Climb the stairs to the second floor of the Ministry Center and you’ll find one of Ebenezer’s greatest resources, just waiting to be discovered. The Mary P. Kniseley Library occupies Room 213 and the adjacent hallway. It includes nearly 6,000 books and 500 DVD’s for all ages and stages of life.
“This is God’s library, not mine,” affirmed Jane Waddell, who has served as the library’s administrator for the past eight years. Her enthusiasm for learning and developing leaders impacts every aspect of her role, from researching acquisitions to enhancing the collection to ensuring that the library is engaging and accessible to all.
Sink into a comfortable chair in Room 213 and peruse books on Parenting, Single/Single Again Living, Prayer, Counseling, Marriage, Finance, Christian Living, Religion, and Bible Study. There are also shelves devoted to books just for preschoolers, children ages 6-10, and youth, as well as family-friendly DVD’s. Perch on the padded benches in the hallway and check out the selection of Youth Fiction and Biography, Fiction, and Motivational works. The Youth Fiction and Nonfiction collections are also found here.
“My passion is getting people to read,” Jane explained. Following a career in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, she earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. Her research interests include the impact of technology on reading comprehension, critical thinking, and memory.
“We need to use the phenomenal brain that God has given us,” she said. “The brain is a muscle, and if we don’t use it, it atrophies.”
The library has come a long way since its humble beginning as a cluster of book carts in the corner of the Gym. Over the years, it moved to a series of different classrooms in Ebenezer’s main building and ministry center, before finally landing in its current home, with Karen Tulloh as the first official librarian. The library is named in honor of the late Mary Pierce Kniseley, a pillar of Ebenezer who directed the choir, played the piano and organ, and taught Sunday School at both the Onville Road and Embrey Mill Road locations. She had a passion for reading and was known to share books from her personal library as she encouraged people to read.
“She loved to read and was a wonderful teacher,” recalled Diana Stevens, a friend and longtime church member. “She is part of the shared heart of Ebenezer.”
The library is open during regular church operating hours on Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM and Sunday from 8:00 AM-12:30 PM. Patrons are likely to encounter Ebenezer Preschool classes having story time, individuals stopping by after small group meetings, or families choosing titles and enjoying Jane’s seasonal decorations. The library works on the honor system. To check out a book, simply sign it out on a clipboard and return it to one of the two “return baskets” when finished.
Summer Reading Program
For several years, a family in our congregation has sponsored a Summer Reading Program. Readers of all ages can read age-appropriate books and earn prizes. This year’s program will begin May 21 and continue through September 4. To participate, simply pick up a reading log at the library or download a copy here. Then record the books you read and turn in your log to earn prizes. Anyone can read 10 books and receive a prize. Children may upgrade to a medium prize with two completed reading logs or upgrade to a large prize with five completed reading logs. There’s no required reading list; just make sure at least one book is from the Ebenezer Library. Audiobooks count! Select your prizes in the Gym after worship services on June 11, July 9, August 6 & 27, and September 10.
For more information about the Mary P. Kniseley Library or the Summer Reading Program, please visit ebenezerumc.org/library, call 540-659-1349, or email Jane using the button below.