April 30, 2010

Spending the Day in Chicagoland

On April 17 I had the privilege of spending the day at the Chicagoland NCLA Chapter meeting at the First Presbyterian Church in La Grange, Illinois. Becky Berg and Sandy Matalis planned a very inspiring workshop program.

The day opened with a presentation about some thought provoking ideas from Parker Palmer’s book “The Courage to Teach.” Although this book is about teaching, the concepts are applicable to many fields, including libraries and librarians. One idea that Palmer writes about is three concepts – the “big” idea (libraries and resources); the group trying to “reach” the big idea (library patrons); and the group in the middle (the librarians and policies/procedures). The people in the middle need to be facilitators (not the blockers) to help people connect with library. Information about Parker Palmer and this book can be found at http://www.miracosta.edu/home/gfloren/palmer.htm

Tammy Faxel from Oasis Audio shared some of the titles from her company’s audio books. There is an increase in the use of audio books and libraries are finding this is a good media to meet the needs of many of their patrons. Oasis Audio has a large selection of titles appropriate for a church library. http://oasisaudio.com/

The Family Christian Store from Naperville, IL had a large display of books and gave book talks about many of the new titles. These and many other books were available for purchase. http://www.familychristian.com/

In the afternoon a panel of three men talked about their use of the church libraries in their various churches. All three had different purposes for using the libraries. One enjoyed reading books about theology, another enjoyed reading various fiction titles, and shared that some of the more female titles/authors have something to say to men, also; and the third gentleman enjoyed reading materials that provided different points of view on a variety of topics.

The panel shared how important it was for someone (a librarian) to be available to guide them toward “good books.” Also keeping the books in the library current was fundamental to make the collection relevant.

Some of the other points that were discussed included that they like books in a series; it’s nice to have periodicals available; book discussion groups increase the use of the library; and displaying new or highlighted books brings people into the library.

I enjoyed the day meeting and networking with other church librarians. We may be from different denominations and different geographical areas, but it’s clear that we are all working toward the same goal – “furthering the gospel through church libraries!”

Chuck Mann
NCLA President

April 27, 2010

Librarians Helping Librarians: Fundraising through Amazon

from Sharon R., Librarian at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Dayton OH

"This is a great way for congregations to add to strained budgets! If you go to our Website http://stpauls-dayton.org, you will see a small icon for Amazon at the bottom of our home page. When someone from our church clicks on this icon it takes them directly to Amazon and all purchases give a small percentage back to St. Paul's. The purchases don't necessarily have to be books; any purchases count.

To sign up, go to Amazon's home page. On the lower left hand corner, you will see a box that has partnerships, businesses, etc. Click on partnerships and go from there. Amazon is very helpful in setting this up with you. Within the last 6 month period our church has benefited $400.00!" -Sharon R.

You're Invited to the Next Chapter Event!

NCLA chapters invite YOU to join them at their next meeting. Our regional chapters host educational sessions, hands-on workshops, speakers, a forum for exchanging ideas and resources and much more, at minimal cost to you. Best of all, chapter events provide fun opportunities for socializing and networking with other church librarians.

You do not need to live in the immediate vicinity of an NCLA chapter, or be an official chapter member to attend these regional events.

Click here for dates and locations of upcoming chapter events near you. Contact the event organizer listed for more details about specific events and for local travel and lodging recommendations if needed.

We look forward to meeting you at a chapter event this year!

NCLA Board of Directors Wants You

Are you excited about church library ministry? Do you have time and a desire to become more involved and give back to your association? We invite you to serve as a member of NCLA's board of directors.

What's involved? Board members commit to a two-year term. The board meets quarterly via conference call, and communicates between meetings by email. Cross-country travel is not required.

Board members provide invaluable guidance, actively participate in supporting the organization, research new opportunities for growth and set direction for the future. We want you! For more information email NCLA Executive Director Sue Benish

NCLA's Virtual Chapter Meeting a Success

"We did it!!! NCLA's first virtual meeting added a new resource to a thriving support system for church library ministries all over the U.S.

A few technical difficulties did not prevent our group who is very interested in learning/sharing ideas about library ministries from like-minded individuals...our commitment to help others along the way was evident all month as we prepared for this on-line event that let us "meet" other church librarians and helpers from home.

An unplanned but not unexpected surprise was the obvious comfort level and many conversation items discussed by these 7 pioneers...it seemed like we were in the same room even though we were hundreds or thousands of miles apart. The participants included church librarians from NY, Georgia, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Oregon and New Mexico.

The group is encouraged to pick up where we left off on subjects such as library budgets, automation, book clubs, book donations and purchases, library location in a church, weeding, classification, Libraries Alive's reading recommendations and NCLA support. Thanks again for the extra effort by all!" -Moe C., Event Organizer