The Behrens Library Committee

The borrower bee is a member of our Library Committee here at UUCL.

We have recently completed a thorough-going review of our library holdings. Please come visit the Library! We hope you like the changes.

Still to be done: update our publicly accessible records, to allow everyone at UUCL to know what we have.

Accomplished so far: we have improved access and we have curated the collection to offer greater focus on core areas.

Access: books are now more consistently at eye-level and reachable without strain. The collection is shelved thematically, and the groupings we have used are indicated in signs. As before, collections created or used by specific ministries at UUCL, such as Green Sanctuary, are placed together, on the right-hand wall (viewed from the entrance).

Focus: our library serves two main kinds of readers within our congregation, and the collection now reflects that readership more accurately than before.

First, as noted above, there are ministries within UUCL that have their own areas of interest, and we try to provide dedicated locations for books in these areas. These include Green Sanctuary (including environmental and related issues), Social Justice (including racial justice, equal rights protection including race, gender, and disability), Pastoral concerns (including grief and bereavement, family life, and related issues), and Congregational governance. We also have shelves with meditative readings and hymnals. The Open Table at UUCL has a strong collection on Christian Biblical interpretation, and these books have now been integrated, on the long wall facing the entrance, with books on the history of Christianity as one of our Six Sources.

Second, we offer materials for readers interested in deepening their experience and knowledge of our faith, its history, and our congregational life. We have works by and about the great leaders of our past, notably Theodore Parker and the Transcendentalists, as well as writings, including sermons, by some less well-known figures. We also have general UU reference works, including histories of Unitarianism and Universalism, as well as encyclopedias and works on UU theology and spirituality. In harmony with a very old tradition within liberal religion, we have sharpened our focus, and strengthened library holdings, in our Six Sources of UU faith.

But what about other books? Are donations welcome? UUCL is a congregation of readers, and many congregants are also generous with handing on their old favorites regardless of content. Here our Chestnut Street Bookies step in, maintaining a bookshelf independent of the Behrens Library but housed nearby, in Emerson, comfortably close to the kitchen. One of the Library Committee’s tasks is to transfer donations to Behrens that are less-UU-connected or are simply out of date or not in good enough condition for us to house them, and congregants are invited to give such deaccessioned treasures a loving home.

We welcome everyone! Please give us your ideas and thoughts about the library and, above all, come enjoy the treasures we share! If there is a gap you would like to fill, by purchasing a new book yourself or seeing if we have funds available for a book you would like us to purchase, please let us know. For more about the Library Committee, please look at our page on the UUCL Website (https:/uuclonline).