Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking at three worship services on "Generational Differences in the Church" and leading a Sunday morning adult forum on "Gutenberg to Google: Effective Use of Technology for Congregations" at Cross of Life Lutheran Church near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I had a blast! What a dynamic congregation!
A few days after I was there, I received an email from one of their members who asked for advice on how to revitalize their congregational library and encourage people to use it. We scheduled a conference call and brainstormed together on a number of ideas ranging from moving it, if possible, from the second floor to a more central and easily accessible location or, if that isn't feasible, to having rotating displays by theme in the narthex or lobby of the church encouraging people to check out books right there or stop by the library to see a much larger selection. They are fortunate to have comfortable seating, a coffee pot and wireless access in their library, so I encouraged them to advertise that (especially to youth and young adults!) And, as will not surprise you, I encouraged them to make certain that they not only have "classic titles" but also some current resources for children, youth and adults.
This made me realize that we needed to update our list of "essential titles for congregational libraries" published by Augsburg Fortress, Fortress Press and sparkhouse. Of course, if you are looking for a specific title or topic for your church library, it may not be represented on this updated list! And, I am certain I will hear from at least one or two authors about "why isn't my book on that list?" But, we were trying to keep it to a reasonable number! So, if you are looking for something specific, I would encourage you to check out our websites for our three imprints. And, of course, if you still can't find it, you can always contact our wonderful Customer Care team at 800-428-3638.
Here's the list! Happy reading!
CHURCH LIBRARY ESSENTIALS
from Fortress Press www.fortresspress.com
Augsburg Fortress www.augsburgfortress.org
Spark Story Bible (Age 2-Grade 2)
Spark Bible NRSV (Grades 3-6)
The Lutheran Handbook: A Field Guide to Church Stuff, Everyday Stuff, and the Bible
The Jewish Experience: An Introduction to Jewish History and Jewish Life
Evangelical Lutheran Worship, pew edition
Thanks to the good people at Cross of Life Lutheran Church for their gracious hospitality and for asking about congregational libraries!