UMW News

Reading Program Leads to Library

Mid-State District United Methodist Women of the Missouri Conference establish a Reading Program library so members can easily access books.

Reading Program Leads to Library
Books available at the Mid-State District Reading Program library in Central Missouri.

The Reading Program is an integral part of United Methodist Women, and the United Methodist Women of the Mid-State District of the Missouri Conference wanted to make sure that all of its members had access to books on the list. The district encourages women to get involved with the Reading Program, but many units within the Mid-State District do not always have access to the books in their local libraries or the ability to purchase them. So the Mid-State District mission team developed a district Reading Program library.

Janet Hofstetter was the first librarian of the Mid-State District library, and the library is currently headed by Teresa Adams.

Each year the district mission team determines a budget and the librarian and program resource coordinator meet to select books for the new year’s Reading Program list. The books then travel to district meetings and women check in and check out books based on what is available. The library has been doing so well and has had such an amazing response that multiple copies of some of the books have been purchased.

In addition to helping launch the library, Ms. Hofstetter has begun offering Traveling Book Reviews. Units are informed of what books have been reviewed, and each spring Ms. Hofstetter travels to units throughout the district to present the reviews. There has also been such a positive response that Janet was worked with the District webmaster to make her book reviews available online. She has even created outlines and PowerPoints so that other women can lead the reviews. Her reviews encourage members to read, learn and share more with one another. It has brought a spark to the Reading Program within our district! For the 2014 Reading Program Ms. Hofstetter reviewed 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s by Jean Carper.

When library books “retire” from the Reading Program, we keep books that groups ask us to keep, but most of the books are donated to a female correctional facility. The libraries within the Missouri Department of Corrections are able to accept these donations and put them into circulation within the prison population. This means the messages of faith, hope and love in action are spread to a population that might not have much faith, be really low on hope and needs some love in action!

Through the Mid-State District women are able to actively participate in the Reading Program throughout the year. Participation in the Reading Program not only educates women on critical topics but helps us grow spiritually. We are excited to continue to grow our library and reach out to those who may be interested in developing their own Reading Program Library!

Stephanie Greiner is president of United Methodist Women at Wesley United Methodist Church in Jefferson, Mo., and coordinator for social action for the Mid-State District of the Missouri Conference United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 10/6/2014 11:00:00 PM