In December 1978, the PNWD Religious Education Committee announced the establishment of a district-wide lending library. They ordered Beacon curriculum kits and solicited PNWD congregations for donations of books and materials. The new Dorothy Spoerl Resource Library was coordinated by Jo Hamill, a volunteer in the Boise UU Fellowship. Through the years the library grew, eventually to the point of needing a part-time staff position to manage the inventory and shipping. Even a dozen years ago, former Program Consultant Cindy Leitner used a van customized with bookshelves to haul resources with her on congregational visits. But with the advent of online resources, like the UUA’s “Tapestry of Faith” all-ages program, timely materials were readily available and demand for the outdated DSRL resources dwindled. During the 2010/11 church year, only four congregations borrowed resources from the district library, and half of these items were lost while on loan. After over three decades, the district suspended the resource library in September 2011 and returned the few remaining tattered Beacon curriculum kits to the UUA for their archives. [For current lifelong learning resources, be sure to check out the UUA Religious Education website.]

In honor of the Pacific Northwest District’s upcoming golden anniversary and our May 18-20 District Assembly in Anchorage, Alaska, we are offering occasional historical Gold Nuggets like this one. To read the collected posts, click on the Gold Nugget tag below.

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