At RevGals, Jan poses an interesting question about two topics close to my heart:
Church libraries seem to be diminishing and even disappearing in some churches. Our church is full of scholarly books that no one looks at, and how should it change, be developed, or continue? As the de-facto chairperson of the library, I need ideas and suggestions about church libraries in this day and age. Please help!
1. Does your church have a library? What is it like? My church does not have a library (as far as I know, I am quite new there).
2. Has this church library changed in recent years? I remember the church library of the church I grew up in...as a reader and a curious person, and as the child of the Sunday School superintendent with a lot of time to kill in the summers, I read extensively in the church library. Most of it I didn't understand. But it was fascinating.
3. Does your church library serve as space for other activities, such as meetings or as a multi-purpose room? I attended a meeting this week that was held in the chapel...it was mentioned that, lacking a library, this was the best space available to us.
4. Is a church library necessary? What does a library need? At my former church, the rector mentioned somewhat huffily that "someone said there was not a church library...that's not true!" He went on to point out 2 shelves of books and films in the church office. Those had never been mentioned in my hearing as "the church library." You have to tell people you have one, if you want them to use it.
5. Imagine the library your church would use and describe it. Of course, I am all about a few tood reading chairs and some interesting books. In fact, I have a good many books I'd like to donate to a church library. Wouldn't it be great to have a computer in there, bookmarked with lots and lots of different online sites for spirituality, prayer, RevGals (of course), etc.? You could have classes to help people learn to navigate the web, too.