Theological Libraries Month Celebration Ideas: What Book Has Influenced You?

October is quickly approaching and that means it’s time for Theological Libraries Month! There’s still time to plan your celebrations and we’re here to help. We will be sharing how member libraries are celebrating TLM in hopes that it will inspire you. If you would like to share how your library is celebrating, please submit your ideas to newsletter@atla.com.

Submitted by Jason Fowler, Director of Library Services, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Recently, I mentioned the possibility of participating in Theological Libraries Month during a staff meeting, and I received a number of groans. A past attempt at participation required a lot of work on the part of staff with little return on investment. At the same time, most of the staff recognized that TLM presented an opportunity for promoting the library and involving the rest of campus.

In the end, we decided to celebrate TLM this year by having our faculty talk about books that have had an impact on them. We are recording short videos where we ask faculty members, “Outside of the Bible, what book has most influenced you?” They have up to two minutes to tell us what the book is, who wrote it, and how it affected them. Our social media person records the videos in professors’ offices with a tripod and a smartphone. We will post one each weekday during the month of October.

We are also giving some professors a chance to have a little fun with their colleagues. Each Saturday during October, we will post a video of a professor sending-up another professor by answering the question, “Outside of the Bible, what book has most influenced Professor [Smith].” Light-heartedness is literally one of seminary’s core values, so these videos fit well with the institutional culture.

Since we have a large faculty, and we couldn’t record a video for every professor, we asked our staff to vote on participants they would like to see in the videos. We also adjusted the results a little to make sure that our selections sufficiently represented the diversity of our faculty.

We are really excited about the project because it highlights our professors, and lets them know how much we appreciate them. It also helps us promote books and create appealing content for our social media accounts.

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