BASIC CHURCH LIBRARY MINISTRY POLICY (Phase 1 – Spring 2014)
This short policy provides the highlights of the more detailed “Consideration”, “Selection” and “Deselection” Policies. Those policies will be used to answer to questions that are more complex.
THE WESLEY CHURCH
“The Wesley United Methodist
Church Library Ministry supports the local congregation in its mission to make Disciples
of Christ to transform the world. Its ministry is to provide our community with
quality, current, and diverse resources of information, inspiration and
motivation to help people grow spiritually so they can reach out actively. “
Motto: Information - Inspiration - Motivation
Tagline: Learning is for a lifetime
"Our goal is to provide information, inspiration and motivation to
help people grow spiritually so they can reach out actively."
The Wesley Church Library
Ministry is guided by the philosophy found within the writings of John Wesley
and others through the centuries. In one of his numerous letters, John Wesley
observed that: “It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give
themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people.”The documents of union of the Oklahoma
Conference in 1939 listed the goal of seeing uplifting books and art in every
home. The 1988 The Book of Discipline of
the United Methodist Church identified the library as one of those entities
capable of furthering “the church’s educational and nurturing ministry.”
Today, our society faces an
ever-widening literacy gap of both cultural knowledge (including familiarity
with basic stories of the Bible) and basic reading skills.We have at our finger tips more raw data
(information) than ever before in history yet we understand and think
less.Skills in critical evaluation of
information is absent or shallow for most individuals in our society.
What this means if we are “people
of the Book”….fewer people are actually reading that book.Teachers trying to find common ground to
share the Gospel message find they have no common language anymore because
stories, terms, phrases once so common have gone out of use.New styles of learning, teaching, ministry,
and outreach have to develop to make a difference in our congregations and our
communities. The Church Library of the 21st century is recreating itself to be
a vital and integral aspect of congregational development and partnership
across groups and into the community.
The way the church library can
best support the church and its mission also changes as the library positions
itself to me proactive.The primary
purpose is to be seen as a source for needed information, skills, or resources
for people as they teach, serve, witness, minister and disciple people and seek
themselves to grow into faithful Christians transforming the world.
SCOPE OF THE COLLECTION:
The needs of the ministry groups,
the mission of the church, and the space for the library will determine the
types of materials/resources collected. Primarily the development will focus on
supportive resources for individuals, small group leaders, Biblical studies
resources, programming resources, and recreational reading for adults, youth,
and children in proportion to their populations in the church and the library
ministry. Resources will be collected in print (regular and Large Print), DVD,
and computer based resources (as funding allows). A collaborative partnership
will be explored between the church history committee, Christian education and
outside ministries (such as Whiz Kids and public or academic libraries).
Gifts and Donations
Materials may be accepted but are
subject to the collection development and selection policies of the library.
Formal acceptance of gifts will be acknowledged through the Library Committee
in consultation with library staff.Donors will sign a gift form, receive a copy of the form. This form will
identify the number of boxes (or linear feet) of donation, number of hardbacks
and number of paperbacks/other media.The library will not create a donor list of materials and cannot assign
value to items donated.
Use and Access
An application will be required
for an individual to check out materials.Guest privileges will be explored to allow community members to access
the collection as it develops.
We gladly accept contributions to
the Library Fund throughout the
year. Making a contribution to the Library is a wonderful way to honor friends
or family members.Honor someone at
Mother's Day, Father's Day, or on a birthday with a contribution to the Library
Fund.Make contributions by sending a
check to the church and label it as "Library Fund":
Wesley UMC /1401 NW 25th / Oklahoma
We appreciate the donation of new
or used books or other items, which may either be used on the shelves or placed
in our library surplus shelf for sale. Sales benefit the Library.New and 'gently used' books accepted with the
understanding that they -
-Meet book selection criteria (*)
-They may be sold to raise funds
for needed materials or donated to other nonprofits
-They may be discarded
policy provides the highlights of the more detailed “Consideration”,
“Selection” and “Deselection” Policies. Those policies will be used to answer
to questions that are more complex.
