Friday, March 09, 2007

Building a Church Library - a great idea...

The following was in Bethlehem Baptist's weekly email called the E-Star.

Not just any book - Find out how to donate and the links to the North Campus Library Wish List and Amazon Wish List on the church website: Bring donations to the Library table at the North Campus on Sunday, March 18 or to the Downtown Campus Library. Questions? Contact the librarian at 612.455.3401 or e-mail Edith Carlson at edith.carlson@hopeingod The North Campus Library will host an Open House on Sunday, March 25 after services. Watch for details!
When you click on that link you find:

Do We Have A North Campus Library?

Not yet. Lord willing, the North Campus Library (NCL) will start in the fall of 2007. There is a small room available near the offices; however, at this point there are only a few books in the room.

We are waiting on God to provide the necessary funds for start-up costs. There is some money for the NCL in the 2007 budget, but it will cover only a portion of these cost. We'll need people to contribute toward this need. We will also need volunteers to do everything from assembling and putting up shelves to getting the resources ready to signing up to work in the library when it opens.

If you want to help get the NCL open, look at the NCL Wish List. Also, there will be a Volunteer Opportunity list available soon. Since it will take a lot of work to get it ready to open, we will need many people to help!

If you are interested in donating a book please follow these guidelines:

  1. Your may donate items in like-new condition that you already own and that are on the wish list above.
  2. You may purchase items that are on our Amazon Wish List.
    Note: Not all the items on our master wish list are listed on the Amazon wish list. This is because not all the items are available through Amazon and because it's time-consuming to enter all the items; more items will be added as some are purchased.
  3. Your may donate money through the offering.
    Just mark on your offering envelope the amount that is being donated to the "North Campus Library." Please do not donate by handing money to library volunteers.

Questions? Contact Edith Carlson, 612-455-3401 or email.

A simple, yet fantastic way to build a church library outside of the normal operating expenses of a church. When you expand as Bethlehem has (a new facility at their North site in Mounds View, and another to come in the South Metro area) you incur a lot of expenses, and things like libraries become casualties of cost over runs, even at good churches with great plans. Here is a creative way to get people (like me) who really enjoy resources like a church library to contribute to building that library. I like to buy books (ask my wife!), and would certainly sacrifice a couple of future personal purchases to build a significant library for my church. This money would come from my personal discretionary money rather than from my tithing so it is a real win for the church. It is also a great way for someone who would like to make a memorial gift to the church to contribute in a way that will endure for years to come.

Also, if you haven't heard, Bethlehem Baptist Church has completely redesigned their website. It's a 100% improvement.

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1 comment:

George the first said...

Hey, good to see someone else keen on church libraries!

I've recently launched a site called, which was born out of a discussion of the sad state of many church libraries. It provides a way for a church (or any community of people) to have a dynamic, up-to-date library, entirely for free. It builds a library out of the books of your members, but the key difference is that members still own and control their books, making them much keener to participate.

Here’s how it works -

1) Someone (such as yourself) sets up a community for your church (should only take a couple of minutes). To get the ball rolling, add some of your own books into the system.
2)Get members of your congregation to sign up and join this community. They will be able to browse or search through the books you have entered, and request to borrow them.
3)As people add their own books to the system, the entire congregation will be able to see and borrow each others books. The system tracks what everyone has lent and borrowed, when books are due back, and so on.

This has huge benefits –
1)Your church gets access to an up-to-date library, full of books of interest to your members, for free.
2)It builds community – when people meet up to borrow and lend books, it creates openings for discussion and building friendships. And because it’s based on books, it transcends normal groupings based on age, race, etc.
3)It runs itself. The only thing you’ll need to do is make sure your congregation knows about it – maybe the occasional mention in your newsletter, and a link from your website. you've just gone through the process of setting up a library, I'd be interested to hear what you think of the idea.