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A few weeks ago church librarian Jo Vandermey of Providence CRC in Beamsville, Ontario sent me an interesting note that I thought might fit in our Network. We are “people of the Book and of the Word.” All good books, all good words derive from the Word of God, living eternally in the Word made flesh before time began. We as preachers and members have a happy duty to train ourselves in good words used carefully—not just in sermons, but in reading, in promoting literature.

Read Jo’s note below and consider her thoughts and questions. I invite your comments. In a few days I just might add my own too.

I am the head Library worker for our church's Library. It has become a calling for me to promote "Library" as a ministry to our church and I feel being nudged to do so to our denomination.

Currently I am treasurer of the Church Library Association of Ontario a 200+ member non-denominational group that promotes libraries in our churches. We have a website, member newsletter, two yearly conferences and more. We provide training and information on how to run and promote an effective church ministry of the library.

As in many things the Library is not just your place (at least in our case) of a few Dutch books and some Karen Kingsbury books. But we have developed a collection of DVDs, study material, fiction, non-fiction for all ages and stages.

My direct area of interest is how pastors view the "Church Library"? From my limited sample I find a high frustration of Library workers who work in an isolated way. They may have a budget or work on donations. They may have a few people helping them in the work. They may all so have the "blessing of the council" But most I have surveyed or talked to do not feel a real connection to Church Ministry. I would like to get the pastors’ perspective.

How can the church library be relevant as a church ministry? Or if it is in your church, how is that conveyed?

Jo Vandermey, Providence CRC, Beamsville, Ontario


We try to keep up to date on the newest books and many times people, including Pastor Jim, come to us and ask for books that they read about either in the Banner or other publications and for us that works great.  One person mentioned the book entitled:'The Rage against God' by Peter Higgins, the brother of celebrated atheist Christopher Higgins, and a very good book by Kevin deYoung about the Heidelberg Cathechism that Pastor Jim brought to our attention.

Sometimes I hear a book mentioned in the sermon and if we don't have it we order it. New books are put in the bulletin under the heading: 'Library Corner' so that people are aware of the newest titles.

Our faithful patrons certainly let me know if they think we should have certain books that are of importance for our church library. There are people in our church that never come to the library but we have a good number that faithfully come every week. My wife Dorothy is also the librarian for 'Coffe Break' . So from my perspective the library in Covenant is an important part of our church life



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:

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 [email protected]

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