Should church libraries be viewed as a ministry?

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Hours of work go into creating and crafting a church library. Often it does not have a profile as a mininstry in our churches. How does your church view your Library Ministry?

To any who are involved in a Church Library I am interested in a few of the following questions: 

Please copy and paste the questions into your reply and anwser the following

 

How do you view the church library? 

Would you say your church library is part of the Ministry Team in your church? 

Do you have regular contact or input from the pastor, group leaders or council in your church? 

What would be the biggest area served in your church? ie small groups, children, dvd's, fiction, non fiction

Size of your congragation? 

Number of items in your library? 

Method of sign out? card, computerized, other

Do you feel supported in your work? 

How many "staff" do you have? 

Do you have a commitee? 

Do you make reports to your council? 

Do you have a budget amount? 

Do you fundraise? 

Do you have a newsletter/publication in the church newsletter or bullitin? 

Do you have contact with a Library Association? 

Add your own comments here:

 

I am interested in these questions one for an article I wish to do for the Church Library Association of Ontario. The Links to the "CLAO"  are here and provide some great information for libraries and has a newsletter included with membership and other wonderful benifits. 

http://www.churchlibraries.ca             http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/churchlibraries/     

http://www.facebook.com/churchlibraryassociationofontario

And compile some information to create a possible article in the Banner I would like to submit to raise awareness of Libraries as an integral ministry of its own and as a foundational ministry resource. 

Any and all comments are welcome. 

Posted in:
  • Church Libraries
  • Q&A

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

How do you view the church library? 

I view the library as a service, as a ministry and as a way to practice good stewardship of our resources.

 

Would you say your church library is part of the Ministry Team in your church?

no

Do you have regular contact or input from the pastor, group leaders or council in your church?

no

 What would be the biggest area served in your church? ie small groups, children, dvd's, fiction, non fictionchildren and women's fiction

fiction, women's fiction and children

 Size of your congragation? 

200-300

Number of items in your library?

1700

Method of sign out? card, computerized, other

card

Do you feel supported in your work?

no

How many "staff" do you have?

1

Do you have a commitee?

no

Do you make reports to your council?

no

Do you have a budget amount?

yes

Do you fundraise?

no

Do you have a newsletter/publication in the church newsletter or bullitin?

not regularly

Do you have contact with a Library Association?

I am a member of the National Church Library Association. I would really really love to have The CRC have workshops for librarians and an exchange of email addresses.

.Comments

I have just finished putting our library into the ResourceMate database. I am working on getting this onto our church's webpage so people will be able to search the library from their computer at home.I also would like to have the CRC emphasize the library as a ministry and train librarians.

I agree that I think that it would be nice for the CRC to be actively engaged as seeing the Library as a ministry of our local churches. I think this will only happen as we create more awareness of the function of the library. This is why I joined the Church Library Association of Ontario to become better equiped to do this. I wonder if there is a way you can get church emails easily to promote this as a link for Libraries.  and then create a data base or awareness of it. 

I know that the past president of the CLAO which I belong too was a member of the CRC and the current outreach coordinator of the association in a member of the CRC. 

 

Thanks for replying. 

For now we can start discussing with each other. If I can figure out how to link us for conversations. 

Jo

How do you view the church library? 

I think the library should be a ministry resource and a place to get uplifting and inspiring reading material.

Would you say your church library is part of the Ministry Team in your church? 

Not really.  I try to promote relevent material to various groups, but without much success.

Do you have regular contact or input from the pastor, group leaders or council in your church? 

The pastor occasionally asks me to highlight books relating to a sermon series or issue.

What would be the biggest area served in your church? ie small groups, children, dvd's, fiction, non fiction

women's fiction for sure.

Size of your congragation? 

200 members

Number of items in your library? 

720 books, 50 DVDs, a few audio

Method of sign out? card, computerized, other

cards

Do you feel supported in your work? 

by the pastor and council

How many "staff" do you have? 

just me

Do you have a commitee? 

no

Do you make reports to your council? 

not formally

Do you have a budget amount? 

yes

Do you fundraise? 

no

Do you have a newsletter/publication in the church newsletter or bullitin? 

I put in short reviews of new books periodically

Do you have contact with a Library Association? 

no

Add your own comments here:

I've been taking care of our library for about three years now, and have grown it significantly in terms of the collection, but I'm struggling to increase the number of people using the library.  It's the same few people all the time, and none of the kids and teens are interested.

