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Advice on reviving a church library.

I've recently been put in charge of taking care of our church library. It has been pushed to the wayside for many years now, and I need some help on where to start with organizing and bringing it all up-to-date. Should I use strictly barcoding/scanning for a catalogue? Use the old card catalogue? Both? There are some websites like you can enter in your books and keep track of them, then there's different software to purchase for use. Not sure where to start!

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Asked by algolden05 at 7:08 PM on Oct. 6, 2008 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (5)
  • Good question! I have no idea, but I can look at our church and see what they do.

    Answer by pwfaith at 10:59 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

  • I took over our church library a few years ago. I had to weed out a LOT of books that were just old and outdated, first of all.
    Do you have a budget to get newer books? When I first started it, I had a huge budget (like $1600 that first year). I got a lot of new books, plus some magazine subscriptions (like Discipleship Journal and Pray!).
    The past couple of years we haven't had a budget.
    I did purchase a software for the computer to enter all the books in. However, I had to drop the library ministry because I took over the women's ministry and didn't have time for both. There is a lady that is heading it up now, but not sure if she's started entering books or not.

    Answer by rosiecotton at 10:10 AM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • For now I think that people are still just filling out the card and leaving it on the desk when they check out a book. That might be the simplest thing to begin with. However, you do need to somehow have an inventory of all your books and other items you have.
    Oh, and we don't use the dewey decimal system. We came up with our own. We have different categories, such as: reference books (commentaries, dictionaries, etc), church history, marriage, parenting, women's topics, fiction, prayer, etc and gave them each a number, then sub-numbers. You can make it as simple or complex as you want.

    Answer by rosiecotton at 10:10 AM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • I think the very first thing you probably need to do is sort through all the books and put them in categories. Then see if there are any that need to be taken out of the library. Then look at what you need to get (if you have a budget for purchasing more).
    Good luck!

    Answer by rosiecotton at 10:11 AM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • Right now I don't have a budget, mostly because the library hasn't been touched in nearly 10 years. So, our minister just told me whatever I may need bring it to him and he'll present it to the board. I suppose we could look to the past and see what, if anything, was set aside for the library needs. I had no idea this project would be so huge! I am excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Any help offered is certainly appreciated.

    Answer by algolden05 at 8:56 PM on Oct. 7, 2008

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