An inclusive, Christ-centered community making a difference.

The Library at Asbury First

Resource LibraryLooking for a book? Click here!

The Asbury Library Committee is pleased to announce that you can now search our database online by searching title, author or subject here! When you find a book that you are interested in, you can write down the call code and bring it to the library to help you find the book. At this time, the online system will not be able to let you know whether or not the book is in the library, but that is the next step. Stay tuned for more!

Get to Know the Library

Founded in 1977, the Library at Asbury First is located off the Welcoming Hall. The book collection ranges from general reference, life stages, religion and science, Bible, theology, and spirituality to fiction, church history, and Christian education, organized with the Dewey Decimal System. A posted chart provides numbers and categories of the books and there is a color-coded chart for the children's collection.
 Use of the library is free and it is open to church members when the church is open. The process for checking out and returning books is an easy, self-serve honor system.


Besides encouraging use by individual church members, the library committee provides programs for children's Sunday school groups and adult education classes. It works to strengthen the family and young adult collections and is creating a library collection database.
 The committee credits memorials, area book exchanges, and donations as sources for books and supplies. It is possible to leave memorials to help fund the library, and such gifts play a major role in providing for library needs.

Our Mission

We will collect books and other material that allow our community, of all ages, to gain information and insight into the following topics and others that may be deemed appropriate as time goes on:” God and our relationship to God, Christianity, the Methodist Church, Other religions, Spirituality, Human relations ( including but not limited to racial issues, parenting, marriage, aging, sexuality, and psychology), The Bible and Bible translations, Inspiration, Education, Issues pertinent to the support of or development of local, regional, national, and global missions, friendship and love, and Stewardship of the earth and its resources.

The Collection

The goal of the church library is to:

1.  Allow access for all ages

2.  Strive to make accommodations, when possible, for different abilities by including large print editions and audio materials

3.  Be organized in an efficient and easy-to-access manner

A total of 4,055 books, DVDs, and videos are available in the rooms designated as the Library at Asbury First. They may be checked out free of charge to church members who may simply sign them out for a three-week period.
In addition to books for adults, youth, and children, there are large print books, books on parenting and special needs, and books that deal with holidays and special topics.

If you need a book for a devotion for your group, a Bible story, entertainment for children, a Sunday School class lesson or a look at a variety of different Bibles, the church library can provide all of these and more. The process for checking out and returning books is an easy, self-serve honor system.

Our Location

The church library rooms are located just off the Gathering Space by the elevator. There are two rooms, one filled with the books in the collection as well as tables for reading or studying. The second room is adjacent to this main library room and has comfortable chairs, tables and a quiet place for reading and study.

Budget and Donations for The Library

Members may contribute money to the church and designate it for the library use, or contribute books that they think may be of interest to the library. The church also provides funds through the annual operating budget that are used to purchase new books, replacement books for those lost or damaged, furniture for the library rooms, computer software for maintaining information on the collection, and supplies needed for library use.

The Library Committee

The library is operated and maintained by a committee of volunteers who meet monthly and hold weekly work days. New members to the committee are welcomed and those interested should simply leave a note of their interest on the desk in the library or contact the church office and ask to have the information provided to the committee. In addition to the usual operation and maintenance of a library, the committee is responsible for encouraging use by individual church members, providing programs for children’s Sunday school groups and presenting library information to adult education classes. The committee also works to strengthen the collection and to computerize the library operation by creating a library collection database.

How to Access the Library Collection

Use of the library is free and it is open to serve church members when the church is open. The library collection is organized using the Dewey Decimal System. A posted chart provides numbers and categories of the books and there is a color-coded chart for the children’s collection. The library is operated on a self-serve, honor system. Library users simply sign their name, phone number, and date on the library card in the front of the book and place the card in the receptacle provided on the desk. There is a return box located just inside the door of the library for ease in returning books. Books may be borrowed for a period of three weeks, but this time may be extended by simply renewing the book loan.

See what's new at the Library!

