Thinking Ahead Beyond the Pandemic

An important part of what we face as church and synagogue librarians is connecting with what is happening in our faith families. Dr. Clay Stauffer is pastor of Woodmont Christian Church in Nashville. In Saturday’s Tennessean, he was the author of an interesting article about predictions about where we may find ourselves as a result of the pandemic. Lots of bloggers are doing such postings right now for pastors. Dr. Stauffer provides us with a collection of these predictions. Click here to read his article.

Let’s consider implications of these predictions for our library ministries. We need to be thinking ahead just like our church and synagogue leaders are doing right now. 

What implications do you see in this article that library ministries must embrace?

Are any of these predictions possible windows for our library ministries to consider moving what we do out of the shadows in to the light of filling possible gaps challenging our faith families beyond the pandemic?

Every faith family is unique. What are you already seeing in your own faith family?

Join us in this conversation through comments as we grapple with the future.


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  • Our Library has remained open even when the church was closed. We are blessed to have an outside door to the church right outside the library. For a while we were opening on Fri. pm's for homeschoolers. There was some participation from them. Since opening the church again we have D/C that option.We also did a major weeding and REARRANGING of Shelving and books. We were working on that on Mon. PM's and several our our adult users came during that time which worked well. When Items are checked out form the shelves we try to wipe then off outside with clorex/lysol wipes when we hand them back to the patron. All books are wiped down outside and page edges when Items are returned and Isolate them for at least 7 days before reshelving. The weeded fiction books were donated to local assisted living/nursing homes. Before taking them to the facility we placed a gospel track somewhere in the book for the residents to find as they were reading. We just took a second round of weeded books last week. When I called to get  permission to bring them the person (activities directors) Thanked us for the previous donation and said that many of their residents had taken advanatage of the previous books and were thrilled to receive "New Books". We also did a Fall Reading Challenge for age 4-18 Shortly after our church resumed in-house meeting. We had participation in All Age Groups 4-7, 8-12, 13-18.  This month the library is sponsoring a "Youth Art and Crafts Fair" We currently have 14 entries from age 12-20 youth. Our church currently does not have a leader for the 18-20 year olds so they are in with our youth. Items will be voted on by Church Attendees. They will recieve ribbon awards. Items will be numbered and voters will not know who did each item. 


    @Morlee Maynard




    Our library has continued to be quite active throughout the last ten-eleven months.  When the church was not open, we delivered books to people's homes.  When church re-opened,  people immediately began coming back to the library, many on Sundays and some, who aren't coming for in-person worship, during the week.  We had a summer reading program for kids and an adult reading challenge (going on now).  We advertise these via our newsletter, email, and the church facebook page.  We always let people know that we are happy to bring them any book they want or even pick some out for them. No doubt we will continue this when church is completely open again (as in, no seating/mask restrictions) if there are still people who are not attending in person.

    Our church was broadcasting services long before Covid hit and we will, of course, continue to do so.  Currently, we do have a number of people who are still watching rather than attending, and I assume that some people will choose to do it that way for a long time.  However, in a business meeting last night I learned that around 75% of our people come in person, which is higher than the average, from what our staff was able to determine.  This gives me hope!

  • Let's start today to focus on how each prediction might open opportunities for our library ministries. 

    Prediction #1 Online Church is Here to Stay

    How can online church/synagogue be an opportunity for our library ministries?


  • We haven't noticed any withdrawals from the library since mid December. The library is doubling as a Sunday school room and I expect it will close before the year is out. We have already downsized once so that shelving could be removed to make room for a Sunday school room within the library walls. The doors are kept unlocked for convenience to our church members, but the church outside doors are locked and you have to call ahead to get in during the week. 

  • Our church leaders and staff just met for a "Leadership Strategy Session" to discuss what we have done right in the past eleven months (including maintaining the library ministry), what we would do different if we had to do it again, and what we need to focus on for the next four months.  A follow-up session has been scheduled next month.  This article will be helpful, so I will make sure our pastor has read it.  Thanks!

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