Church Library Policy; ALA Bill of Rights

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Gwallard

Puritan Board Freshman
Considering most Calvinistic Baptists and Reformed churches have libraries, I am wondering what policies, processes, or advice you might give. (Placed in Church Order, because nor sure where else to place this) Our church has an accessible library for the congregation, and I have taken over responsibility for it, and recently scanned all of our books into a searchable database. The library is not used very often, unfortunately.

As an additional question, have you seen the American Library Association (ALA) Bill of Rights? I was recently introduced to it and it is very interesting to see it's progress from 1939 to now. It took me a while to actually find all the iterations (see the attached document below). As it is, their view on censorship is very refreshing, but it seems like the church library has a very different understanding of how to provide for the people.

I am trying in some ways to start from scratch. Answer anything you'd like from the below, or just give me your opinions overall. Part of the problem is knowing the right questions.


1) Do you have an "in" box, and if so is it a drop box from some area in the church building?
1a) How accessible throughout the week is your library?
2) Does your denomination cooperate with other churches to have something like an "Interlibrary loan" system between churches? If so, how does that work?
3) Do you have a Bill of Rights or similar document like the ALA, or had problems that might precipitate certain policies?
4) How do you vet books?
4a) Do you keep in the library books that you disagree with?
4b) Do you keep in the library books which you or the elders have never read?
4c) Do you have a budget for library books?
4d) How do you receive books? From anyone? With a process?
5) Do you give from your own library?
6) Do you recommend books? Do you allow everyone to recommend books, or just officers?
6a) If you recommend books, how are these recommendations shown, or is there a form? (i.e. put it on the "recommended" table with a [informal/formal] review?)
7) Do you provide reviews of books, or ask your elders to review books?
8) If you have an integrated process, do you keep track of the books that people are reading?
8a) If so, on an individual level, or on a large-scale level?
 

Attachments

  • Library Bill of Rights evolutionPDF.pdf
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Gwallard

Puritan Board Freshman
Failure to return books on time, resulting in pain of death has been effective.
Yes. All members must sign a Covenant which has both blessings for obedience and... curses for disobedience. Deuteronomy 28 is placed in full on the document!
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Our church's library is almost completely ignored by the congregation. Aside from me, I think there's just one other person who uses it on occasion. A lady in our church was in charge of it for several years but, since no one uses it, she doesn't need to be in charge of it because there's nothing for her to do.
 

Gwallard

Puritan Board Freshman
Our church's library is almost completely ignored by the congregation. Aside from me, I think there's just one other person who uses it on occasion. A lady in our church was in charge of it for several years but, since no one uses it, she doesn't need to be in charge of it because there's nothing for her to do.
That's not too far away from our library. I'm trying to inject some kind of love into the library to get some people involved with it - the reviews and suggestions are a part of that. But I assumed it was a common problem, unfortunately. Not sure the cause.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
We have had a complete change in library operations in the last couple of months. The children's library has been split out from the adult library and both have been moved to high traffic areas (adult by the sanctuary, children's by the elementary classrooms. The bookstore used to be in with the combined library, but it has been moved to a third, lower trafficked area). We use an electronic checkout and catalog system, but that might be a bit much for a smaller congregation.

Most of the books in the library had been donations. They probably still are. There was a lot of culling prior to the reorganization of the space - mostly for the good.

My suggestion would be to

1) look at location - is there a better place that it could be put
2) look at the collection - is there material that needs to be culled. Lots of DIPSY stuff floating around the area
3) Look at funding - would a sales operation provide some funding for targeted acquisitions
4) Insert the Library Bill of Rights in the nearest recycling bin
 

Gwallard

Puritan Board Freshman
My suggestion would be to

1) look at location - is there a better place that it could be put
2) look at the collection - is there material that needs to be culled. Lots of DIPSY stuff floating around the area
3) Look at funding - would a sales operation provide some funding for targeted acquisitions
4) Insert the Library Bill of Rights in the nearest recycling bin
Thank you so much, brother! These are exactly the kind of suggestions I was hoping for.

I'll try to get the books out in the open. That is a good idea! However, who did the culling, or by what measure?

Ha! Yes, the library bill of rights was more an interest of mine. The changes certainly reflect the time: 1939 against fascism, 1961 civil rights era. Interesting!
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
That's not too far away from our library. I'm trying to inject some kind of love into the library to get some people involved with it - the reviews and suggestions are a part of that. But I assumed it was a common problem, unfortunately. Not sure the cause.

Not sure of the cause? People don't read - that's the cause. You're lucky if you can get Christians to read their Bibles, much less other books.
 
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