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Conferences, magazine, software among church library resources

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–At a book fair to kick off a new church media ministry, workers were creating and issuing library cards.

Upon receiving a laminated card resembling those issued by public libraries, one lady commented: “My goodness, this is a real library.”

“Many people in church see the ‘church library’ as a little closet somewhere with old, cast-off books,” said Pat Brown, a consultant with the Baptist Sunday School Board’s church media program, which aims at helping churches develop library ministries that defy the stereotype.

Training is available at Ridgecrest (N.C.) and Glorieta (N.M.) Baptist Conference centers during two summer conferences, each divided into two half-week sessions. “We offer enough conferences that people can come for the whole week, if they want, but they can get the full scope by coming a half-week,” Brown explains. This year’s conferences will be held July 4-7, 7-11 at Glorieta and Aug. 8-11, 11-15 at Ridgecrest.

Training in all phases of library work also was offered in two annual spring conferences sponsored by the BSSB church media program.

Year-round, the church media program offers other helps. “We have a whole catalog of resources,” Brown said. One new book, “The Church Media Library Ministry,” is described by Brown as providing “an overview of what’s involved in making a ministry that’s really useful.”

Other resources include The Church Media Library Magazine, published quarterly, and the Master Library Systems software.

“We are the only provider we know of that has a computer program designed specifically for the church library,” Brown said. “Others have church computer software with library add-ons, but ours began as a software package just for libraries.”

Churches or individuals interested in ordering the software or the magazine can call 1-800-892-4859. For information about all other resources, including the summer and spring seminars, call the church media program office at (615) 251-2744.

    About the Author

  • Deborah P. Brunt