Virginia Church Library Association Serving together to promote Church Library Ministry
Virginia Church Library Association  Serving together to promote Church Library Ministry

Starting A Church Library Ministry

Regardless of the age or size of your congregation, or the size or condition of your space, you can begin a church library ministry. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.

Get the support of your minister and congregation. Have the church vote to have a church library ministry.

Gather a willing, dedicated staff, usually consisting of at least a director and associate director. Have the nominating committee present these names for election.

Select a definite place in the church building for the library, ideally in a high traffic area.

Write a mission statement to define the purpose of the ministry. It should include who does what for whom and why. (See Sample Mission Statement).

Write a selection policy that establishes guidelines for choosing and accepting media resources. Have it approved by the church. (See Sample Selection Policy).

Adopt a system for preparing and arranging media. The Dewey Decimal Classification

System and Sears List of Subject Headings are generally used in public school and church libraries.

A library software program is recommended. Affordable software is available, and a computer and printer can sometimes by obtained from a church member who is updating his equipment.

Establish procedures for circulating media, such as the days and times the library will be open, and the length of circulation time.

Design your library space and furnishings. An attractive, inviting atmosphere facilitates the use of the library. (See Space and Furnishings).

Determine your funding needs and submit a budget to the appropriate church committee. (See Church Library Budget Planning and Basic Library Supplies).

Begin training the staff immediately, through individual study, or conferences offered by your association, state, or the Southern Baptist Convention. www.vbla.wordpress.com

Secure media for the library, via purchase, donation or usable media found in the library.

Prepare media for circulation. This will be an ongoing task so don't hesitate to open the library with only a portion of the media processed.

Promote and open the library with fanfare, decorations, refreshments, give-away bookmarks and a dedication service so that the congregation knows that something special is happening in the life of the church.

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