So many people view the library as a space for Janette Oke books (not that they are bad but there is such a big world of author styles out there) and kid dvd's 

Great that you have expanded your collection! 

I noticed that Marlene who responded to this survey also was a committee of one. 

The best thing I did was recruit a few people to help me. I was feeling overwelmed and under "loved" (not really under loved but definitely overwelmed) 

How about we figure out how to support each other? 

I can gladly share any policyies, proceedures or information I have collected to share with you guys. 

Jo

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Survey: Church Libraries as a Ministry

 

This survey was accessed from CRC News, February 9, 2011, under In the Forums: Church Libraries.

 

Q: How do you view the church library?

A: As a ministry. See comments below.

 

Q: Would you say your church library is part of the Ministry Team in your church?

A: No.

 

Q: Do you have regular contact or input from the pastor, group leaders or council in your church?

A: No.

 

Q: What would be the biggest area served in your church? ie small groups, children, dvd's, fiction, non fiction

A: Children. A close second is fiction.

 

Q: Size of your congregation?

A: 577.

 

Q: Number of items in your library:

A: About 3,500.

 

Q: Method of sign out? card, computerized, other

A: Card.

 

Q: Do you feel supported in your work?

A: Yes. The previous church administrator acquired the licenses needed in order for us to put in a lending library videotapes ordinarily licensed only for home viewing. I received help from the current church administrator when I needed to make it known I was looking for volunteers to be “staff” in the church library. I regularly get help from the church office two ways: (1) the church office mails overdue notices; and (2) the church office mails reminders to “staff” before their Sunday in the church library. I have not asked for any other support, but I believe I would get it if I asked for other similar support.

 

Q: How many “staff” do you have?

A: 4.

 

Q: Do you have a committee?

A: No.

 

Q: Do you make reports to your council?

A: No.

 

Q: Do you have a budget amount?

A: Not this year. There normally would be a budget amount, but the budget line for the church library was eliminated from this year's budget because we are in a time when contributions to the general fund have been less than the budgeted amount, resulting in cuts to local ministry and to ministry shares supporting denominational ministries.

 

Q: Do you fundraise?

A: No.

 

Q: Do you have a newsletter/publication in the church newsletter or bulletin?

A: No.

 

Q: Do you have contact with a library association?

A: No.

 

Q: Add your own comments here:

A: Our view of the church library as a ministry has three consequences that come to my mind:

  1. How we select items to add to the library collection. We select library materials that will nurture faith in our children and help our adult members mature in their faith.

  2. How we handle overdue library materials. We do not collect fines for overdue library materials. We are lenient in renewals, allowing as many renewals as requested if for an item no one else is waiting for.

  3. How we drop library materials from the library collection. We drop library materials from the library collection if they are checked out to someone no longer attending church here, without asking for restitution. We drop library materials from the library collection if they are returned damaged and are no longer worth retaining in the library collection, without asking for restitution. Getting people to use library materials is more important than preserving them in the library collection.

Roger A. Whitman

It seems from some of the reponses that people who are in the Library ministry get support in some areas and not in others. 

In general I think that libraries are an under utilized resource. 

It is a ministry that is hard to get a handle on it unless you are involved in it. 

I think this is do alot because we get the libraries up and running but we don't do alot of "advertizing" 

Communicating with our members, council and other committess is important. 

Participant

 

I just received this from Yvonne Van Tuyl, Librarian at Trinity CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario, in response to some private emails. I offer this to readers to see if you might pass this around to your own librarians. (And, since Yvonne notes that she's not too up to date with blogging, etc, maybe you can email her directly and encourage her):

I would be interested in a forum to discuss reading material for our library. Although I am not as suave as some when it comes to Blogs and such, I would be interested in how to equip and use our library to the fullest. We have many books in our library, of which only a few are used each week. A discussion of study material etc. would be most appreciated. I would also like to know what the other Churches are buying for their libraries and if we could facilitate an exchange.  Yvonne van Tuyl – Trinity Christian Reformed Church dvantuyl@cogeco.ca

My church holds the view of  our having a library ministry. It is a resource centre for the edification of the members of the church in their christian maturity. Yes,in some respects,the library is part of the ministry team of the church.Regular contact is maintained with the church's pastors and council members

 

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