Questions and Answers about Meetinghouse Libraries

1. Where can I go to learn more about the meetinghouse library and my duties as librarian?

Answer: Consult "Meetinghouse Library," section 12.6 of Handbook 2: Administering the Church.

2. Who is responsible for training ward librarians?

Answer: Ward librarians are called by a member of the bishopric and trained by a member of the ward Sunday School presidency. Additional training for librarians can be provided by the stake Sunday School presidency.

3. How can librarians encourage members to check out materials for use in Church callings and at home?

Answer: Open houses may be held to help members become familiar with materials, equipment, and services that are available. Librarians may publicize resources, schedules, and ideas in sacrament meeting bulletins, in ward newsletters, or on bulletin boards. In areas of the Church where members have access to the Internet, librarians may want to help members become familiar with resources and materials on Church websites that can be used to improve learning and teaching in the Church and in the home.

4. Can books or audiovisual materials donated by ward members be included in the library?

Answer: Commercially produced books and materials, even if authored or created by Church members, are not to be included in the library. Only books and audiovisual materials produced and distributed by the Church may be stored in and circulated from the meetinghouse library. 

5. Should the library continue to store equipment and materials that are no longer used by ward members?

Answer: No. Equipment and materials that are no longer used by ward members should be discarded. For further instructions, see the Procedures for Adding and Discarding Materials on this site.

6. Can institute classes, family history center patrons, or stake members who are housed in the same building use materials from a ward’s meetinghouse library?

Answer: The stake presidency may authorize wards, institute classes, and family history centers to share the resources in meetinghouse libraries. See Handbook 2, 12.6.

7. Is it permissible for librarians to miss priesthood, Relief Society, or Sunday School meetings in order to assist teachers and attend to other library duties?

Answer: The schedule for staffing the library “should ensure that all librarians can attend sacrament meeting each Sunday and that each librarian can attend either a Sunday School class or a Melchizedek Priesthood or Relief Society meeting each Sunday” (Handbook 2, 12.6.1). If there is not adequate time to assist teachers between meetings, then librarians should consider opening the library prior to the meeting block or during one or more evenings of the week. In multiward buildings, librarians from one ward may also help staff the library during the meeting time of another ward.

8. What is the meetinghouse library coordinating committee and what purpose does it serve?

Answer: In a multiward building, the wards usually share the same library. If this is the case, the agent bishop is responsible for the coordination of the library. He may appoint a committee to coordinate the use of the library and manage the funds allocated to it. The committee should include a member of the Sunday School presidency from each ward and the librarian from each ward. (See Handbook 2, 12.6.2.)

9. How often should the meetinghouse library coordinating committee meet?

Answer: The frequency of meetings is determined by local priesthood leaders. The chairman of the committee is responsible to call meetings. The meetinghouse librarian may inform the chairman of issues that should be considered by the committee.

10. How should librarians determine the meetinghouse library budget?

Answer: Librarians and the ward Sunday School presidency should counsel together regarding library needs. The Sunday School presidency recommends to the bishopric how to use the ward budget allowance funds allocated for the library. In multiward buildings, the meetinghouse library coordinating committee should meet to help determine the library budget and its allocation among the wards using the library.

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