Online Catalog for Louhelen Bahá’í Library Available

The Louhelen Bahá’í Library is happy to announce that an online listing of many of its library holdings, located at the Louhelen Bahá’í School, Retreat, and Conference Center in Davison, Michigan, USA, is now available to researchers and bibliophiles.

Available on the Louhelen library database are some 5,700 books, including Bahá’í children’s books and Bahá’í World volumes.

To access the Louhelen Bahá’í Library’s catalog, type in http://bnl.follettdestiny.com. Then key in a title (or author) in the box to the right of “Find,” and select the icon for “title (or “author”). If you search produces results, the basic information for the title will appear, together with location of the item (either “Faizi,” meaning the Faizi Library, or “Reference,” which is a small locked room). If the information on the right side of the screen says the work is available, click on “Available.” The next screen will provide more information on where the item is housed at Louhelen.

If you find items that interest you, you can purchase photocopies or scans. In the case of publications that are still in print, the library abides by the standard legal restrictions upon their duplication.

The Louhelen library cataloguing project is using the Follett Software Company as the software provider for cataloguing its items (the same software used in the National Bahá’í Archives project). The Louhelen library is also using Follett’s Destiny Library Manager (web-based cataloguing), which allows the public to access descriptions in Louhelen’s library and archives.

Cataloguing the Louhelen Bahá’í Library and Archives began in 2011, when Cate Vance, then the administrator at Louhelen, was trained in the classification system for the Bahá’í Faith developed by William P. Collins, the head of cataloguing for the U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC (and former librarian at the Bahá’í World Center in Haifa, Israel). The system possesses the scope required for the alphanumerical identification of literature addressing the multifarious aspects of the Faith. Books about other subjects, but having significant treatments of the Bahá’í Faith, are normally catalogued exactly as found in the Library of Congress.

The cataloging of the Louhelen Library is being done by volunteers. Sheila Idoine, a retiree and a home-front pioneer in southern Ontario, Canada, has spent the last six summers at Louhelen working on the project. When the cataloging began, Daniel Lorsignol was involved through his service as the bookstore manager at Louhelen; he is now the National Bahá’í Bookstore Coordinator in Wilmette, Illinois.

Not yet available on the database are periodicals and the holdings of the Louhelen Archives. Pamphlets and educational materials are also not included in the database, but they can be accessed at Louhelen on an Excel spreadsheet.

Questions about the library and archives and requests for scans or photocopies of catalogued materials should be addressed to the Library at Louhelen Bahá’í School, 3208 S. State Road, Davison, MI, USA, 48423 or to louhelen@usbnc.org. Or you may call 810-653-5033. Inquirers should be aware that there is no full-time staff to answer queries, and the response time may be long.

The Louhelen Bahá’í Library and Archives welcomes inquiries from Bahá’ís having items that may be needed for its collections. Please send a list of items you wish to donate to begin a conversation with the Louhelen Bahá’í Library.

For an article on the online catalog for the National Bahá’í Library, see the article “Catalog for the National Bahá’í Library Now Available,” published in the January 2015 issue of the Wilmette Institute’s eNewsletter.

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