Collection Development

Hi Friends,

Our library has experienced several years of serious budget cuts. With funds only covering expenses, we have been unable to purchase new books. Our additions have consisted primarily of donated books. With the current COVID controls, a new awareness of the value of the church library has become evident. I will be submitting a budget request this year that includes going online - with a method of requesting items. The workers will complete the order and place it outside the library for pick-up.

I need to plan new additions in each area (children, juvenile and adult). Our best circulation is generally Christian fiction, but I do have some interested in Bible based reference literature, several seminary students and homeschool families.

My need is guidance as to a suggested amount to request. With little recent opportunity to purchase, I would value some advise in this area.

Thank you,
Anyse Myers
Media Center Director
Lilburn First Baptist
Lilburn GA

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  • The two main sources I use to purchase books are and Both have new and used books. At, you get a free book (under $5) after purchasing so many books (I don't remember). has sales all the time. Just recently, I purchased 10 books for $40 with their 20% of 4 or more books! Before buying, I research each site, including Amazon) to get the best price and only buy 'Used Good' or Used Very Good' books. You may want to check them out.
  • I basically fund our library. I also sell donations I can't use and buy books with the proceeds. Typically from Half Price Books and occasional used book fairs.

    As to the amount to suggest, check various Christian booksellers for lists and prices and budget accordingly.
  • For sources, Amazon is our #1 source for buying books because it is often cheapest, but Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, MI also has good sales. Christian Book Distributors does too and is worth checking out. Then there is, an outlet for churches and home schoolers that can have very good deals as well.
    Library and Educational Services - All items 30% to 70% off every day!
    Library and Educational Services (L.E.S.) is a wholesale distributor of educational and inspirational materials. All items are 30%-70% or more off ev…
  • Our library has not been included in the church budget for the last 15 years. It has made us very creative and God has greatly blessed us. We are blessed to have a chain of large used bookstores in the area that I canvas regularly when not under COVID restrictions. They give store credit for donations that we receive and cannot use. As for your specific question, consider that, at list price, 7 paperback adult fiction books will cost around $100 and go from there. Fiction hard covers $20 to $28. DVDs $15 to $25. Home schooling resources are not cheap, but something that people need right now. Comparison pricing will bring the cost down, of course, but maybe this gives you a starting point to come up with an estimate.
  • What is the size of your church, and how many books do you have in your library?
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