• I also look at Amazon reviews. Many comments are in-depth, detailing the positives and negatives of the book. Always read the 1-star reviews also. A negative review might state, "leans heavily towards Baptist thinking". For me, as a Baptist, this is a positive, not a negative! After reading numerous Amazon reviews, I've sort of developed a rhythm, or inner sense, of how much I believe and rely on certain reviewers and can scan them much faster now.

  • Does the Christian Library Journal still exist?  I tried to search for it.  The website had been suspended and the last entry on the Facebook page was 2011.  I could find nothing about the journal in my search.

  • Sherry, what is determined "suitable" depends on your denomination and what your church's teachings are.   I happen to run a Catholic church library and when I get donations that I'm not sure about, I look at the index and see what topics are covered.   If there is one that could possibly present information against Catholic teaching, I will read those pages and see what is said.   Obviously you will need to know what your church teaches so you know what to look for.   Some time back, I also recruited a group of well-catechized parishioners who were very familiar with good authors and I made a list of those we should include in our library, as well as some we should not have.  A bookstore owner I know also gave me a list of publishers that are known to put out "orthodox" books, and those who are either "iffy" or tend to go against Catholic teaching.  When I read Catholic magazines or diocesan newspapers, I make a list of books that have good reviews and add them to my "wish list" for eventual purchase.  When books are donated that I feel do not belong in our library (or are duplicates of ones I already have), I donate them ARC or Goodwill.  The more you read and talk to people in your church, the better you will get at determining what to accept and what to purchase.  Good luck!

  • I cant read every book before I purchase it. So if I am not familiar with the author I will read professional reviews of the book. Reviews for church libraries are published in Christian Library Journal and Catholic Library World. If you don't have funds to subscribe to the professional library journal you can use

    you will have to create a free account on but there you will be able to find many library collection resources. Simply type a title and read the reviews. 

  • We review all books before we place them in our library. If they don't fit the policies, we return if (if possible).  Usually, the store/publisher is grateful when we tell them why.  If you are just looking for new ideas for books, check with the libraries/librarians of similar churches.  I've found some good ideas by looking at others' OPAC and OverDrive sites.

  • If it is by an author have never heard of I read it or ask someone else to read it Sites that sell books new and used are very helpful with their review of book

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