Sharing Library invites brethren to check out its services

By Mac Overton

The Sharing Library stands ready to inform and entertain Church of God members.

Operated as a service by John Crissinger of Granville, Ohio, the library stocks about 400 items: books, compact discs, video- and audiotapes and other materials including "pamphlet packets."

All are available for loan free from the library. Patrons may borrow up to four items at a time. Mr. Crissinger will provide borrowers with a list of what he has available.

Mr. Crissinger operates the library in cooperation with Giving & Sharing, a ministry operated by Richard Nickels of Gillette, Wyo., and other volunteers.

The library traces its history back to Ronel and Donna McKown of Lorena, Texas. When the McKowns were no longer able to operate it, Mr. Crissinger took it over.

"We got his [Mr. McKown's] inventory and added to it substantially," Mr. Crissinger said.

He said use of the library has been slow lately, but, "when the library is advertised, we have heavy use."

He hopes this article in The Journal will inform the brethren and generate more interest in it, he said.

So far, the library has not had a problem with unreturned materials. One hundred percent of books and other items borrowed have been sent back.

"I realize it may not continue that way," he said. "Some things may eventually get lost in the mail."

He said the items to lend are divided into themes, such as music. The music library includes CDs and audiotapes and traditional and contemporary Christian music.

It also includes videotapes with a Messianic Jewish theme.

"We purchased a lot of tapes from the Ambassador University library," he said. "We got more than 100, mainly dealing with parenting, child-rearing and marriage and family."

Many of the items deal with the history of Israel and the Holy Land.

Also available are "family-type films," actually videotapes, such as the movie Babe "that you don't have to worry about your kids watching."

The collection includes much "Hebrew roots" material, but not much there about the "British-Israel" traditional Church of God teaching, he said.

Borrowers may request up to six items at a time and may keep materials for up to four weeks.

The library pays for postage at an inexpensive library rate to mail items to borrowers. The borrower is responsible for returning the items but may return them at library rate, which can result in substantial savings over first-class or priority rates.

Some borrowers make donations to offset the cost of shipping, and "some make donations above what their items cost to ship, so that helps us with the cost of sending to others," Mr. Crissinger said. "Any extra cost basically comes out of my pocket."

Circulation of materials is limited to the United States and Canada.

If all the items requested at the same time by the same borrower are in stock, Mr. Crissinger will ship them together. But, if some are not immediately available, he may break the shipment up into more than one mailing.

Among the most popular items so far are a tape on the Passover from a traditional Jewish perspective.

It comes with a "sister tape," said Mr. Crissinger, on Hanukkah, which has not been in as much demand.

"We also have lots of Focus on the Family­type material," he said.

The library's inventory has been built mostly from donations.

Mr. Crissinger has operated the Sharing Library for about a year and a half. During the transition from Lorena to Granville was a six-month period in which "there was nothing happening" as materials were transported and inventoried.

Mr. Crissinger emphasized that the library is "open to anybody. It's not exclusive to one group."

For more information or to borrow, contact Sharing Library, c/o John Crissinger, P.O. Box 581, Granville, Ohio 43023, U.S.A., or

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