2006-06-23 / Education

Church librarians grow membership

By Rachel Haynie

As treasurer of the new South Carolina chapter of the Church and Synagogue Library Association (CLSA), Patsy McIntosh sees that one way of building the treasury is to bring in more members.

"As librarians find out there's a professional organization that can help them be more effective at their jobs, we are growing," said McIntosh, church librarian at Shandon United Methodist Church.

Meetings this year in Greenville and Charleston have made it possible for librarians serving in different areas of the state to become involved. Most recently the newly-formed Midlands chapter met at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. Sarah Brown, librarian at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, has been instrumental in bringing the organization to the attention of others who serve in similar capacities.

"When I learned about CLSA, I joined immediately because professional organizations are so important. Without them you can't grow."

Before retiring from a career in education, Brown served as a media consultant in Richland District One's Columbia High School, Hopkins Middle School, and Perry Middle School. "Even though I had been a trained librarian, I quickly realized being a church librarian demands a different skill set and knowledge base."

Brown said, "Some of us have been professionals, but probably more are interested volunteers in a church. They have to have some way of picking up the skills. That is one of the strengths of this organization; it provides training workshops publications and guides around the country."

Brown is proud that the South will be hosting, for the first time in the Portland, Ore.-based organization's history, the annual national conference. "We will be in Greensboro July 30- August 1, and next year the national conference will be in Greenville."

For information about CLSA in South Carolina, contact Brown at 803-256-1654.

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