15 Step-by-Step Instructions for Building an Effective Parish Library

steps-4Dr. Tobias Nathe, St. James Project Director

The following steps are really just suggestions based on my personal experience of founding and running an effective parish library and witnessing the running of others. These instructions are meant to be adapted to your own personal situation. A printable pdf of this page can be found here: 15 Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Read over these instructions thoroughly so you have a good grasp of what it will take to build an effective parish library, pray to St. Jerome, Patron Saint of Librarians, and approach your pastor about the idea. You may wish to attract others to your cause before approaching him. Take Parish Library Overview and this page with you and a copy of each for him. Please be patient and mindful that the pastor holds the keys, so to speak, to the library. The founding decisions rest with him.

2. Form a few key decisions with your pastor, including: where the library will be housed, where to obtain the shelving units and who might help put them in place, what level of security will be needed (locks?), who might be tapped for facilitator duties, who could help with the cataloging of materials that come in, and who with artistic ability can help with banners and signs. You will need a team to get the project off the ground, but steps 3, 7, and 11 will make that task much easier than you might otherwise think.

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