Monday, June 12, 2006

357 The Church Library

We are fortunate at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church to have a fine church library--because our local public library doesn't actively collect much that is specifically evangelical (one magazine, denominational titles that are a half century old, and a few blockbusters like Jabez and Purpose). Twenty some years ago I was the church librarian, but now I just volunteer occasionally to check-in and shelve books. So this morning to took a few photos after I put the books away.

There are also collections at our other two locations, so the church could really use an on-line circulation system, and indeed the librarian has been promised one for many years. About two years ago, the volunteer staff discontinued typing cards thinking a computer system was eminent--so now we don't even have a current card catalog, and still no computer.

Circulation desk and bulletin board, fiction to the left

Reference collection and study desk

reading area, next to large selection of audio tapes and CDs

Children's area with many videos and DVDs

I'm guessing the media to book ratio in this library is much higher than public libraries. It gets heavy use from families. I started the video collection back in the mid-80s when it was still fairly unusual and we weren't even too sure how to catalog and circulate them. There is also a small but growing home-schooling section. It's my personal opinion that the most critical quality for a church librarian is someone who is able to inspire, motivate and work with the volunteers--not necessarily someone who has taken course work in or worked in libraries.

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