A Church Library Currently in Transition

Back in January (2019) our pastor and staff started the process of assessing all the ministries of our church as to how each on aligns to the mission, vision, core values, and discipleship process of our church. They determined that our library ministry needed to move in the same direction our church family is going.

On March 27th, I officially became the library team leader with no team members. The first task was moving the collection to a new room being created by a building program. With the services of my Sunday School class, we prepared the collection for the move and made the move in four weeks. All of us have jobs and have daily commitments so most of our work was done on Wednesday evenings. The actual move itself had to be done in a few days so many of us readjusted our schedules in order to make it happen by the deadline. To God be the glory!

Our next step was unloading the borrowed carts which made the logistics possible. That took three Wednesday evenings. Members of my Sunday School class plus a couple of others have continued to set up the space. Currently we are doing an inventory to confirm what items are on the shelves. We hope to finish the inventory during the next two Wednesday evenings.

Layered on top of these actions, we are also working out a new direction for this library ministry. We are dramatically changing the purpose and mission of the collection and the actions of the ministry. Our focus is on making disciples. As we finalize our concept, I will share our two-page description with you. We are very excited about what God is doing in our midst! Hopefully, we will have our grand opening on August 11 when our new building opens.

Grateful,

Morlee Maynard

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Comment by Morlee Maynard on February 27, 2020 at 8:17am

Last night we had 14 people show up for our February Topic of the Month gathering even though snow was in the area. Our topic was Loving our Children. Targeted three groups of parents: Birth to Empty Nest; Special Needs; Grown Children.  Half of our group were members of our EC team, but all 7 team members had personal interests in the topic. We are realizing the smaller group size is meaning more to the participants because they have more opportunities to talk. Take a look at our poster, flyer, and booklist.

Loving Our Children Poster

Loving our Children Flyer

Loving Our Children Book List HO

Now we look to March and April. Due to Easter and Spring Break, we are spending 2 months on a topic this time. Our March-April Topic is Loss: WHEN LOSS CRASHES IN -- Death, Divorce, Jobs, Dreams, Hopes.

Comment by Morlee Maynard on February 4, 2020 at 4:22pm

Our first Topic of the Month gathering took place last Wednesday (January 29, 2020). For something totally new and different for our church family, we are pleased with the results. We had 12 people attend. Only 2 out of the twelve are not on our Enrichment Center team but all of us have connections with people suffering with some sort of dementia. The two who are seriously dealing with a family member with Alzheimer's are very interested in our church family having more opportunities for them to fellowship with others in their situation. 

Dementia Topic Flyer page 1

Dementia Topic Flyer page 2

Dementia Topic Poster

This past Sunday (02/02/2020) we launched the February Topic of the month: Loving our Children. Click here to see our Topic of the Month flyer. And check out our poster.

FHBC February 2020 Topic of the Month

February Topic of the Month Poster

Comment by Morlee Maynard on January 10, 2020 at 9:15am

Our transition to becoming a disciple making center had another step this week. (The next comment below tells about the other  step we had this week.) Yesterday (January 9, 2020) our Mothers Day Out Preschool focused on the letter L so all three groups visited the Library for a tour. I met with each group for 15 minutes each. Must admit, we all enjoyed being together! We hope to start having the Enrichment Center open during one of the three days our church has MDO.  

Comment by Morlee Maynard on January 10, 2020 at 8:57am

Our transition to becoming a disciple making center had two major steps this week. Sunday we started our first Topic of the Month opportunity. We are excited that we got a great place in our church's DiscipleLife catalog of Winter and Spring groups! You will find here page 1 of our flyer and page 2. One side focuses on January while the other side explains the strategy. Since this strategy is the first time our church library has ever done anything except provide a room of books, we know that we will start out slow in participation. After Sunday and Wednesday for the display, we have two people who checked out books. In a way this January topic is our trial run like a soft launch of something new. You will see on the flyer that the participants will gather on January 29 to share what they learned from their reading and meet each other. Our hope is that people in these end of the month gatherings will choose to continue to meet. Your prayers are needed as we experiment with a new concept for our church.

I will add a picture of the Topic of the Month display on Monday.

Comment by Morlee Maynard on December 30, 2019 at 9:12am

We are enjoying lots of firsts for our Enrichment Center. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years! Since the last time I had a chance to add to our story, we finally got our furniture. We are very pleased, but one cannot please everyone. Our furniture was designed by the same person who designed the furniture for the rest of our new building so our space flows right in with the rest of the area around us. Here are a few pictures of our completed room.

