The Church Library Ministry
"Our goal is to provide information, inspiration and motivation to help people grow spiritually so they can reach out actively" [2014]


The Policies are listed in two phases (I & II):

This short policy provides the highlights of the more detailed “Consideration”, “Selection” and “Deselection” Policies. Those policies will be used to answer to questions that are more complex.

1. Library materials will include books (fiction, non-fiction, references), some periodicals, and audio-visual materials. DVDs and CDs are preferred over video recordings (VHS).
2. Library materials will relate to the church mission, interests and concerns of church staff, ministry leaders, church members of all ages, and guests from the community.
3. Library material should:
      a. Be of good literary quality and should reflect orthodox Christian/Methodist doctrine (except for reference works useful for teaching or presentations).
       b. Support our focus on building spiritual lives and informing/ inspiring people to pursue a life of mission, witness, and outreach.
       c. Be recently published (last ten years), except for classics or materials that fill a special need within the collection.
4. Donated library material is subject to the approval of the Library Committee and/or Church Leadership. No provisional gifts, or gifts with any ‘strings’, are accepted.
      a. All gifts of donated material must meet the same standards as purchased items and must be in good condition.
     b. Donations may be added to the collection, disbursed to mission locations or other non-profits, given away, or discarded.
     c. All monetary gifts as memorials or donations are welcome. The Library Committee will choose appropriate media with the monetary gifts, guided by the selection policy. All such gifts must be addressed to the Church Office with a notation on the check “Church Library Ministry”.
5. Our library collection is continually reviewed, and each item is evaluated as to its current value in meeting the needs of users. Space must always be available to house quality media that will best serve our church community.  The discarded items will be donated to other missions or nonprofits.
6. If a church member considers a particular library item inappropriate, they can make a written challenge to the Library Committee. The Committee will then review the challenge and a decision rendered to the individual bringing the complaint. Ministerial staff will have final authority over the decision.

7. The Library Committee will review this policy at least every two years or more often as needed. 

Wesley Church Library Policy Manual (Phase II)
A Ministry of Wesley United Methodist Church, Oklahoma City (2014)

Mission Statement

The Wesley United Methodist Church Library Ministry supports the local congreation in its mission to make disciples of Christ to transform the world. Its ministry is to provide our community with quality, current, and diverse resources of information, inspiration and motivation to help people grow spiritually so they can reach out actively. 

Motto: Information - Inspiration - Motivation

Tagline: Learning is for a Lifetime


The Wesley Church Library functions with the philosophy of found within the writings of John Wesley others through the centuries. In one of his numerous letters, John Wesley observed that : “It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people.”  The documents of union of the Oklahoma Conference in 1939 listed the goal of seeing uplifting books and art in every home. The 1988 The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church rooted the library as one of those entities capable of furthering “the church’s educational and nurturing ministry.” (Paragraph 263.d)

Today, our society faces an ever-widening literacy gap of both cultural knowledge (including familiarity with basic stories of the Bible) and basic reading skills.  We have at our finger tips more raw data (information) than ever before in history yet we understand and think less.  Skills in critical evaluation of information is absent or shallow for most individuals in our society.  

What this means if we are “people of the Book”….fewer people are actually reading that book.  Teachers trying to find common ground to share the Gospel message find they have no common language anymore because stories, terms, phrases once so common have gone out of use.  New styles of learning, teaching, ministry, and outreach have to develop to make a difference in our congregations and our communities. The Church Library of the 21st century is recreating itself to be a vital and integral aspect of congregational development and partnership across groups and into the community.

Scope of Collection

The needs of the ministry groups, the mission of the church, and the space for the library will determine the types of materials/resources collected. Primarily the development will focus on supportive resources for teachers and small group leaders, Biblical studies resources, programming resources, and recreational reading for adults, youth, and children in proportion to their populations in the church and the library ministry. Resources will be collected in print (regular and Large Print), DVD, and computer based resources (as funding allows). A collaborative partnership will be explored between the church history committee, Christian education and outside ministries (such as Whiz Kids).

Collection Development Policy

The Library’s collection is a living, changing entity. As items are added, others are reviewed for their ongoing value and sometimes withdrawn from the collection. Decisions are influenced by patterns of use, the capacity of the location and the holdings of other libraries nearby that may specialize in a given subject matter. Staff reviews the collection regularly to maintain its vitality and usefulness to the community.

Selection and Deselection Policy

The final authority for the Library collection rests with the library committee.  Implementation of collection development policy and management of the collection is assigned to Library staff. The Wesley Church Library disposes of materials withdrawn according to the criteria for weeding and withdrawal outlined below.

Criteria for Adding Materials:
  • Item fulfills a need in the curriculums, addresses a current topic or interest, or has been requested by enough people to show it will meet a need.
  • Items added will be as current as possible (few books with the exception of some classics and some reference works should be any older than about 15 years). AV materials (DVD’s, etc.) should be current and there should be adequate equipment to utilize the item (no cassettes if no one uses those, for example).
  •  Items should be in good to excellent condition and sturdy enough to withstand circulation.
  • Items should be balanced and objective in their presentation of facts or information. Although emphasis will be on presenting complex issues and themes through a lens of spiritual values, having access to other views may be useful for reference.

Criteria for Withdrawing and Disposing of Materials:
  • Lack of use, poor condition, no longer of use to curriculum or ministry, and outdated information/ look are all good reasons to discard a resource.
  • Discarded items should be offered (a) to church members and community via a book sale or ongoing book shelf of sale items.
  •  The Friends of the Library (if formed) should serve as an instrument for the Library, reselling and redistributing Library materials that are withdrawn from the collection or donated to the Library and designated by the Library for resale. The FOL should, however, follow all accepted library policies regarding gifts, donations, deselect ion and selection.
  • Remainder items from such sales should be offered to: (a) other church libraries, (b) other relevant ministries (prisons, schools, etc.) or (c) donated to the local public library for their annual book sale.
Gifts and Donations
Materials may be accepted but are subject to the collection development and selection policies of the library. Formal acceptance of gifts will be acknowledged through the Library Committee in consultation with library staff.  Donors will sign a gift form, receive a copy of the form. This form will identify the number of boxes (or linear feet) of donation, number of hardbacks and number of paperbacks/other media.  The library will not create a donor list of materials and cannot assign value to items donated.

Use and Access

An application will be required for an individual to check out materials.  Guest privileges will be explored to allow community members to access the collection as it develops.  

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