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starting with some for older kids,

Sheila Walsh:  The Bible is my Best Friend Family Devotional 

Anne Elizabeth Stickney: the Loving Arms of God

Sally Lloyd Jones : Thoughts to Make your Heart Sing

 and the Jesus Storybook Bible 

Chrystal Bowman;  My Mama and Me (for the very young)


I also like the mini-library idea.  I put a book cart in the narthex on Sunday mornings. On it I try to have new books or books dealing with the sermon topic.  I tried putting books on Christian parenting by the nursery, but all the young parents said they were too busy to read.  I would like to have my children's collection by the nursery/Sunday School area.  Seems like kids would see books there and want to take them home.

When I became church librarian, we had an excellent collection of inspirational fiction and shelves crammed with old unread books, many donated, Hardly any books circulated.  I first weeded mercilessly, then got the budget increased to buy new books that people would read.  I promote the library with new book displays, newsletters in members' mailboxes,  and a changing bulletin board.  I have a book cart that I wheel into the narthex each Sunday featuring new books, books that go with the sermon or Sunday School topics, and seasonal books.  Right now it has books from Christianity Today's best book list of last year, and Easter and Palm Sunday books for kids, as well as A Wrinkle in Time for folks who plan to see the movie.  I still buy a few inspirational fiction works, but have gotten many other members to read what's current. I appreciate book reviews in the Banner and Christianity Today, and take requests from readers. Too often libraries are staffed by dear souls who just like to read novels, and not by those trained as librarians.  Our library gets quite a bit of use, with self check out using book cards so it doesn't need to be staffed constantly, and I have a couple volunteers who help me check in books.  It also helps that our pastor reads and recommends books from our library.   (Bellevue CRC, WA)

I'm wondering how many church libraries are actually headed by a trained librarian, rather than by people who just like to read.


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