St. Mary Magdalene creates virtual library

SIMPSONVILLE–The library at St. Mary Magdalene Church began as a collection of books that had accumulated over the years. It was moved from one office to another, rarely used, and few people had access to it. When the parish acquired a privately owned house near the church, a small room was dedicated to the parish library.

12-18-14-mary-magdalene2Bob Kanto, a member of the church and a former information technology manager, came up with the idea to use commercial web-based library software to offer books owned by the church and those of parishioners to lend or borrow.

With the help of several staff members and dedicated library volunteers, the materials were cataloged and placed into the web-based library.

The broad spectrum of media included books, movies, documentaries, audio books, Bible study kits for small groups, illustrated books for young children, devotional materials for adoration chapel, and music. In order to be included in the catalogue, the item must enrich a person’s faith.

Users can access the online catalog to check something out or make a reservation. Volunteer librarians either pull the item or contact a lender to bring the material to church. The material is brought to the “Library Exchange Desk,” which is staffed before and after certain Masses and at set times during the week. Church members visit the desk to pick up or drop off the items.

The library contains over 1300 items owned by the parish and almost 200 available from lenders. Since the opening in June, they have circulated over 300 items.

Submitted by Barbara Brown