I have been a Church librarian for a long, long time and am familiar with all the old stand by publishers, and denominations they are /are not associated with. I know who I trust. But lately it seems there are many new publishers I don't know. Is there an up-to-date list some where that gives information about new publishers? I don't know who is trustworthy anymore.
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I order the most from Christian books although you have to know what you want before you go there as they carry things that are not sound in theology or scriptural like lifeway stores used to do. I also recommend Westminster bookstore (wtsbooks.org) - I am not Presbyterian, but they are more sound theologically. I order from Answers in Genesis, and occasionally Banner of Truth Trust. The Good Book Company is a new one that I recognize many of the authors. Christian Focus is carried by Christian books, and Westminister. They are a sound publisher. Hope this helps.
you do have to be careful. If I'm ordering from Amazon.com, I will check the bottom and the top reviews and some in between. I also add the top percentages to see how many people liked the book; I check Tim Challies' reviews on his blog, and World's reviews in that magazine, and sometimes still I can't get it right. Lately, I've been reading books on my Kindle if I can get a book I'm not sure about ordering for a good price. Then I order it. I cannot read everything, and I no longer have a cadre of older folks that will help out with that. And I tend to stick with authors I know unless someone I trust has personally read things by new authors. I know what you mean about publishers- they are walking back, and apologizing, and canceling. Bummer for us librarians.
Although we tend to buy from certain publishers who, in the past have, met our guidelines and our church's core beliefs, we have not put any title on the shelf before reading it first or having one of our mature Christian readers read it and supply a review. We keep the review in the bib record for the book, even those that have been rejected. That information helps when a patron later asks for that title, we can explain why we don't carry it. We only have a bib record on those titles that are rejected. For titles that are accepted, the review is oftentimes published in our library newsletter. Several years ago, I developed a set of guidelines for review and had printed them on a bookmark. We also have a list of books that wanna-be reviewers are encouraged to read before attempting a review.
My philosophy is the old rule of the comma--when in doubt, leave it out! Remember that we are the only libraries where parents can know that any book one picks out is OK. I have ladies whose judgment I trust to read my fiction books. I, too, read lots of reviews but that doesn't quite give all the facts. I did the 2014 list of publishers found on the main page. I purposefully listed non-Christian publishers with their denomination if known. Names of some publishers are very similar but very different in beliefs. Also, many publishers come and go. Many have become a part of other publishing companies. I might also add that I have found that Bethany Publishers is one of the best for Christian fiction.
I looked at the list on the main page entitled "Church Library Collection Development". Quite an extensive list and pleased that it is so thoroughly listed. I wrote down a few of the publishers that I KNOW are trustworthy to offer God's message in the true sense. This may change in time as more and more publishers are buying out others. I take a conservative approach to my reviewing books. Here goes:
Eerdman's Publishers - I have always found that this publisher thoroughly researches all of its materials
David C. Cook - not as noted as it used to be
Focus on the Family
Add to that, Christian Focus, Banner of Truth Trust
Thanks Ladies ~ all of you who have replied. This has been very helpful. Just to know others feel the same concerns as I do is encouraging.
Very good question and I don't blame you for checking the authors. Even Tyndale has branched out into secular books with a hint of religion. That's OK to reach a broader audience. For fiction, I check the book out of our public library and read everyone. Same with YA books. Even the elementary books need to be watched closely. There is a librarian on my church committee and I asked her opinion about a series for elementary (Al Capone does my shirts) is first one which I bought on the spot at a local bookstore. I read some reviews on Amazon that were not that good, asked her about her viewpoint and she said OK. As I read the first book I series, I was not pleased with wording and discarded all 3 in series.
The last thing I want is for a parent or grandparent to question a book from the church library. Even if a first book in series is OK, 2nd one may not be. Author snatches your attention and you assume that all is OK. Watch with a careful eye.
Lots of publishers are merging and so we need to even be more careful. Thanks for your discernment.
I agree. I want to caution even about dvd's for kids also. The Nest Hero classics about historical figures, I have found to be alright, but do not get any of the Bible ones. There are a few that pass muster, but Nest Entertainment has a strong Mormon element- The director, most of the screenplay writers, and actors/voices/singers are all Mormon, and some of that leaks through in music, and in the Bible stories. I bought the 8-vol. set from CBD, and had to discard/ (translation-eat) 4/8.
I agree with Sandra- It's book by book- I try to check all donations, especially theological donations- Fiction I check by reading every review I can find on Amazon.com, CBD and others. I search the internet with the title of the book, and alternative views. I read book reviews on World Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, and other bloggers I follow. With Fiction, I farm it out unless I am very familiar with the author. About a year ago, got an entire bag of Frank Peretti, but after reading reviews, and the many non-Christian themes running through his books, I decided against it. I have the first two he wrote, and that's all. Waterbrook Multnomah owns Convergent Books which published God and the Gay Christian. http://www.worldmag.com/2014/04/can_a_divided_publishing_house_stand
It's what we are given discernment for by the Holy Spirit.