The relaunch of the Grogan Library
The Grogan Library is unique across Scotland amongst those involved in theological training and education. The library ensures that students of the all courses offered by the Scottish School of Christian Mission will have comprehensive and adequate resources and support during their study years.
But what makes theological libraries different? The potential and meaning is found in the content of resources and its impact on readers. Christian and theological books are important for students of the institution and for the lifelong development of faith and belief. Theological libraries play an important role in church communities, offering help and making an impact on Christians.
Theological libraries are dealing with similar challenges to those faced by public and school libraries. Firstly, the development of technology is forcing institutions to change their resources, into those that are more accessible online. They respond on modern trends of the current information world, leaving behind the idea of being a ‘repository’ and looking forward to ensure the accessibility and accuracy of the collection and services offered. Secondly, libraries follow into their institutions’ problems, which in theological and Christian colleges are limited budgets, a decreasing number of students and funding difficulties, leading to the need to be more focussed and specialised. Moreover, continual changes in the higher education sector impact on collection development, and leave librarians with questions about breadth and adequacy of subjects in their resources.
Nancy K. Maxwell in her book Sacred Stacks: The Higher Purpose of Libraries and Librarianship (ALA, 2006) suggests a special mission for libraries in the modern world as places with a “higher purpose” and suggests that there are similarities between libraries and religious institutions, and between librarians and ministers. The theological libraries of the world therefore have a double responsibility to serve their members, their communities and the wider world.
The collection in the Grogan Library is currently being refined and developed, both for the new students who will start their studies at SSCM in September, and for the relaunch of our external readers scheme during the summer.