I will give you the lowdown. We are a large church as you know. Our first building phase was in 1985, with a sanctuary and a children's Sunday School building (3 stories with around 45,000 sq.ft.). The library was given a 24'X32' room in this first building on its second floor between the elevators and the restrooms. Eventually we built another building with essentially the same design, but larger (wider), for adults. Over the years, the children's ministry expanded to take over the first floor of the second building. Fast forward to last year, when it became apparent that the building designs did not support the current theory of discipling children in large groups rather than small classes. So a major redesign of both buildings was undertaken. The plan was to totally remodel the first two floors of both buildings and add a connector building between such that those 4 floors look like just 2 continuous floors. We have just concluded the financial pledging to support the effort and will get underway in about a month and a half. During the design phase, the library personnel (church staff and volunteers) were not consulted. Finally the library staff lady asked for an audience about 3 weeks ago after we had seen the plan that did not include space for a library. On asking the church administrator about the library, we were told that nothing had been decided. I had prepared a paper with several options for continuing some sort of library during the 2 year remodel effort. My last option was to eliminate the library altogether, a thing not wanted, but had to be on the list. The word came back in a just a couple of days was that there was no available space anywhere else in the church and that the library was to be eliminated. I could not even get a 17'x17' space for a children's library. Our children's books are going to our church school, The First Academy. The remaining books are being distributed free to pastoral staff, library volunteers and then the church membership on a first come - first served basis.
Now those are the facts. But let me have a few words about the decisions. As you note, evangelistic churches are majoring on worship and mission work (short term, local, and career). Our church is also putting a high priority on forming new Bible study groups, especially home groups, for mostly adults and high school students. We have a dichotomy between the children's large group philosophy and the adult small group philosophy. If we teach the children in large groups, how will we ever convert them to small group scenarios when they reach adulthood. I believe without any proof that the library was tabled by the design committee and left to the end for resolution. Then when all the new space had been dedicated, the library was left in limbo.
Also, the printed book is becoming a dinosaur, especially with the younger generation, so libraries as they are presently constituted have to change. Our public library has exchanged book space for large computer rooms, etc. My alma mater, Georgia Tech, in a partnership with Emory University, has recently removed all books from the on-campus library and placed in a book warehouse. The library building has been remodeled to have only student study space. A student can still obtain a book by request and it will be delivered from the warehouse the next day. Everyone has the knowledge of the world at their fingertips in the cellphone, so why bother with books. The e-book can be more comprehensive with illustrations (photos and videos) than a printed book, and more easily revised.
Now, to put all the blame on the church staff and building committee is not totally accurate. The library usage has fallen, and I had to provide those statistics to church staff; and it wasn't pretty. In fact, I was fully expecting the decision that was made. One of the mysteries that I cannot fathom is that people will take free books (as a result of weeding), but will not c
I downloaded and printed out the Church Library Ministry Information Service pages yesterday. I would like to do the Equipping Church Librarians for Ministry Certificate. But every time I click on it, it says that it doesn't exists. Am I missing something? Thank you for all the information. Have a great day!
Ok, great. I want to learn as much as I can and think taking these courses will help me. Yes I buy these books. Just need to figure out how to down load them. Can't use the printer at work. Way to many pages.
Thank you, Morlee. Have you considered asking the prospective member 2-3 questions about their library to try to screen out the "weirdos" as you label them? Not just numbr of books/items that anyone could through a number at, but perhaps something subtle that could be answered by a legitimate interested librarian, but would result in an obvious "I don't know what you're talking about" to others? Maybe a question about favorite author or book title. Just an idea. Thanks for your efforts. Gene
Hi Deanna!! Our state events are sponsored by the state SBC associations but the events are open to everyone and we have many denominations and church groups attending. Ridgecrest is also open to everyone. THANKS!
Thanks for the welcome, Moralee. I appologize for not responding LOOONG before now! Life is just so full of activity and responsibility, I hardly have time to check my regular email! So glad I "stopped by" here today. This is a great way to keep in touch and get new ideas, etc. Hope to get by more often. Thanks for all your hard work on behalf of Church Librarians.
Thank you, Marlee! for your prompt response to my complaint. I'm well aware this abuse is not your fault. Just checked out some of the recent bulletin board photos--some excellent ones!--Dianne Callender
Another SCAM message today, from Jenifer Hagge, who purports to be our latest member. She sent all members an offer to find out about stocks. Don't believe this is the purpose of our group. I do appreciate the group when it is not abused. Wish all members felt the same. Dianne Callender
I have a suggestion for the Members Page. I'm trying to find all the Church Librarians who are in Florida or located nearby. Could they also be grouped by the City & State?
How do I connect my "Circle" post about our Aug. 21 meeting to our "California Evangelical Church Libraries" group? I tried doing a tag to the post with that exact name, but it didn't appear on the group page. Any help would be great. Thanks!