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Computer Library Database - called "ResourceMate®" a library program you will use as a computer database for storing & listing everything you have for any particular bible story.
Can you imagine going to your computer, opening a program and with a few keystrokes having a printable report on everything you have related to any specific bible story. A report which shows every book, puppet, cookie cutter, drama prop, toy, CD, banner, etc. connected to that specific story by workshop. Something you bought six years ago, long forgotten is there listed for you. No searching table of contents or rummaging through boxes every time you prepare a lesson. Can’t remember were you stored an item, look up the item and it will tell you. Keep track of who has what – just use the “Lend” and “Return” under transactions. Honestly, you just have to have this. I spent my own money to buy this program. I played around with the set-up, configuring it to suit my needs (rotation). Entered everything we had, and I mean everything. For each item you then add “subjects” (bible stories) that the item could be used with. Example: Bag of Coins: Lost Coin, Easter–Judas, Easter–Cleansing Temple, Disciple–Mathew, Parable–Widow’s Mite. Time consuming, but oh so worth it. I love it and couldn’t imagine life without it.
Check for current pricing.
Jaywil Software Development Inc., P.O. Box 25005, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 4T4
1-800-815-8370 (toll-free) not sure if number works in states
I bought this program myself for the church and have never regretted it. It's used for libraries, but it's perfect for what you want.
It also has the added bonus of being able to give you a full inventory and replacement cost of all your supplies for insurance purposes.
I have input all my books, puppets, games, puzzles, toys, furniture, posters, bulletin board sets, props, costumes, software, movies, etc. etc. When inputting each item under subjects I put what bible stories the item will work with or in the case of a book - use the index for your subject list (just always use the same wording). When entering the subject just type Example: Parable? and your subject list that you've input will come up and you can choose the subject you previously typed in or if it's not there enter a new subject.
Now I can simply go in and ask for a report by subject (example - like "Sheep") Lost Sheep and ask it to sort items by Resource Types: "Drama", "Puppets", Art, Cooking, Computers, etc.
Then I sit down and can immediately see everything I have for that particular story listed by workshop, no more searching through shelves or forgetting you have something you bought 4 years ago, it's right there in front of you.
You can also loan items out - you'll always know which Sunday school teacher (or often in my case another church) has borrowed something and it will show what's loaned out and to who. It's very easy to return items as well.
It time consuming entering everything to start with, especially if you have a lot of resources, but the time savings is well worth the effort. Once it's set-up each time you purchase something you just enter in the new item as you buy them.
(Workshops – these are also important for reports)
My subject list is too extensive so here are some tips:
Christmas - Birth
Christmas - Mary & Eliz
Christmas - Angels
Christmas - Shepherds
Easter - Palm Sunday
Easter - Garden Of Gethsemane
Easter - Resurrection (Empty Tomb)
Easter - Thomas
Parable - Lost Sheep
parable - Lost Coin
Parable - Lost Son
Parable - Good Samaritan
etc. also I found it helpful to put scripture reference after parables and especially miracles as sometimes a book my say healed the blind man - but there are more than one story about a blind man
Long stories like Paul
Paul - Conversion
Paul - Escape in Basket
Paul - Journey #1
Paul - Rome
Joseph - Part 1 (Dreams-Coat-Slave-Prison)
Joseph - Part 2 (Brothers in Egypt)
Moses - Birth
Moses - Parting Red Sea
How you set it up depends on how you'll use it in workshops, I set Joseph up above as we decided to do it in two months segments. So it's good to sit down and lay out a plan as to how your going to enter things.
This way when you're entering a new item and let's say it's a miracle - when you go to enter the subjects (bible stories) you type mir? and your list comes up starting at miracles and you scroll down and pick the one you want, or if it's not there add it.
There's also a place from the main menu where you can alter subject names easily and across the whole program.
The program allows you to enter the series (example McGee & Me) on the library card page (do it), but I also found it very useful when entering title to put short form of the series name in the front of title. Because, when you search through any Resource Type it brings up an alpabetical list by title and I found if I wanted at a quick glance to scroll down and see if I had a certain Veggie Tale movie I had to remember the exact title name or take the extra steps to search for a specific name which was also slower. So I spent a couple of hours changing everything a year down the road.
N-Jesus, Son of God (Nest)
B-Story of Creation (Beginner's Bible)
VB-Matthew (Visual Bible)
CW-And It Was So! (Cherub Wings)
K10C-The Golden Calf (Kid's 10 Commandments)
When I first entered all my software I entered a title, then copied it, as many times as I had copies.
Problem with this - when I printed a report all those copies were listed individually and this made my report really long and there was no benefit seeing all 6 copies.
Entering quantity in brackets after title proved much more beneficial.
Life of Christ (4)
Play & Learn (4)
Bongo Loves the Bible (1)
It's also helpful if you want to keep an updated print-off of software you have for lesson planning and budget purposes.
You can print off a report that just shows Software you have and at a glance you'll know what you have and how many copies.
I'm doing Book of the Bible next year and see I only have one copy (probably purchased the one when it was on sale). So I know I need to budget for 3 more or check to see if I have other software that I can tie in with the one copy I have if suitable. In this case, no I want 3 more copies.
Just remember if you have 6 copies in the "Replacement Value" your cost - you put the cost of 6 copies, not 1 copy.
This page is useful for the following things:
Software - Put Computer Specs
Movies - Outline of movie (publisher's description)
Books - Outline of story (publisher's description)
Music CD's - Here I list the song titles on the CD, as you can search your notes (after song I'll put bible story it will work with). Under subjects I've already put the bible stories the CD will work with, but the titles of the songs do not always tell you what story they will work with and so not for all songs, but some I indicate under the notes.
Music SongBooks - Can list the songs
Any special comment you want to make about that item can go here.