Friday, January 25, 2013

The balancing act

 I spotted a recent blog posting entitled "How to create a Church Library" that covered the basics very well and linked to some interesting resources.

What I really appreciated from the author was the comment:
 "One librarian might have a hard time creating a balanced collection, so ask several church members of various interests to help create an acquisitions list."

 That's a very good point. Balance, for the church library may not mean that you have every viewpoint on an issue represented, but it should mean that your collection represents the broad interests of the congregation within the limits of your library's mission.

Small church libraries can sometimes be one-man shows - (or, more often, one-woman shows.)  Try as we might to be balanced and find good material for all of our church library users we have our preferences and prejudices.  It's easy to keep selecting the familiar favourites of series fiction and genre authors. Even vendors help us stay in a rut with their "if you like this you'll like that" recommendations.

Asking for recommendations from well-read non-library users is a great way to diversify your collection - and attract new users. Review sources like Christian Library Journal or denominational magazines are another way to get fresh recommendations.

How do you maintain balance in your collection? Use the comment box below to share your strategies.

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