Home > Uncategorized > Church Libraries: Bookstore Friend or Foe?

Church Libraries: Bookstore Friend or Foe?

There was a time I regarded local church libraries as competition to the bookstore. As long as people were reading books there for free, they weren’t buying them, right? But as the years have gone by I’ve softened a little and come to see that anything that gets people reading is a friend not an enemy.

The pictures above and below are of the library of one of the two churches I am involved with. Many years ago they took an area for hanging coats and turned it into this. Right in the lobby. Front and centre as you exit the sanctuary. The couple who run it work hard to keep it current. The video screen is turned on after the services playing an episode of What’s In The Bible or Veggie Tales for the kids. I’ve borrowed books, periodicals, videos and audio discs from it myself, as well as donating a few things. Duplicate donations are collected for Christian Salvage Mission.

Know what? This church has a culture of reading. That spills over into the bookstore. They told me that one out of every ten people in the church has borrowed the book Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. Did they all finish it? Doesn’t matter. The point is that I would never have sold that number of copies of that book 700+ page book to that number of people. And it creates an awareness of so many things: Church history, biographies, Metaxas, etc.

On our store website we have a church page, and on this church’s listing it says something like, “Winner of our Church Library Award.” We don’t actually have such a reward, but it speaks volumes that I’m willing to endorse and encourage what they’re doing when years ago I considered church libraries much differently.

We’re on the same team, working toward the same goals.


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