Thursday, October 18, 2012

Libraries as outreach

Churches creating libraries to reach out to their communities - it seems to be a trend.  I've blogged about it happening with  Little Free Libraries, and in Springfield, IL and  I see folks are tweeting about the idea too. In Fort Worth,  TX  and London, Ontario churches are participating in literacy projects as an outreach to their communities.

Here's a  another story from the UK headlined Library Borrows Church:

Stoke-on-Trent is one of the poorest communities in England. Last year, it's city council closed public libraries in an effort to save over36 million. The 153 year old Busrelm Library had already been  closed 4 years ago due to concerns about the building's structural soundness.

Swan Bank Methodist Church is a vital part of Burslem town centre life, with a focus on outreach and ministry to care for many in the name of Jesus.  This summer the church reached an agreement with the city council to provide space and volunteers to run a community library with some 2,500 books sourced from the city council's current library stock  and covering a range of genres.  The municipal government also provides some operating funds and will rotate the collection several times throughout the year.

The church's minister Ashley Cooper said: "The whole thing has been set up to respond to a need in the town. We want to be seen as a community facility." Organisers hope the new facility – coupled with an adjoining church-run coffee shop – will create an environment that will go some way to replace the library. Ashley added: "We want to give people a reason to come here. They can take a book out and then sit back and enjoy a coffee. The long-term aim is to provide more facilities that will complement the book borrowing service."

Read more here  

Community Church Edinburgh has a toy library
It seems that the welcoming, friendly, and open atmosphere we have been praying would be fostered is evident.  We only advertised once when we started in 2011, and since then around 110 different families from around the area have registered with us. (more)

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