July 7, 2009

News from Chicagoland

NCLA’s Illinois Chicagoland Chapter shares news of their fall and spring meetings in Library Leaves, the chapter’s newsletter.

Children’s programs were highlighted at the fall workshop. Participants talked about children’s library programs happening at their churches.

Mother-daughter duo, Chris and Hannah A. from Peace Lutheran in Lombard, IL, talked to the group about their success with a summer book club they started for Hannah and her friends. The girls met initially to decide on the books they would read. Each family then hosted a discussion. Food, crafts and activities related to the books enriched each discussion time.

Helen H., Good Shepherd Lutheran, Naperville, IL, described her library’s NASCAR-themed program, “Driven to Read.” The group goal to read 100 books was met and matched by Thrivent Financial who sent 100 books to a church library devastated by Hurricane Katrina. This gave the children an opportunity to work toward a charitable goal.

Betsy P., St. John’s Lutheran, Union, IL, told of her library’s collaboration with Sunday School to develop a rotating model which incorporates library time. Children follow a Bible story for a month. They are divided into three groups, each spending a week in crafts, games, or library story time. Different methods of engaging the children in story are used. Youngest children are read to; puppets are used to tell the story to first and second graders; and older children learn by acting out the story using scripts.

Diane A., First Presbyterian, LaGrange, IL, told about her library reading program “WINGS” (Walking in God’s Service). Readers received coupons, ice cream, and treats when they achieved their goals. Yum!

Focus on Fiction was the theme for the chapter’s spring workshop. Author Lynn Austin spoke about Christian fiction, autographed copies of her books and chatted with participants. Host church Gloria Dei Lutheran, Downers Grove, IL, just completed new construction and the group enjoyed visiting the new library space.

“Why is the church library so important to the life of the church?” asks Chapter President Natalie Johnson in the chapter newsletter. “It contributes to the building up of the Body of Christ. On the shelves of the church library are a diverse group of books which offer resources for church leaders, devotional literature to help the congregation grow spiritually, and books of encouragement for those who are ill, or grieving, or poor in spirit.

“There are books that make us laugh and books that make us cry. You will find fiction, humor, music, biographies, poetry and so much more. And it is not just books in today’s church library—there are CDs and DVDs and maybe even computer software for Bible study.

“Books can change lives and if one book you share with someone changes a life, then you have made a difference. Being a church librarian is a great gift to the congregation in sharing the Good News!”

We agree!