Need a good book to see you through the winter months of February/March? We have just the book for you at the Church library collection, right off the church gathering space—not only nearby, but loaned to you for free. The following books come recommended by avid readers and notable organizations. Give them a try and let us know what you think.

Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs by Heather Lende.

This book deepens our understanding of what links all humanity and conveys the importance of spirituality and community in life’s lessons. The author attributes discussion of the meaning of life in small-town Haines, Alaska to the Alaskan landscape—so vast, dramatic, and unbelievable—it helps make life mean more. A near-fatal bicycle accident has given the author a few more reasons to consider matters both spiritual and temporal. Her idea of spirituality is rooted in community, and here she explores faith and forgiveness, loss and devotion—as well as raising totem poles, canning salmon, and other distinctly Alaskan adventures.

(Recommended from the church library collection by library committee member Karen Hibbard)

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration by Thomas Friedman

If you're living through the 21st century but feeling like the pace of life has picked up beyond what you can handle, Thank You for Being Late will help you understand why. Thomas Friedman's Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration is about the accelerating pace of change in modern society. There are three major accelerating changes affecting the world today. These are accelerations in technology, globalization, and climate change. In this book, the author gives some advice for living in such a fast-paced world where "being late" is not allowed.

(Recommended from the church library collection by library committee member Peggy Lyons)

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.

Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. I loved this book and discovered that others I spoke with did as well – young and old, male and female. It is a truly inspirational and uplifting story.

(Recommended from the church library collection by library committee member Bonnie Kay)

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

This was one my favorite books of this year. Because of science fiction, I was always prejudiced against these otherworldly creatures. Or scared of them. A review in The Guardian notes the beauty of Montgomery’s “quest to try and know this misunderstood ‘alien.’ She discovers they’re highly intelligent, capable of tenderness, playfulness, happiness, and friendship. All of which are recognizably human characteristics, of course, and Montgomery is well aware of the dangers of anthropomorphising. But she’s firmly in the camp that believes animal science should allow for thoughts, feelings, and personality. As the person who designs the complex puzzles for the octopuses to solve tells her: ‘Octopuses have their own intelligence that we can’t match.’”

(Recommended from the church library collection by library committee member Monica Gilligan

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

When is a book about cancer not a cancer book? When it’s a book about a young person with cancer who wants to meet the author of a book about a girl with cancer that isn’t a cancer book. Got it? Author John Green explores the lives of two teens coping with cancer and manages to make this a story that rings true without being maudlin. Protagonist Hazel sounds like the smart, funny teenagers some of us know in real life instead of a smart aleck-y caricature. In the middle of stinging disappointments and grief, Hazel and her new friend Augustus actually manage to have adventures and grow as people while offering both teen and adult readers a lesson about appreciating life.

(Recommended from the church library collection by library committee member Diana Carter)

Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God by Lauren F. Winner

The author delves into a few less familiar biblical images of God, She presents God as more than just Shepherd and King and far more interesting than we usually think. The book details little known—and, so, little used—biblical metaphors for God, metaphors which can open new doorways for our lives and spiritualities. Winner reflects on how we are “clothed with Christ” or how “God fits us like a garment.” She then analyzes how clothing functions culturally to shape our ideals and identify our community, and ruminates on how this new metaphor can function to create new possibilities for our lives.

(Recommended from the church library collection by library committee member Elizabeth Woolever)

Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It) by Robert D. Lupton

This groundbreaking book shows us how to start serving needy and impoverished members of our communities in a way that will lead to lasting, real-world change. Cited as essential reading for church leaders, the author Lupton has done a good job of identifying the issues and the problems of compassion as charity.

(Recommended by the church outreach committee as the Asbury church-wide read for 2018)

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

A timely topic is the subject of the “If All of Rochester Reads” book selection this year. It is the 2012 memoir by Reyna Grande of the experiences of the author’s life from her childhood in Mexico, through her illegal immigration to the United States, to her success as a student and author. This inspirational book tells of Reyna and her siblings dealing with the hardships and complexities of living as undocumented immigrants.

(Recommended by Writers and Books as the 2018 selection for the “If All of Rochester Reads” program)