Speak with your pastor and/or Board of Elders to obtain permission.
Put together a committee. While you can do it alone, it is better to have the support of a committee. “Many hands make light the work”.
Prepare a mission statement for your library, and a list of goals or objectives.
Find a visible location for your library.
Obtain shelving and other necessary furnishings.
Draw up policies for your library including but not limited to:
Check out and check in procedures
Types of books/media you will have in your library
Look for monies to support your library. The ideal would be to be part of the church budget. If that isn’t possible think about door collections, memorials, saving grocery receipts from local supermarkets, book fairs, etc. Be creative.
Decide how you will catalog your books perhaps using the Dewey Decimal System, color coding, shelf labels or some other method.
Develop a plan to promote your library and the media you have acquired.
Consider joining the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Church Librarian’s Organization, aka WELS-CLO. It’s a great way for you to share and be in touch with other church librarians! For information contact email@example.com This organization offers support and encouragement to librarians in all stages of developing and managing church libraries. Quarterly newsletters feature organization news and events, various articles of interest to church librarians, reviews of newly published books, and a message from our president. WELS-CLO meets in the spring and fall for seminars and fellowship. The fee is $15.00 per year.
Successful Church Libraries by Elmer L. Towns (243 KB)
An informative article published some time ago by Baker Book House about starting a church library. It contains some excellent ideas for establishing a church library, but some discernment is needed since not all the books suggested in chapters 8 & 9 are appropriate for a Lutheran church library.
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