Comment by Morlee Maynard on October 23, 2019 at 10:14am

Did not realize how behind I am on sharing what is happening with the Enrichment Center. During these weeks we have been busy processing new items, deselecting items to remove, rearranging the items on the shelves, and growing our team. 

Tonight I will meet with our Adult Engagement Coordinators for the third time. Our Minister of Education wants to include our Topic-a-Month strategy as part of the DiscipleLife Ministry starting in January. So we are going to write a "course" description and identify the topics. I'll share what we come up with by the end of the week.

We are still waiting on the furniture to arrive. A TV will be installed today that we will use to promote new items. 

God continues to lead us as we seek to transition to intentionally help our people grow in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through reading. 

Comment by Morlee Maynard on August 29, 2019 at 2:10pm

Last night I met with the youth ministry staff about where to locate the collection for students. The Main location of the Enrichment Center is fairly out of the way of the youth areas for Bible study and worship. We decided to keep it in the Main location since youth have very little time in the youth building for using the collection. The staff is going to do a concerted effort in all of their newsletters, emails, posters, and so on to direct youth to visit the Main location. If that does not get traction, we will consider purchasing a booktruck/cart to use in Elevate which is our contemporary worship center. And we chose a parent for me to invite to be our Youth Engagement Coordinator. Can't wait to get this started!

Last night our Enrichment Center team reset the room for Fall. Displayed items that relate to the sermon series and the Bible studies for all ages. Very pleased with how the windows are working on the hallway. Had a lot more guests last night than previous weeks! The word is getting out! 

The budget for 2020 is due tomorrow! Just about ready to send it in. Whew!!

Comment by Morlee Maynard on August 13, 2019 at 2:02pm

I was wondering if that would interest anyone. Our public library has engagement coordinators on their roster of personnel. It hit me that our church libraries could have specific people with the responsibilities to connect our libraries with specific target audiences. Not a new concept, but perhaps a new title. I hope to meet with two couples this week to create this new position with them. One couple has a heart for parents today who do not value bringing their children to church on a regular basis. The other couple have different interests. The husband may be interested in targeting men. The wife has a ministry with preparing children and teens for what is ahead of them. So our plans call for Engagement Coordinators with preschoolers, children, youth/young adults, emerging adults, men, women, … the list is endless! For example, the youth engagement team will include youth and one or two of their leaders. They will run the youth Enrichment Center that will be in the Youth Building. The preschool and children engagement coordinators will be responsible for taking a cart of books for preschoolers and children to the Welcome Center in that part of our building every Sunday and Wednesday. These engagement coordinators will participate in selecting items for their target audiences. They will be the ones to host book clubs during the years. As this develops, I will keep you posted. AND, if anyone already has engagement coordinators by another title, I want to learn from your experiences.

Comment by Lynda Morrison on August 13, 2019 at 1:38pm

So I have NEVER heard the term: Engagement Coordinator. Can you please fill me in on what their responsibilities are? I could make a stab at a guess or check the 'net, but I would rather hear from you, Morlee!

Comment by Morlee Maynard on August 13, 2019 at 12:49pm

We did it!! We launched the Enrichment Center on Saturday (the10th) during our new churchwide  open house. Loved giving out new book marks as a great crowd dropped in to check out the room. 

Sunday was our first day to have the Enrichment Center open ready to check out items AND the first day for our church family with a new schedule. Promotion Day! As everyone was finding their way to new rooms and keeping up with the time changes, we only had a few people drop in the Enrichment Center. But we checked out 7 items and reserved 1 item. Due to  our window displays, 6 of the 7 checked out items drew people in to check out items displayed in the windows. 

During the Open House and on Sunday we had people fill out information forms if they had never checked out anything in the former library. Our Atriuum catalog only had people who were members when the collection was automated 20 years ago and newer members who had checked items out. So yesterday I added 33 new customers and updated the profiles of 22 customers. We will add more on Wednesday.

Our work continues as we process new items, work through a deselection process for about 50 boxes of weeded items, train our team in how to use Atriuum, and the never ending process of shifting the shelves. Our team is growing in numbers (now 12) as well as growing in relationships. Lots of new connections. And my next task is to begin enlisting Engagement Coordinators. Can't wait to add this aspect to our ministry!

Thank you to those of you who have prayed for us. 

Our prayer continues: 

Father, enrich us to tear down the walls that separate us from the communities that surround our church family as we build bridges to people who need a Savior and to a community of fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ.

We have pictures, but I am having trouble preparing them to post here. Will do as soon as things work. :)

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