The first meeting of interested librarians was held at the Boise Public Library on October 18, 1973 as a workshop conducted by Rachel Fenske and Ruth Mandery. Thirty-five people attended this meeting, representing eleven denominations and Christian Supply Store. The meeting resulted in nominations for officers for a local PNACL chapter.
The Treasure Valley Chapter of PNACL was established in 1974 through the initiative of Alice Guldhaug, Rachel Fenske, and Ruth Mandery. The chapter is located in southwestern Idaho, including the areas surrounding Boise and south to Mountain Home. The first slate of officers included Winifred Walden, president; Jane Mundt, vice-president; and Dorothy Nichols, secretary/treasurer. Early executive meetings consisted of drawing up a constitution and by-laws for the chapter. A variety of speakers and programs assisted volunteer librarians in setting up and maintaining church libraries. Rachel Fenske conducted a series of workshops using a Broadman Press course by the Southern Baptists. Credit was given for this series, and it was repeated at least once. The membership for the first year represented twelve individuals and three institutions.
Members have represented Baptist, Christian, Jewish, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and non-denominational churches.
The chapter holds four meetings during the year, two in the fall and two in the spring. They have included workshops, vendor displays, tours of churches and public libraries, book reviews, and presentations on topics such as cataloging, book selection and repair, and other areas of interest. Our April meeting is a salad luncheon with a special speaker and the installation of officers.
Treasure Valley Chapter has hosted several conferences. The chapter’s first annual workshop, Freedom’s Light, was held on the campus of Boise State University in 1976. The 1983 annual workshop, Bridges to Effective Library Ministry, was held at First Christian Church. The 1990 annual workshop, Wisdom is a Tree of Life, was held at University Christian Church and Boise State University. The 1997 conference, Helping Hands, was held at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa. The 2006 conference in Boise was Bind Us Together. The conference in 2013 at Northwest Nazarene University was Leaves of Grace.
We have lost several church libraries to closure in recent years. That has had a big impact on our chapter. We have lost too many members to death as well. These include:
- Ruth Ediger (life member)
- Betty Edgerton (life member)
- Alice Guldhaug (life member)
- 2000 – Jim Farneman
- 2001 – Evelyn Eichelberger
- 2003 – Rachael Fenske (life member)
- 2005 – Ruth Mandery (life member)
- 2011 – Betty Perkins (life member)
- 2012 – Helen McKinley
- 2012 – Betty Waller (life member)
- 2013 – Blanch Kulman
- 2013 – Mary Lorah
- 2015 – Patricia Duncan
- 2016 – Marty Dempsey
These librarians were an important part of our chapter. Several held offices at the executive committee level.
Treasure Valley Chapter is working to help our church libraries grow and move into the electronic age. It seems with the closing of so many book stores both used and new, that more than ever we are going to have to “get on the computer” to find the books and the help we all need. (That is not easy for some of us who are older!) That is where the conferences we have are so helpful! Let’s keep reading and sharing good books!