Research

Effective task groups become familiar with how libraries operate. Ask questions, such as the following:

     •   What policies do they follow and why?

     •   What are their goals? Can we help shape those goals or redirect them?

     •   Where do libraries obtain funding?

     •   To what higher authorities does our local library answer?

     •   Who are we dealing with? Learn the names and background of the director, the library board, and the library staff.

     •   Become familiar with the local library collection.

     •   What are its strengths?

     •   Where is it lacking?

Conduct internet searches, peruse newspaper archives, visit with friends and associates, and interview library staff to find the necessary information.

Establish a Rapport

During a meeting with a group of homeschooling mothers who shared these concerns, one mother made a point that is vital to the success of this effort: “It’s important that we tell the library staff how grateful we are for all they do.” This concept applies the wisdom of Proverbs 22:11, “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.” By approaching library staff in a grateful manner, we may find we have library staff friendly to our cause.

Determine Library Collection Gaps

Libraries already have some excellent books on a variety of topics, and they have plenty of what Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, author of For the Children’s Sake, calls “twaddle.” We want to help them fill in the gaps, which are:

     •   Materials on scientific topics from a creationist perspective

     •   Materials that show fathers as godly, or at minimum, moral heads of their own households.

     •   Materials that promote the institution of the family as designed by God with one father, one mother, and children united in a bond of love.

     •   Materials that expose the dangers of cults and Satanic activity.

     •   Materials that point to Christ as the solution for today’s problems.

     •   Materials that report events in history without revision.

Acquire Books

We can help libraries achieve balanced collections in different ways:

     •   Book Suggestions – All libraries have a system that allows patrons to suggest books by name or ISBN number. This method does not cost the individual, but there is no guarantee the library will purchase suggested items.

     •   Book Donations – Libraries often accept donations from patrons with few restrictions. Individuals or church groups can donate excellent books from trusted sources to libraries. You should understand that the library reserves the right to sell any books donated in their annual “Friends of the Library” sale, so you face some risk that your money won’t achieve the goal you intended.

I have learned by experience that you may be able to improve the chances that your donations will remain in the library by discussing your intentions in a gracious manner with the director of the library and with each acquisitions librarian. They may be willing to look over your list of book suggestions (include sources) to pre-approve your purchases.