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7/14/97 Church library work ‘has to be a calling’

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–The purpose of church media library work is “to point people to the Lord and to help people to grow in the Lord,” a 40-year veteran of media library work told her peers attending the National Conference for Church Leadership, July 4-11 at Glorieta (N.M.) Baptist Conference Center.
“If the media library is not a ministry, it is not doing what it is supposed to do,” Eva Nell Hunter, media library director for Central Baptist Church, Decatur, Ala., said.
Hunter is insistent that media library staff persons feel called to the ministry and not be those assigned to work there solely because they do not qualify to teach Bible study classes or lead other church groups.
“You should insist that the library not be assigned workers but that you select them. Media library work has to be a calling just like the calling to other kinds of ministry,” she said. “We have to have servant hearts in library work.”
In looking for persons to work in the media library, she said, directors should look at the responsibilities of administration, promotion, technical processes, media skills training, special services and maintenance.
“As long as we match people with what they want to do, they are going to come closer to doing it.”
To illustrate her conviction that “we are the arms that reach around the entire church program, Hunter referred to her church’s media library mission statement that includes a desire “to undergird the educational program” of the church, as well as to provide media and services to “advance the study of God’s Word, stimulate Christian growth, promote missions and enhance the quality of worship, proclamation, witness, nurture, education and the ministry of this church.”
While describing the media library as “the information center of the church,” Hunter said in measuring performance against the mission statement, “more and more it is not going to be how may books or videos we checked out, but what we did to serve the church.”
The National Conference for Church Leadership, July 4-11 at Glorieta was sponsored by the Baptist Sunday School Board’s church leadership services division.

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  • Charles Willis