been the field trips to Crate and Barrel. Here you go.


    Sorry - here's my link. I give up -- unless they're on the same page right in front of me, I can't do it.

  3. Interesting... we don't have a church library other than a few books on a bookcase in the lobby. I hadn't really thought about the ramifications of that...

  4. I am curious to read what other people are doing. We are seriously wondering if there is a way to use our library, or if it is a relic of days past (I can't believe I just wrote that). Here are my thoughts. I am currently (slowly) on my way to the church library for Friday book group, so I will try to add photos in the next hour or so.

  5. Mine is over the top - totally a dream but as a lover of libraries I could not resist. I titled it Divine Libraries and I enjoyed playing this. Very much. Thanks, Jan! I've enjoyed reading through some of the others too.

  6. We had a stewardship meeting in our library last week and in an impromptu 20 minutes of the meeting perused the shelves for old stewardship resources and actually found some ~70s books that were super useful for our discussion (albeit a bit theologically archaic)

  7. My church has a library. I'm the librarian. We've added over 1000 books to this library since I took on the responsibility 10 years ago in 2003, or maybe 2005?. The library is populated with 2144 books, videos, CDs, DVDs, in the Narthex where lots of other activity takes place; it's also in the Nursery, the Fellowship Hall, and the Christian Education (CE) building. We've gone from a card catalog to a full text searchable database, along with installing several CD-ROM Bible Dictionary, both on the Narthex computer and a laptop used by CE (which also has our library database installed.) We've been trying to work with vendors to have all computers networked with Internet access in four buildings.
    Sometimes a teacher will want access to stories of "Moses" for which I can search and create a listing. The youth director wanted a listing of books for Teens, and Parents.
    I had a member program a bibliographic development software program, so I can export to the program, a search list from our library database, and enter/select those items most useful, in whatever order seems appropriate, and print out in a MS Word format...and then continue to format, edit, and publish as a brochure using MS Publisher.
    The problem is/may be, finding someone to train and to take over when I might be unable to continue.

    We have a small church of not quite 200 members (since culling a much larger list of those deceased, or no longer coming.) We have 50-60 books circulating every month. We have few fiction items. We have a teacher's collection, a youth collection. Most are on Christian life, Christian thought, Biblical stories, Many new items, some are from our recently retired pastor.
    We maintain book carts in Fellowship Hall for Teens, and Adults, along with the children's collection, and a cart in the office (separate building) for visitors both adults and kids.


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