I am in charge of starting up our church's very, very small library. Any suggestions? The collection will consist of materials that members donate. Does having a check-in/check-out notebook seem to work out okay in cases like mine?

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    • Charles, this is a great idea and just perfect for our little church. I just joined.  Thank you for the idea!

  • Thank you so much for taking on the task of starting a library at your church.  No library is too small to share God's Word with others.  I think it is a good suggestion by to look at the manual that  Morlee suggests.  I too had a small library and in 1988 we moved to a dedicated library and have expanded since that time. 

    It is great that books are DONATED, but be cautious as at times people donate books that they no longer want or are not happy with the purchase that they made.  So weed, weed, and weed some more.  I always look at this project as a way of "spring cleaning" my closets.  Be firm in your decisions and don't back down when someone says "how come my donation is not in your library". 

    Next start with the simple categories vs. trying to pin-point everything in Dewey Decimal system.  Simple categories are "Fiction; Christian Life; Bible History; Bible Study; Bible NT and Bible OT; Prayer; books relating to your denomination".  If you want me to send you a copy of my list of categories, I would be happy to do so.  Don't try to get a computer software system going if you have fewer than 100 books. I simply use Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and it does everything for me including inventory.  When you get everything entered, you'll be able to convert easily down the road.

    Keep it simple and you'll succeed.

    • Hi Bev

      I'm brand new--don't even have a bookcase at this time. We'll start with 100 or so books.

      Do you still have a lits to your categories? I'd love to have it.

      • Sadly, Bev has retired from church library ministry. You may hear from others as to what they use in their church's library. Many of us use Sears Subject Headings for Church Libraries. This list is located in the Church Library Ministry Information Service. This resource covers all aspects of church library ministry--administration, collection development, classification & cataloging, and promotion. Click here. And we use A Classification System for  Church Libraries. Our prayers go with you as you begin the journey.

        Church Library Ministry Information Service
        For decades Church Library Ministry Information Service has been a leading how-to resource for church librarians. This updated PDF edition includes m…
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  • Hi Michelle!! Welcome to the CLN!! You will find lots of experienced librarians here to "coach" you. Be patient though. I'm afraid most of us are caught up in Christmas preparations. I do want to connect you with someone who has taken a very small start up and grown it through the years in a smaller church. Also, consider getting the resource Church Library Ministry Information Service. It covers everything. It is also the main resource used in the courses you will find on EQUIP. See the CLN tabs above.

    I'll be in touch with an article on how to start a library and connections to the author.

    Thanks! Know of my prayers for you and your team!


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