The following document is a summary of the principles and procedures used to organize and maintain a Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) church library.
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Church exists to provide resources which will help the members of the congregation to grow in knowledge of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and to nurture their Christian faith.
1.Board and/or Committee Responsible - After prayerful consideration, the need for a church library was determined.At that time the Outreach Committee was responsible for the library, but it now falls under the auspices of the Board of Adult Discipleship.An annual report is given to this board.2.Location - A high traffic area is most desirable - a wall area or room with great visibility in or off of the church narthex is best.
Pastor's Role - We are given a fairly free hand and receive advice and guidance as requested.4.
Funding - We receive most of our funding through the church budget and also accept monetary donations and memorials.5.
Book Donation Policy - We reserve the right to use the material or not as determined by the suitability of the donation and whether it fits into the needs of the collection.This procedure is explained to the donor and clarified if the material is not used, is it to be returned or disposed of by the librarians.
At the meeting of the WELS-Church Librarians Organization books not needed or duplicate books are made available for other libraries to use as needed for their collections.6.Staffing - Our library is in an open area and available at all times, therefore it is not staffed for checkouts.
There are three librarians who are responsible for all areas of the library, dividing these areas between them.
Even if you feel you can do this alone, consider having another librarian - its great to have someone with whom you can bounce ideas.7.
Northwestern Publishing House discounts 10% t to church libraries.
B.CBD (Christian Book Distributors) P.O.
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Often more reasonable than NPH but will not bill the church, only accepting credit cards.They provide great service.
D.Focus on the Family 8.
Material Preview - All material from NPH has been previously previewed.Titles obtained from other sources are previewed by selected members of the congregation.A general disclaimer is posted in the library and individual disclaimers are put in the books as needed.
(See example #1 below.) A preschool children's section has been introduced.Most of the materials are from NPH
.If titles from other sources are obtained, great care is to be given to the doctrine these books contain - because of the age group no disclaimers allowed.
(We have a large school library, therefore we only have a preschool section.) 9.
Cataloging and Shelving/Signage - A.A software program called The Librarians' Helper was used before recently switching to Resource Mate, Both are available through Demco and will produce catalog cards and labels.When the library was first set up the cards and labels were typed individually, but as your collection grows this software will save hours and hours of time.
A listing of all titles is maintained sorted by title and by category.(See example #2.) Listed are title, 2
author, call number, category and type (hardcover, paperback, video, audio).A new list is kept each year with all acquisitions listed.
At the end of the year, after the annual report has been prepared, this list is incorporated into the master list and a new list is begun.C.Our library is set up by both the Dewey Decimal System and by color coding.All titles are divided into categories.
(See example #3.)
The spine label and the book card each receive the appropriate color dot(s).They are then shelved by the Dewey Decimal System within the appropriate category.The shelves are labeled according to category.D.Catalog Cards - we print title, author and subject cards plus a shelf card which contains acquisition information.The cards are filed and available to all users.The shelf cards are kept by the librarians to be used when taking inventory.(We do this once a year.) E.Dewey Decimal Numbers - Many publishers include the catalog card information at the beginning of the book.For the publishers who do not provide this information, lists of Dewey Decimal Numbers are available.We use the listings in The Church Librarian's Handbook by Betty McMichael.
(Available at NPH) There are more detailed listings available, but we find this to be sufficient.
Material Preparation - A.All paperback books are covered with laminating film and spine tape.They receive the labels, card pocket, and borrower card.
We find the date due slips were not utilized so have eliminated them.Each book also is stamped as property of St.
John's Church Library.B.Non-fiction audio cassettes and videos are placed in plastic video cases with proper labels and cards.
They are then shelved according to category and Dewey Decimal Number.Audios receive a label indicating it is audio above the spine label.C.We have a section of Family Videos which are shelved together.
This section contains videos for the entire family to enjoy.11.
Procedures - A.Books can be taken for one month; audio cassettes and videos for one week.B.
A box is available for the borrower card and also for the return of any material.C.
The borrower cards are maintained and overdue reminders are handled by a phone call or notice if they have been out for a period of time.As long as we know who has the book and that they have not forgotten
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