What Happens Here
- Storage of shared books, materials, toys and teaching aids
- Work space for copying trimming, or laminating
- Storage of departmental records
- Work area for departmental staff or volunteers
- Posting of information for volunteers
- Sorting of recyclable trash
What to Look For
- Is the church served by a single resource room or by multiple small spaces distributed throughout the facility?
- Who is permitted to use the work room?
- What kinds of cabinets are provided for storage?
- Closed storage cabinets
- Open storage shelves
- Work surfaces
- Mail boxes
- How easy is it to see what materials are available and what needs to be restocked?
- Can valuable materials secured?
- Are there provisions for cutting, separating or otherwise breaking down bulk materials such as rolled paper into usable quantities or sizes?
- Are there provisions for cleaning toys and other similar shared items?
- Is there a formal process for checking out and returning borrowed materials?
- Does the work room double as a break room?
Why It Matters
A “resource” or “supply room” is a mainstay of educational facilities, especially if the organization can’t afford (or doesn’t wish) to stock every age group with materials that are used only intermittently. Shared ownership makes it especially important to have a system, both on paper and in the arrangement of the space, that will help keep track of what’s available – and what’s missing.
Many churches use plastic bins or see-through shoe boxes to keep similar materials together and visible.
If you can’t count on volunteers to return borrowed materials to their proper location, consider a “dump station” in your resource room. Ask them to leave everything in one spot and recruit a volunteer to reshelve everything afterwards. Yes, it takes an extra step and an extra volunteer, but its much more effective than begging everyone to clean up after themselves.
Room x Room posts are brief examinations of the nature, purpose and potential of typical spaces used in ministry. The intent is to help users see and consider how each component contributes to (or hinders) the ministry it serves.