Home > Blogs > Community Tips: Starting a User Group Library

The Central Penn Adobe User Group (CPAUG) uses a library program to share books from different publishers with members. A short Q&A with group leader Megan Fister provides some great tips for starting your own.

What is the CPAUG Library? It's a resource that we've made available just for CPAUG Members so they have access to the latest technology books and information. Library books come from our publishing partners, donations and fellow user group members for everyone’s use. Members can request a book online, then pick it up and return it at CPAUG meetings. Returning books are on the honor system.

What tools do you use to run the library program? We keep it simple and, ironically, very low tech.  All books are inventoried using a GoogleDocs spreadsheet and book requests are made via a Google form. To keep track of checked-out books, we use old-fashioned library cards and blank bookmarks to write down the “due” date –which is always our next user group meeting date.

>> Example: Inventory Document

For a list of available CPAUG Library Books view the inventory spreadsheet.

>> Example: Book Request and Renewal Form   

Please fill out all information on the Book Request Form to   request, hold or renew a library book. Requests must be received by 2pm on the CPAUG meeting day. Only pre-requested books will be brought to the CPAUG meeting for checkout completion.

We also use a custom stamp from VistaPrint.com that says “Property of CPAUG Library” on all books so that members know which books are borrowed and which are their own.  We know that technology people usually have lots of books on every topic they are interested in lying around!

Where do you store books? It is best if you can store your library at the meeting location, however it still works if you store the books off-site like CPAUG. It’s a good idea to not only bring requested books to meeting, but additional books related to that meeting’s topic for members to see and check out from the library on the spot.

What about duplicate books? Any duplicate books we may receive are raffled off at group meetings. We also only keep the newest books in the library and raffle older books at meetings for additional prizes. This is especially useful for those who may be a software version behind or so.

For more information, visit the CPAUG website.

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