Anyse asked me to post the following question for her:

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 advice in this area.

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

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  • A rough rule-of-thumb used to be $2 per church member.  If you have 500 members, then $1000 for product (not supplies).  The type and amount of supplies needed would depend on the formats in the library (i.e, books need dust cover jackets, repair and pre-mending supplies; CDs and DVDs need replacement containers; all need spine and bar code labels, in addition to general office supplies such as paper and pens. 

    May I send some new, gently new items to you as donations?  Email me at and I'll send a list to you of the uncatalogued duplicates that we have available for donation to libraries.


    Martha Jo Dendinger

    First Baptist Atlanta


  • I don't have any good suggestions for how much to request but I do have a suggestion for keeping your costs low.  I highly recommend developing a relationship with your local public library.  I donate books that I cannot use for the church library to the public library.  The public library is generous in sharing their excess donations and withdrawals that are appropriate for the church library at significantly lower prices than yardsales/thrift stores/online sites.  It is a win-win relationship for everyone.  

    • We do shop the sales, too, but with the COVID situation there have not been any large sales in the past few months.


  • I would see if going online can come out of your churchs tech support budget it as well as the yearly fee after all it is techology.

    If you shop sales and used books (both online and local) $500 will go a long way Sometimes you can find new books at used prices that way


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