Church Librarian Training
These resources are provided for church librarians with little or no formal training in library science. These are all resources that I have used and can recommend. I have tried to shorten the list by only including resources that I find to be of the most value. I am also happy to answer any questions you may have about running your church library.
The following books can be borrowed from the NC Conference Media Center:
BK4 How to Choose a Resource
For Resource Center Directors and Committees: How to Choose a Resource: A Guide for Developing a Resource Selection Policy. Instructions and advice on developing a mission statement, resource selection policy, tools for evaluation, and functions of the committee. Also includes information on copyright laws.
BK 175 Setting Up a Library (Church), How to Begin or Begin Again
For beginning to set up a new library or revitalize an old one, this step-by step procedure provides a plan of action based on the successful experience of other church library directors and librarians.
BK177 The Church Librarian’s Handbook
Instructions and advice on starting a church library including staff, acquisitions, policies, circulation, promotions, and finances. Appendices include a directory of suppliers, the Dewey Decimal classification system, and suggested subject headings.
BK178 You Can Have a Church Library
Subtitle: Start, Enhance, and Expand Your Religious Learning Center – A Step-byStep Guide for Church Leaders. A how-to-do-it guide for people with little or no library training. Includes sections on getting started, library procedures, processing books and media. Appendices of Dewey Decimal classification and matching subject headings.
BK180 Basic Book List for Church Libraries
A selection of annotated books which will help you determine the right mix of books for your collection. Just a few of the topics are library resources, Bible versions, Christian education, Christian ethics, religious psychology, holidays, and children’s books. Author and title index. This edition is from 2002.
BK663 Cataloging Made Easy
Subtitle: How to Organize Your Congregation’s Library. Information on organizing and displaying your collection including classification, how to catalog, supplies, using catalog cards, book processing step-by-step, cataloging resources, and promoting the catalog. Appendices include cataloging terms, some Dewey Decimal, sample catalog cards, and resources.
BK664 Policy and Procedure Manual for Church and Synagogue Libraries
Subtitle: A Do-It-Yourself Guide. Guidelines and questions to ask when writing library policies, as well as a list of 17 policies that should be written.
BK801 Classifying Church or Synagogue Library Materials
After a short section on how and why to classify items, the Dewey Decimal classification is presented in an abridged format suitable for church libraries.
BK802 Subject Headings for Church or Synagogue Libraries
After a short section on selecting subject headings, a list of subject headings used in cataloging church library collections follows.
BK803 Church and Synagogue Library Resources
An annotated bibliography of books and periodicals useful to setting up and maintaining a church library. Also includes library suppliers and agencies, as well as a directory of publishers. This edition is from 1992.
ALA Professional Tips Wiki
This website provides an introduction to and resources for many aspects of library science. Sections on Administration, Collection Development, and User Services may be of most interest.
The Church Library: An Outline of Procedure
Abilene Christian University has put together a very informative primer on setting up and running a church library. Be sure to explore the sections on organization and circulation. This website is especially helpful for libraries that are not automated or are using catalog cards.
National Church Library Association Links
The NCLA has gathered together many excellent online resources for church librarians. Follow these links to learn about cataloging, copyright, resource selection, promotion, supplies, book care, automation, blogs, professional associations, and e-learning courses.
Alternative Basic Library Education (ABLE)
These free e-courses provided by the Idaho Commission for Libraries are designed for librarians without formal training in library science. Courses on collection development, technical services (cataloging), and public services are available.
CSLA Librarian Training Course
This course is designed by the Church & Synagogue Library Association for church librarians with no formal training in library science. The course can be taken online or offline for $200, but financial assistance is available. A free, live demo is available to give you a sneak peek of the course.
Lifelong Education @ Desktop (LEAD)
These online courses from the University of North Texas cover many aspects of library science, and each course is affordable.
This website offers online college-level courses taught by college professors for free. Click on Information Technology and find courses on working in and managing libraries, digital libraries, and more.
The Church & Synagogue Library Association
This professional association requires a membership of a modest fee, although some resources are available on their website for free. They publish a quarterly journal, instructional books and host an annual conference. They also provide specialized library services upon request, a mentoring program, a librarian training course, book reviews, and awards. Many United Methodist church librarians are members, and membership is recommended by the NC Conference Media Center.
Church Librarians Network
This social network for church librarians features a discussion forum, a list of ideas, an events calendar, videos, and local groups. It is a great place to “meet” other church librarians and get some answers to your library questions. It is free to join, and there are over 700 members.
ChurchLibraryAutomation Yahoo! Group
This Yahoo! group is for church libraries interested in putting their collections on a computer and/or online. These email discussions are based around available tools for automating church libraries.
National Church Librarian Association
A professional association for church librarians that offers mentoring, conferences, publications on church libraries, a quarterly magazine, discounts on library supplies, and links to many useful resources.
Libraries in Churches List
An email listserv for congregational librarians. Free to join and low traffic, but a great place to get advice and answers to your questions.
UMCom’s Resource Center Directors Mailing List
United Methodist Communications hosts this list for resource center directors throughout United Methodist conferences. This list is a great opportunity to talk with others in your position that deal with similar issues. Sign up for free by creating an account with UMC Group Email.