Where Did the Books Go?

Published July 30, 2019 by SMBC

To read the first part of the library transformation, click here.

After many hours of painstaking work from Carole and Henry Williams, we are happy to report that nearly all of the books that were in the SMBC Library have found a good home.

What follows is Carole's account of where the books have gone.

The Library contained approximately 13,300 items at the end of June 2019. This included mostly books, with some DVDs and books on CD. Among those books were 4,121 books for children and 3,678 books in the 200 Religion category for adults. Approximately 700 books were checked out as of the end of June. The library also had approximately 900 books that had been acquired but not processed.

Working with Matt Walton approximately 450 books were selected for a resource room that will be used by Sunday School teachers and others. Included in this collection are:

Commentary sets, such as Interpretation Commentary, Barclay's Commentary, the New Testament Commentary by N.T. Wright, and New Interpreter's Bible Commentary. In addition to sets we already owned, we purchased volumes to complete a donated set of The New American Bible Commentary;Other reference books on Biblical subjects; andBooks that may be used as study books for SS Communities or South Main at Home groups

Working with Dolores Rader, approximately 750 books were selected for use by the Family Ministry. These books included Bible stories, Christmas and Easter books, and books about complex topics such as death, illness, divorce and special needs. We also kept picture books, chapter books, biography and non-fiction books. The books will be used in SS classrooms, and in reading areas in the Main Hang and Tribe Space.

Some books were kept for our church archives, including:

Books about church history;Books written by former church pastors and members;Books that were donated to the library in memory or honor of staff and members; andBooks that have been in the library since the library opened.

Open houses were held in June, to allow members to select books for their personal libraries. About 3,200 books were taken home by church members. On that note, we want to thank Cliff Nickel and Patti Randolph who spent many hours searching through the library books, to select books that were donated to the library in honor or memory of particular people, and to get those books to those people or their family members. This provided a wonderful opportunity to share memories of both the library and the people who were honored by those books.

After selecting books for the Family Ministry, additional books were selected for MacGregor Elementary. These will be offered to MacGregor teachers in August.

Information was sent to other church libraries through the Houston Area Congregational Library Association, and Houston?s First Baptist Church responded and took 150 books, primarily Baptist history and theology, plus some children's books. And, through Houston's First we were introduced to a local non-profit called Books for Development.

We are working with them to find homes for the remaining 8,600 books. Books for Development is a non-profit organization that provides books and other resources to establish libraries in Africa. It was founded and is led by Mark Cotham, a Houston attorney, and grew out of mission work done in 2010?2011 with Chapelwood Methodist Church. Our connection to this group came from the librarian at Houston's First Baptist Church, who told us about it when she came to select books for their library. Books for Development has taken approximately 2,000?3,000 books from SMBC already. There are 167 more boxes of books stored on campus that they plan to take as space is available in their warehouse. Books are sorted by volunteers in their warehouse. If books cannot be used for the libraries in Africa, they try to place them in other places where they can be used, such as prisons (through the prison chaplain organizations), charter schools and other literacy groups.