materials will include books (fiction, non-fiction, references), some
periodicals, and audio-visual materials. DVDs and CDs are preferred over video
materials will relate to the church mission, interests and concerns of church
staff, ministry leaders, church members of all ages, and guests from the
a. Be of good literary quality and should
reflect orthodox Christian/Methodist doctrine (except for reference works
useful for teaching or presentations).
b. Support our focus on building
spiritual lives and informing/ inspiring people to pursue a life of mission,
witness, and outreach.
c. Be recently published (last ten
years), except for classics or materials that fill a special need within the
library material is subject to the approval of the Library Committee and/or
Church Leadership. No provisional gifts, or gifts with any ‘strings’, are
a. All gifts of donated material must
meet the same standards as purchased items and must be in good condition.
b. Donations may be added to the
collection, disbursed to mission locations or other non-profits, given away, or
c. All monetary gifts as memorials or
donations are welcome. The Library Committee will choose appropriate media with
the monetary gifts, guided by the selection policy. All such gifts must be
addressed to the Church Office with a notation on the check “Church Library
5. Our library
collection is continually reviewed, and each item is evaluated as to its
current value in meeting the needs of users. Space must always be available to
house quality media that will best serve our church community.The discarded items will be donated to other
missions or nonprofits.
6. If a church
member considers a particular library item inappropriate, they can make a
written challenge to the Library Committee. The Committee will then review the
challenge and a decision rendered to the individual bringing the complaint.
Ministerial staff will have final authority over the decision.
7. The Library
Committee will review this policy at least every two years or more often as
COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY (LONG):
The Library’s collection is a
living, changing entity. As items are added, others are reviewed for their
ongoing value and sometimes withdrawn from the collection. Decisions are
influenced by patterns of use, the capacity of the location and the holdings of
other libraries nearby that may specialize in a given subject matter. Staff
reviews the collection regularly to maintain its vitality and usefulness to the
Selection and Deselection Policy:
The final authority for the
contents of the Library collection rests with the library committee AND/OR it
chair and using accepted policies and standard library practices.Implementation of collection development
policy and management of the collection is assigned to the Library staff. The
Wesley Church Library disposes of materials withdrawn according to the criteria
for weeding and withdrawal outlined below.
Criteria for Adding Materials:
•Item fulfills a need in the
curriculums, addresses a current topic or interest, or has been requested by
enough people to show it will meet a need.
•Items added will be as current
as possible (few books with the exception of some classics and some reference
works should be any older than about 15 years). AV materials (DVD’s, etc.)
should be current and there should be adequate equipment to utilize the item
(no cassettes if no one uses those, for example). Exception may be as the
library works with the church history committee to preserve items in specific
• Items should be in good to
excellent condition and sturdy enough to withstand circulation.
•Items should be balanced and objective
in their presentation of facts or information. Although emphasis will be on
presenting complex issues and themes through a lens of spiritual values, having
access to other views may be useful for reference.
Criteria for Withdrawing and Disposing of Materials:
•Lack of use, poor condition, no
longer of use to curriculum or ministry, and outdated information/ look (illus.
etc.) are all good reasons to discard a resource.
•Discarded items should be
offered (a) to church members and community via a book sale or ongoing book
shelf of sale items; b) discarded in appropriate trash or recycle containers;
c) through a ‘little library’ or book swap ministry if item appropriate
• The Friends of the Library (if
formed) should serve as an instrument for the Library, reselling and
redistributing Library materials that are withdrawn from the collection or
donated to the Library and designated by the Library for resale. The FOL
should, however, follow all accepted library policies regarding gifts,
donations, deselection and selection.
•Remainder items from such sales
should be offered to: (a) other church libraries, (b) other relevant ministries
(prisons, schools, etc.) ;(c) donated
to the local public library for their annual book sale; d) discarded.