Lack of sufficient funds sometimes causes a church to delay starting a library. However, any church can provide this ministry immediately even if the library must be started "on a shoestring." The following is a list of possible sources where free or inexpensive library materials may be found.
Materials already owned:
** Most churches already have materials that are often scattered about the church. Go on a "treasure hunt" and you may discover Christian Growth Study books (only one each), periodicals received with regular church orders, and teaching maps, books and pictures in children's departments which can be organized and made available to other age groups through the church library.
** The church family is an excellent resource for donations of Christian fiction, Christian life books, Bibles and Bible study books for all ages. Put a notice in your church newsletter, being specific about age, condition and content of materials you need, and you will be surprised at how willing people are to share.
Virginia Baptist Library Association
VBLA routinely has a "sharing table" at its conferences where free used and new books are available. Contacting VBLA may result in donations of good library materials.
** Schools and public libraries often sponsor book sales where appropriate books in good condition at a reasonable cost are available.
** School libraries are sometimes willing to give resource books, such as the Sears List of Subject Headings, to church libraries when they purchase a newer edition.
** State and local government agencies sometimes have free printed information that would be of interest to your church members. You can provide patrons with a list of what is available from the internet.
** Thrift stores often sell books in good condition at reduced prices, and usually some Christian books can be found there.