Nigerian Book Project

From left to right: Maintenance Staff Tom Boese, Library Director Prof. Roethemeyer, and Library Director Assistant Rev. Roger Peters load books behind the library early one morning.

The Jonathan Ekong Memorial Lutheran Seminary in Nigeria is completing a project to upgrade their library building. It has been the fervent desire of the Wakefield-Kroemer Director of Library and Information Services here at CTSFW, Prof. Robert Roethemeyer, to provide a refresh of the books that have been in service for more than 50 years in some of the harshest environments in the world. In 2017, the library staff began setting aside material mostly from gift books from retired CTSFW and CSL faculty and from many pastors. In the end, we are sending over 2,600 volumes to Nigeria that are shelf-ready (spine labels on the books) and circulation-ready (barcodes in the books).

Library Director Prof. Robert Roethemeyer helps unload at the Theological Book Network.

As the project developed, we found a library software system that could be used in the cloud and locally. Using this tool, we have created a catalog containing the materials selected for Nigeria. Kay Roethemeyer (Assessment and Business Analyst for our library) managed the project and provided call number assignment oversight. Rev. Lammert, Technical Services Librarian, added his skills to help build the catalog. Many student workers were involved throughout the project and assisted with creating a bibliography, adding holdings in the library system, adding the spine labels and barcodes to each book, packing boxes, and manifesting each box.

Ninety-two boxes of books began their journey to Nigeria in January, though the complications of oversea shipping will hold them up for awhile in transit. The Theological Book Network began the logistics process, which they anticipate may take 4-6 weeks to get all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed before the pallets leave Michigan to go to port. Once on the water, it takes about 100 days to get to the destination’s port. We hope that the books will be in Nigeria by summer.

Two pallets, 92 boxes, and 2,600 volumes headed to The Jonathan Ekong Memorial Lutheran Seminary in Nigeria.

With thanks to Kay Roethemeyer for the pictures as well as the write-up.