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:
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.
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.
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.
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. This book is the 1998 edition.
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.
Disaster Management in the Church and Synagogue Library
The information in this guide can help you prepare for natural and ‘unnatural’ disasters. It will provide you with the tools you need to create a customized disaster plan for your church or synagogue library.
Fundamentals of Financing Your Church Library
A compendium of practical wisdom for all who seek the fullest impact from their library’s ministry. Includes detailed ideas and instructions for acquiring funds, budgeting and managing financial resources, and engaging in responsible and effective library accounting.
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.
Organizing a Library or Resource Center : Creating a Policy and Procedure Manual
The purpose of this guide is to suggest information and examples that a congregational librarian will want to keep for reference. It provides a simple method of developing a working manual.
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.
Promotion Planning All Year ‘Round
The authors show the congregational librarian how to develop an effective year-round promotion program by creating a planning calendar that includes not only seasonal themes, holidays and special days, weeks and months, but activities and noteworthy dates in the life of the congregation and the community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Checkpoints for Ministry at Church Libraries
Download this PDF checklist from the Church Librarians Network to evaluate your church library ministry and see where there is room for improvement.
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.
Hack the OPAC: How to Create a Free Online Library Catalog
In this free online workshop from the Big Talk From Small Libraries Conference, learn to use Google Drive and Google Sites to create a free online public access catalog (OPAC) for your library that makes your collection searchable by your users.
Libib Library Management Service
Libib is a free website and app that you can use to catalog your collection of up to 100,000 items for free, or you can purchase circulation and additional features for a small fee. Libib is an excellent option for small libraries.
Online Tools for Church Library Catalogers
This list includes the most useful websites and documents this church librarian bookmarked on her PCs used for cataloging. It is kept updated.
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.
TinyCat from LibraryThing
If your library is in need of free software to post your collection online and manage circulation, consider using LibraryThing, an online community where members can post their book collections. LibraryThing is moving to offering a full integrated library system for small libraries. They are currently beta testing this new program called TinyCat. I recommend keeping an eye on this for a very nice and inexpensive online catalog for your library. You can use LibraryThing for free if you have less than 200 titles, or only pay $25 for a lifetime membership of unlimited titles. You can view the Media Center’s LibraryThing page here, although it is not currently updated.
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.
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 Train Station: North Carolina Libraries on the Right Track
The Train Station is your one-stop destination for continuing education information for library staff in North Carolina. Whether you are looking for a self-paced refresher class, NC LIVE webinar, or in-person workshops, the Train Station brings you the latest information on continuing education events and opportunities.
Webjunction is a training resource for public librarians, but many of its webinars and courses are also of use to church librarians. They maintain a calendar full of training events for librarians across a wide variety of topics.
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. This association has closed, but its resources are still available on the website.
Virginia Church Library Association
This organization is historically associated with the Baptist Church but accepts members of all denominations for a small membership fee. They offer two training conferences per year as well as training materials on their website that are especially helpful for new and non-automated church libraries.