Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Libraries, Librarians, Research

Libraries and churches have much in common. Both can serve, in different ways, as sanctuaries (for the homeless, for example: library ministry to the homeless, church ministry to the homeless); both are interested in communication and service; both channel a sense of mission for those committed to them. Does your church have a library? If not, explore the possibilities of one, via the Church and Synagogue Library Association.

Remember that today, the word “library”—which is literally bookary (on the model of rookery!, a nest for books)—is a misnomer, since libraries collect all kinds of things, including access to online databases.

A stereotyped librarian is ISTJ on the Myers Briggs Indicator Test. But actual librarians fall all over the scale. They can be: extroverted, radical, occult-ish, chic. Never hesitate to contact one for: research help, open-mindedness, empathy.

Research has more in common with religion than first appears: by their shared use of the little prefix, "re," they both connote repetition. Why shouldn't research be prayerful? Sometimes the library will feel a little like a verse from Ecclesiastes: "[There is] a time to seek, and a time to lose" [Eccles 3:6]. And where is the time for finding (the book you need)? Pace Ecclesiastes, the librarians will help make that time.

Over the summer (Aug 6 - Aug 29) the Drew University Library is open:
Mon. - Fri.: 9 am - 5 pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Regular hours resume August 31.

Make time to visit!

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