• My "church library" is actually the Historical Library & Archives of the Illinois Baptist State Association. Last November, a sewer line broke under the building. There was damage to several rooms in the basement. The archives room is in the basement of the building and, although there was no damage to the archives, the plumbers needed to dig through the floor of the room to access and repair the break. So, on the Monday before Thanksgiving, a crew of volunteers emptied EVERYTHING out of the archives (shelves & all!). With a motivated, strong, and energetic crew the task was finished in 2-1/2 hours. Now that the repair is finished, the other volunteer and I are tasked with re-creating the archives room. We have the opportunity to make numerous improvements in the shelving and the floor plan. We need to weed some (a lot?) of irrelevant items before we move them back in. This is definitely one of those crisis-turned opportunity events. Please pray for us as we begin planning and working!

  • We are converting from Concourse to Atrium. It seems to be a powerful tool!

  • we just got permission from our elders to open for limited access one day a week, since church service is still online due to the pandemic.  Hoping that families with young children will enjoy this opportunity to browse the collection and check out!

  • We are finally going onlin! I have been asking since we computerized the library in 2000 They were running cable so all the Sunday School classes could be online and I asked them to please run the cable accross the hall too and they did Then we found the library computer did  not have what it needed and that was corrected No more lugging books home for AR levels/points or to find out if there are other books by author that we dont have

    We have also started a year long reading challenge with prizes awarded to one person each month who checks out a book that month No required reading lists just encouragement to read outside their comfort zone


  • I'm fighting being envious of those who are converting from Concourse to Atrium.  I love the whole concept.  We looked into it last year after a virus hit the church server.  We could handle the initial cost, but the $800 to $900 annual maintenance fee was what killed it for us.  We've not been included in the church budget since 2005, with a declining budget before that; spending that amount of money annually did not seem to be good stewardship of our money.  Maybe some day.  We have been blessed to have many people who have donated outstanding study materials as well as other resources, as well as have donated monetarily.  Locally we also have an oustanding used book store with multiple locations where we are able to take donated items we cannot use and obtain store credit for them.  Literallly hundreds of our items have been obtained there. 

    We have had multiple computer issues since the virus hit in June, making it very difficult to reenter the 1100+ items that were lost from the library program (January 2018 to the present).  I'm looking for the last 68 (I think) books on our shelves.  I still have audio books and DVDs to work on, but I have 3 paper boxes full of new items to process.  Since books are the items most checked out now, they are my priority.  All of that to say, I hope to be able to complete that this year with a minimum of mental anguish. :)  We also plan to replace our old laptop with a new one.  I have always had a computer previously used by a staff member; the thought of a new one is exciting.

    Despite the setbacks of last year, I marvel at what God continues to accomplish with our limited resources.

  • I became Library Ministry Team Leader of our 75 year old library at First Baptist Church Griffin, GA, on January 1.  Although the library has been closed since mid-March, we have been busy doing book pickups on Tuesday afternoons and home deliveries of materials at other times.  I have taken advantage of the library's "down time" to rearrange some areas of the library to allow for more fiction shelves (49 shelves worth!). We moved our magazines, biographies, church historical records, and CD/DVD collections to different areas of the library.  We are also in the process of upgrading from Concourse to Atriuum.  The initial upload happened this morning (1/11/21) and we hope to be trained on 1/25. Like so many of you, we do receive lots of books people want to donate.  While we are very selective with what we keep, we have had a large backlog of books stacked in our library workroom.  My goal in January is to get that room straightened up!  We also have two of our team members sorting through bins of library display materials to categorize and document the items in each bin (and probably purchase more bins)..  We've commandeered a large walk-in closet near the library to store our bins on shelves that will be constructed.  I can hardly wait for our 21-person team to welcome our church and community back into the library when we can reopen!


    Brian McCartney

    Library Team Leader

    First Baptist Church of Griffin, GA

  • We opened in the summer and fall with limited weekday hours, and a specific time for senior appointments. We've had ongoing use, but much slower than usual, and we did not have the children each week from the day school. 

    Beginning this month, we are adding open hours on Sunday mornings, though I don't know yet if it will be staffed or self-serve due to restrictions. The reading specialist who works with the day school teachers is developing a book loan procedure since the school children will not be visiting the library for a while.  The main change is that we are moving from Booksystems Concourse to Atriuum next week.  

    Kris Jodon

    Carey B. Sayers Memorial Library, Chapelwood UMC

    Houston, TX

  • Well...this isn't exactly new for us, but it is a new year and so we've started promoting our Adult Reaching Challenge!  We are doing sign-ups now, and will begin the challenge at the end of the month.  It runs for seven weeks.  Participants receive a bookmark with 16 different categories of book to read during this time.  We generally give a prize of some sort to the top three readers.  This is, for the most part, a fiction-reading challenge (unlike our year long "Growing in Faith" reading challenge of 2020) with one or two non-fiction categories stuck in there for good measure.  


    Debbie Dehart

    Berean Baptist Church

    Portage MI

    • The Reading Challenge sounds interesting! How do you "advertise" it ?  I assume the "Growing in Faith" challenge included spiritual and formation nonfiction books?

      Kris Jodon, Chapelwood UMC, Houston, TX

      • We promote the challenge in several ways.  Bulletin, announcements on the overhead, facebook (we have a church fb page),  through our newsletter, and we have a sign-up table in the hallway outside the library.


        The Growing in Faith challenge was interesting - we created a different bookmark for each quarter in 2020.  Each bookmark had 16 categories on it as well, of all kinds.  Most were non-fiction, but each also included reading a novel with the goal of looking for spiritual growth in the characters.  For that assignment, we included a list of about 10 fiction authors to choose from.

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