Sunday, March 8, 2009

Further Thoughts on the ARC

Regular readers of this blog know that one of my many pet projects has to do with establishing a resource centre for Christian Formation in this Diocese. In the last week I think I found a church that has some space to lend us. It's not as public as a storefront, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper! This church I have in mind has lots of parking, is centrally located, and is reachable by TTC (public transit). I can imagine establishing a library there and building it as we go. Eventually we can move to a storefront space if that's what we want, but I think to overcome inertia we need to start with something. And some shelves in a room at friendly church is a good start!

We still haven't cracked the self-supporting problem. I.e.--the quality of the resource centre is dependent, to some degree, on a steady source of revenue. The money could be used for acquisitions, management of the collection, and even staffing. I was speaking about this with a fellow priest this week who suggested memberships. That is, parishes would buy memberships in the Anglican Resource Centre. I imagine that non-members would still have access to the resource library, but perhaps that can't check anything out without becoming a member. And if they are a member they get special benefits. Perhaps non-members can read the online forum but not post to it. Perhaps members can get special "consultations"?

Furthermore, I think the ARC could also act as a bookstore to sell materials. Members could get a discount. You see where this is going--a model common on the Internet.

Next step, convince the church I have in mind to let us have the space and work out the details of that agreement. After that, we need to figure out some of the information architecture before we start accumulating stuff. What kind of cataloguing system? How will we index and arrange things? Etc. Gee... I wish I knew a librarian....


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