• Here's a list of practices I have to help and resources I use:

    1. When I check out a book that is in a series to a patron, I check to ensure we have the full series as well as what else the author has written.

    2. Amazon is terrific, believe it or not. You can also purchase used books through them from smaller suppliers as well as through Thriftbooks.

    3. I check the publisher of books that I really value that are on my shelf, then go to their website and see what else they publish (we love New Growth Press and 10 of Those, as well as many from Crossway and others).

    4. I use Goodreads to check reviews. There are individuals that are incredibly thorough. 

    Hope that answers a few of your questions!

  • I often just google authors then if something is out look at half price books or adlibris recently found  i am just getting started on figuring out how to do this.  i kind of have an edge on what fits our denomination I don't have librarian training I was a jr high library aid.  I went to school to complete a program that lets me help our pastor out if she wishes she had another pastor.  I can't do a comunion service but i can preach and do a service of the word if she is on a retreat or vacation but i had to do a project at church and fell into the library that was neglected for 40 years.  I am working to update it as can so this is very interesting to me.  i oddly enough have found a thrift store where i can find books for under a dollar cds for 2 and dvds for 1 mostly it doesn't work but i recently in last 6 months found Help the movie a brand new copy still shrink wrapped and a special edition of the world trade center movie with nicholas cage and joquin phoenix.  as well as a jewish artist music cd, and a book on walking and praying and 2 kids biogrophies one about hellen keller and one about claude monet.  in late may early june we have a yearly library book sale in town to support the public libraries and i told mom my husband does not want any more books in our house so i am planning on some books for my kid but most of our choices bieng for our church library.  sundays they often have deals like 5 dollars a bag or 10 dollars a box and i we usually get 2 to 3 boxes for us but i figure this year we will see what we can get to add to our church library.

    • Jenni, I was intrigued by your comment that your your church's library had been neglected for 40 years.  I'm meeting with my church moderator to discuss restoring our church library, which has been neglected since 2010.  Did you experience any opposition?  How did you deal with it?  Do you have any library experience?  I have none.  If I list our books on a Microsoft Excel sheet, will I be able to upload it to cataloging software?  Thank you.

      • I am not sure about the tech thing so we haven't quite gotten it catelogued yet.  I had 1 semester as a junior high school Library aid forever ago.  There was no oposition my most commen responses were WE HAVE A LIBRARY and HOW SOON WILL IT BE OPEN.  I could find no method to the library at all.  It was just 9 bookshelves full of books.  wandering around looking at the shelves you would find grief and loss books on multiple bookshelves and a big concentration of them taking up half a shelf of childrens chapter books for some reason.  The easiest thing I could find was to just take everything off of every bookshelf and if it wasn't out dated or falling apart I decided what I thought it was and put it in a pile someplace.  Then when I was done I sorted the piles into 8 categories and reshelved them with 1 bookcase for each category and used 2 for study which included concordances, comentaries, books about the bible, study books, education, study aids like encyclopedias and dictionaries, and the childrens non fiction section.  If you already have a system in place it should be easy to just check for out of date or worn out materials and go from there.  I was pretty much starting from scratch.  I found multiple copies of the same title on multiple shelves or even on multiple bookcases for some reason.  people did admit to adding books over the years and sticking them wherever they could find space which explained a few things.


  • I work at a public library so I see many books all the time!  One thing I enjoy doing is entering the "giveaways" that Goodreads does.  I just recently won a book through the giveaway program that I am in the process of finding out if it is appropriate for our church library.  Maybe some of you have heard of it and can share.  The title is "It Happened On Saturday" by Sydney Dunlap.  I did not enter the giveaway with the church library in mind, but if it works, then that's just the better!

  • I order a lot from so I get their catalogs and emails regularly. I have a wish list on their website. If something seems expensive, I check prices on Amazon. I get emails from them about new books from authors I follow. I signed up on They let me know when new books are available from authors I'm following also. Most of our users are reading fiction so I'm trying to keep up the series. Tracie Peterson, Wanda Brunstetter, Dee Henderson, Beverly Lewis and Robert Whitlow are favorites. I'm trying to steer these readers to the Christian Living section. I feel like we have a good selection there with authors like Charles Stanley, Billy Graham, Max Lucado, Sheila Walsh, and Joni Earickson Tada. I'm friends with some authors on Facebook. Sometimes they recommend other authors. A lot of our books are published by Harvest House. 

  • I search the Christianbooks catalogs and online. I search the "new releases" or "coming soon" to find out about new books. I also browse IVP online sometmes. I keep a list of books I want to buy on an excel sheet listed by Childrens, Chapter books, Fiction, and Nonfiction. Of course the list is a lot longer than my budget!  I mostly buy from ChristianBooks and try to buy when there is a sale and free shipping. We have a Half Price bookstore in our town so sometimes I check there for an older book.

    In pruchasing, I try to buy a balance of picture books, chapter books, fiction, and nonfiction. For fiction, I always buy the next Francine Rivers and Lynn Austen books, and a variety of genres otherwise, and books men might like. For nonfiction, I buy solid basic Christian books of Christian beliefs, Christian life, topics such as money, missions, parenting and marriage, church in the world, etc.

    I have been at this for over 40 years and I know certain publishers are good, and just accumulated a lot of knowlege in that time. I am now seeng new publishers so I need to check some of those.

    Collection development (what it is called in library school) takes a lot of time and effort to build a library of books that people like to read and some that they should read.  Keep in mind your denomination beliefs, your pastor's themes in sermons, what kinds of books people ask for, etc. Keep your library mission statement in mind as you buy.

  • I look at Christian Book Dis catalog and Baker books online Since I have a budget of $750. a year I look for the best price (including shipping cost) and order from whoever has the best price sometimes it is local store or Amazon) There all also several authors follow on line and they will say when they or a friend are going to release one often the pre-release cost is less than list price by 40% so will pre-order them.

    How do I choose which books to buy? What are people reading? Right now it seems to be alot  Mystery/Suspense and Historical fiction and by Historical I mean pre WWl with a little Comtemporary So that is what I buy. When I see or hear of a new author (or one don't know) I try to read one of their books myself 1st Then if I enjoy it I will buy in print 1 and see if it getsread if it does then will look formore books by that person (Thriftbooks is otten my friend there) 

    We have several people who donot like to read series which is hard and most do not like duel time novels


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