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Project : Library Placement
From "The Synergist"
Summer 1987


You have probably heard about the Library Project sponsored by the Domestic Extension Committee of Urantia Brotherhood. This is a wonderful endeavor that has been in effect for some time. The Brotherhood, with support from Urantia Foundation, has set aside a special fund that makes library placement a reality. Now, thanks to the service-oriented work of The Jesusonian Foundation, it is also possible to place Clyde Bedell's Concordex of The Urantia Book or Duane Faw's The Paramony in your area library. Read on for all the details.

Few people will disagree that the placement of our beloved book in libraries is an essential project to achieve its widespread dissemination. Untold many have found the book in a library. For many more, it's the only way they can get immediate and free access to The Urantia Book. Who knows how much easier we can make the task of our dedicated heavenly helpers to lead and guide those who are ready for this unique book, when it is publicly displayed. Besides, it's so much easier to tell a truth-seeking inquirer that the book is available in such and such a library in your area, "Go and check it out for yourself. And here is my card, I know you probably will have a few questions after a while. I would really enjoy talking with you some more about this extraordinary work." [We had some business cards made with C.U.B.S.' address printed and a space left for the representative's name and phone number.]

Here is how you can participate. If you live in a small community you might already be aware which libraries exist in your area. Those of you living in a more populated area might want to get together with some of your fellows first, with the intention to participate in the library project as a team. What nicer way is there to come together than to work for the dissemination of The Urantia Book?

In any case, the first and often time-consuming step is to investigate which libraries are in your area, whom they are designed to serve, and who would be the best liaison person at the library for contacts.

The Search-and-Find Mission

In many areas the library system has been set up to serve several communities. This reorganization has been undertaken so users can take advantage of the resources of several public libraries in a given area. Often these branched-out library systems go across county or, in some cases, even across state boundaries. If libraries in your area have connected and are cooperating with one another, they will probably share the same card or micro film catalog. See if The Urantia Book and/or Concordex of The Urantia Book are listed in the card catalog. Oftentimes you can also discern in which library branches these books are being held.

Having seen The Urantia Book in the library's catalog might bring joy to your heart, but beware, oftentimes the books are not on the shelf any longer. We know now, that The Urantia Book has often been removed by those who desire to have the book without wanting to pay its price. But wait, this might work in your favor when attempting to place more books.

When you are lucky you can call the different branches and ask if the books are available. (Yes, calling is a good idea anyway. Be not bashful and use these three important words: The Urantia Book. Every time you do, you will bring the book to some one's attention. In essence you will create interest, and you come one step closer to your goal: Placing the book in your area libraries for more truth-seekers to find.) You can help the library personnel if you suggest to them that the books are probably to be found in the 299 classification. [If listed under class 133--Occult, you might want to point out that the Library of Congress classification is now 299--other Religions.] Oftentimes a personal inspection at the different libraries is necessary. If a library system has several books, notate the exact number of copies at this point of your investigation. This number has nothing to do with the classification, and we shall come back to this later; this number simply shows the amount of copies the entire library system has of one particular book. Let's say, you see "Copy No. 3" --great, your library once had (and might still have) three copies of the book you are searching for.

But where are they? Well, look for them. Ask for them; do some detective work. All this information is important when you finally contact the acquisition librarian in charge.

Take it Home for a Little While

You might even want to consider checking out The Urantia Book and/or Concordex, particularly, if you can discern from the usage charts, usually found in the front or back of library books, that it has not been checked out for some time. Yes, this can happen. Remember, that only those of us, who have read The Urantia Book, know that the book has no competition; in a library environment it does, however, complete with thousands of other titles for shelf spaces. Libraries will clear out from time to time those titles that they deem not being in sufficient demand--shelf space is after all precious.

Gettin' into a "Cold" Library

What happens, you may ask, when The Urantia Book is not catalogued in my library? Well, if you believe that the libraries in your area should definitely also carry The Urantia Book and companion volumes, then you must go to the librarian yourself.

One expert book placer, Vincent Myers, says it in Planetary Prints, Spring 1986, this way, "You have to be very sure you want to do this. Then it seems what works best is to prepare like a salesman would, which basically means to have a plan, to be efficient with your time and know your product. Most of all, keep it simple. Say a prayer at each and every stop and make it count. The prayer clears your head, and renews your strength, and you don't feel alone when it comes time to encounter the "unknown" at each stop. Use the Spirit of Truth to answer questions at all times.

The library will not be so "cold" for you when you have set up an appointment with the "right" person. Many libraries have a special acquisition librarian, and if they do, naturally, that's the person to see. Sometimes it's the materials selection coordinator, at other libraries the reference librarian, or in smaller horizon. houses, the director him or herself. At other times, it is better to work with a support organization, such as "Friends of the Library Inc.," or whatever name they carry in your area. Usually these organizations will be happy to accept donated books. When going this route, it is especially important to point out in advance that the book(s) are only given with the understanding that they will be catalogued and actually made available in the loan section, reference section, or preferably, both. So far, we have been talking about the Public Library Systems. There are several other library sources we have had good experiences with.

Most churches have libraries, and these are sure to be frequented by those seeking God. Two churches that almost always accept The Urantia Book, and with whom we've experienced a great deal of resonance, are the Unity Church and The Church of Religious Science.

Another source for libraries is our jail system. The method for placing books depends here on their respective rules and regulations, and you will have to do some personal research on what is possible from case to case. Usually one needs to contact the Chaplain's office or the Warden's office for the exact procedure.

Whether You Place Books or Not, remember to mail your ear-marked contribution to the Library Placement Project, sponsored by Domestic Extension Committee of the Fellowship. This project can only continue with your support! The Urantia Book Fellowship, 529 W. Wrightwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

Points to Remember:

  • Make an appointment with the "right" person. Ask until you find him or her.
  • Look your personal best so that you are feeling comfortable.
  • Say a prayer every part of the way. Remember, it's your desire to do your Father's Will; He will stand by your side.
  • Point out some figures: That some 300,000 copies have been distributed: that it has been a valuable teaching tool for over 40 years; that multiple translations exist, and that several more translations are in progress; that in some libraries the book is so much in demand that it oftentimes disappears and that replacement copies are available also.
  • Prepare a request form to be signed by the library that includes the exact mailing address of the library, as well as the amount of books they agree to receiving. (eg. one for the reference section and one for the loan library.)
  • Make sure that you ask for a commitment by the library to display the gifted copies. (It would be no use to anyone to have the books stored somewhere.)
  • In many areas of the United States, you may be more successful getting a Spanish version placed.

When you encounter a library where books have been taken, let this work in your favor-offer replacement copies. Point out that this is not unusual; ask if they want more copies; place Concordexes and Paramonys too.

Mail the request form for The Urantia Book to The Urantia Book Fellowship, 529 W. Wrightwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60614. They will ship the requested books directly to the library.

You can also contact Tom and request free books in advance to be placed by you in libraries. This is particularly helpful when you decide to contact many different libraries, e.g. libraries in churches, penitentiaries, homes for the elderly, etc.

When placing the Concordex of The Urantia Book or The Paramony, mail your request to The Jesusonian Foundation, 4699 Nautilus Court, South, #304, Boulder, CO 80301. These good folks are supporting the Library Project with much verve.

Visit the donated books once in a while, see how much they are used, check if they are still available. Remember, they do get taken.

Prepare a little sticker or note to be affixed on the copyright page of the placed books, indicating a contact address in your area.