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One stop shop busier that ever

   
 


Anita Neufeld and Arlyn Friesen Epp of MC Canada’s Resource Centre held a Downey Awards ceremony to celebrate the rapidly growing success of the Centre’s online services.

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January 30, 2009
- Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Mennonite Church Canada’s Resource Centre continues to surprise and inspire staff by exceeding usage projections.

Resource Centre Director Arlyn Friesen Epp and assistant Anita Neufeld hosted a modest awards ceremony on Jan. 14, 2009, to celebrate the success with colleagues.

Most notable was a year-over-year increase in downloadable electronic resources from its web site: downloads were up 88% in 2008 compared to 2007. That’s over 51,000 files viewed an average of 140 times per day, each day of the year. And, compared to the previous year, 35% more orders for books, videos, and audio resources were submitted via the Resource Centre’s online catalogue (www.mennonitechurch.ca/resourcecentre).

  • MC Canada’s Faith & Life Committee won a “Downey” award for submitting the most popular resource in the “Public Presentation” category for Confessing Jesus Christ in a Religiously Pluralistic World. (www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/867)
  • An Advent at Home (2008) resource was downloaded over 1100 times. (www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/728)
  • Reaching up to God Our Creator – a curriculum that highlights the common ground of Aboriginal Sacred Teachings and the Bible – was the most popular download: samples were viewed almost 1500 times (www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/554).
  • Two episodes of Church Matters, a free podcast produced by MC Canada also received awards (www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/206).

Loan circulation of physical items was up by 23%, the number of unique borrowers grew by 17%, and over 1000 new resources were added to the Resource Centre collection in 2008.

While Friesen Epp is pleased with the Centre’s online success, he notes that consultation – helping people find what they need, whether in person, via the phone or email – continues to be an important aspect of the service provided.

“Some of the online, downloadable resources are also being accessed by those outside of Mennonite Church Canada. The internet, of course, opens up those possibilities. We’re gratified when we receive calls from other denominations thanking us for our materials or asking permission for its use in their congregational settings. I see the Resource Centre as a ministry that extends beyond ourselves.”