My question has to do with Sunday School/Bible study curriculum specifically (not dated materials like quarterlies).
What does your church do with all of these materials? I personally don't believe that every workbook and teacher's guide should be cataloged into my software, and for now they aren't at my church.
But they just sit there. There is no way (outside of going in that room and scanning the shelves) to know what materials we have. No one can say, "hey do we have curriculum for Ester, or Romans, or parenting - just examples). Those materials may be there, but not in a functional, searchable way.
I'd really just like to know what other churches do with these materials.
Thanks so much,
Hayes Barton Baptist Church
Are these for adult or kids' classes?
I'm not sure where or how our church keeps track of their kids' materials, but our CE pastor has asked us to create and maintain an "Adult CE" area in our library. In it we have Adult SS studies from our denomination, and also a variety of books and book/dvd sets which have been used by SS classes or which we think are good possible resources for SS classes. There are also a number of Bible Study books there (of the fill-in-the-blank type), mostly as a resource in case someone is wanting a study like that but wants to see before buying. The CE committee is in the process of revamping our Adult CE Scope and Sequence, and we will expand our Adult CE area and our non-fiction area to help meet the needs of whatever that ends up looking like. We will also make it easier to search our catalog for the kinds of things the teachers will be needing to work with the new S and S.
Yes, it's work, and yes, it takes up valuable library space. But one of our primary goals for the library is to help in any way we can with our church's mission statement: Developing Fully Devoted Followers of Christ. We also believe this will expand our library's usage, significance and relevance in the life of our church.
At one time we kept a set of each quarter's curricula. A set being the quarterly, leader guide, teacher guide, etc. We did this primarily to determine what supplemental materials to purchase for the library. Retaining them became quite cumbersome, not from a cataloging perspective, but from a space perspective. Rarely were they checked out after the quarter ended, only checked because someone remembered a particular section or article that they wanted to view again. Most of our patrons come to the library for more in-depth materials. We do keep the wall-sized maps that come with the Explore the Bible curricula. Leftovers are donated to Edwin Hodges Ministries, now called Love Packages, I believe.
Some curriculum we add to the catalog, usually if it has an accompanying video, and we think other small groups might use it. For those not in our catalog, the materials are in a large closet with an organization that the adult discipleship team devised. After using the system for a year, the administrative assistant tweaked it to make it easier to find some items. I believe they are being compiled into a list by a volunteer. I can check on it next time I’m there. The closet is in the adult discipleship area, rather than the library, and we work together, for as librarian, I’m on the adult discipleship team. We keep fairly current items in the closet and when removing items from there, the library gets an opportunity to keep it or not.
We do not have space in our library to store this sort of thing. In the past used and extra copies were stored in a closet off of the room where the ABFs met. They literally took over that space. We recently boxed them all up (25 boxes) and donated them to our local Gospel Rescue Mission that had moved to new quarters. They were thrilled to get them.
They are collected and sent to a mission that then uses them
They are filling up a room in our Church. We have given some away in the past. A couple that attends has a son that is a missionary in Africa. He has shown interest in the material but has put us off about taking it when he is home. We've given some to a deaf ministry in our area. They took dated material and said it didn't matter that it was dated. They haven't been back for more.