Welcome to the Web site of TCACLA, the Twin Cities Area Church Library Association (Minnesota), a non-profit organization serving church library volunteers.  Membership is open to churches and individuals of all Christian denominations who seek assistance with library development and day-to-day management of their church libraries.  Some benefits of membership and attendance at workshops and meetings include:

  • Learn new trends and practices
  • Learn how to select books & other resources
  • Learn day-to-day library management helps
  • Encouragement
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Networking
  • Off The Shelf newsletter

TCACLA Spring Meeting

Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

April 30, 2022

The featured speaker is the Rev. Anna V. Ostenso Moore, an Episcopal priest, storyteller, and author.  She is currently the Associate Priest for Family Ministry at St. Mark’s. While spending years reading a picture book in worship every Sunday, she wondered where God was within the words and images. She has written the picture books Today is a Baptism Day and We Gather at This Table to reflect the beauty of the families with whom she works. Note:  While we all long to return to the days of book swaps, conversations over coffee, library tours and more, we will gather in person only if we can do so safely.  The program that is being planned for April 30 will work on Zoom instead if needed.


In Memoriam – Marlys Johnson

Long time TCACLA member Marlys Johnson died peacefully of natural causes on April 2, 2021. She was employed by FluiDyne Engineering Corporation as its technical & research librarian for many years but still found time to spend countless hours volunteering in her church library, most recently at Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley. Marlys was recognized at our Spring 2018 meeting for her many years of service to church libraries and to our organization.

Note from Off The Shelf editor, Laura Dirks: I first met Marly in the 70’s, through the Special Libraries Association, when we were both working as corporate librarians. She often talked about her church library, as well as her involvement in the then relatively new Lutheran Church Library Association. I remember these conversations 20+ years later when I joined by church’s library team. While attending a conference sponsored by what had become the National Church Library Association, I wasn’t surprised to run into Marlys. Before I left, she’d convinced me not only to the the Twin Cities area chapter of NCLA but also to become its secretary!

This information was taken from the 2021 spring edition of Off the Shelf. The picture is from an earlier meeting.

Important Message From our Co-Presidents

Dear Fellow Members of TCACLA,

In light of the rapidly developing COVID-19 virus story in Minnesota, we have decided to take the precaution
of cancelling our scheduled May 2 spring meeting. Everyone’s health and safety are our foremost concern.

We are disappointed because we had a terrific program planned with an exceptional speaker, Dr. Janis Amatuzio.
However, Dr. Amatuzio has graciously agreed to speak at our October meeting instead, and our host, St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, has also agreed to reschedule. Not incidentally, Dr. Amatuzio supports the decision to cancel the May meeting.

In the meantime, we hope you will take the opportunity to add her remarkable books to your reading list:
Forever Ours: Real Stories of Immortality and Living from a Forensic Pathologist and
Beyond Knowing: Mysteries and Messages of Death and Life from a Forensic Pathologist. We should all have even more time for reading in the coming months!

Stay well,
and keep those book suggestions coming in for Off the Shelf! There will be a combined Spring/Summer issue later this year.

Grace Kurtz and Jeanne Schleh, Co-Presidents 


TCACLA Spring Meeting 2020

The spring meeting will be at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral                                              on May 2, 2020.  The CSt Marks Episcopal Cathedralathedral is known for its unique bell tower which chimes throughout the day and is lighted with seasonal colors during the year.

Saint Mark’s life began in 1858 as a north Minneapolis mission of Gethsemane Church. Over time, the congregation grew and moved to other locations. When a parishioner offered to sell a portion of her Loring Park estate to the church at a very generous price, the dream of Bishop Samuel Cook Edsall to build a new cathedral for the Diocese of Minnesota was realized. Within 5 years of its opening in 1910, the church had over 1,000 members. Its designation as Cathedral came in 1941.

The morning’s keynote speaker is Dr. Janis Amatuzio, an expert in forensic pathology and author of 2 books that explore the mys-tery of death. The title of her presentation is “Forensic Secrets of a Good Strong Life: Messages from Within.”
Janis AmatuzioThe Spring issue of Off the Shelf will include detailed information on the full program, a registration form, and directions to the church.

TCAC 2019 Fall Meeting

Plymouth Contregational ChurchPlymouth Congregational Church
1900 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Meeting date is October 12, 2019
8:45 am to 12:30 pm

The fall meeting will be at Plymouth Congregational Church, which is located at the southern edge of downtown Minneapolis. Founded in 1857, today Plymouth is a progressive faith community of 1,600 people. Per its web site, the church is “grounded in the Christian tradition. In mutual care and respect for our diverse understandings of God, we seek to embody the radical love and justice found in the life, teachings and spirit of Jesus…We are committed to creating sanctuary for the soul and seeking the sacred in all ways. We engage the ancient teachings to bring them alive today, nourishing and expanding hearts and minds to become the change we want to see in the world.”

UPDATE!  The meeting registration form is now posted under forms.  Don’t forget the 2020 membership form also.

Here is an updated description of the upcoming fall program taken from the current newsletter of which you will receive a full version if you are a TCACLA member.

The featured speaker is Susan Marie Swanson, the author of several books for young readers, including Getting Used to the Dark: 26 Night Poems, Letter to the Lake, The First Thing My Mama Told Me, and To Be Like the Sun. She is best known for The House in the
Night, which won both the Minnesota Book Award and the Caldecott Medal in
2009. One of her poems for children, “Trouble, Fly,” has appeared in a choral setting for treble voices and in an art installation in a children’s hospital. As a visiting writer, Susan Marie has written poems and stories with children for many years, teaching in
literary arts programs sponsored by COMPAS, the American Swedish Institute, the Loft Literary Center, and other organizations. She also writes and speaks about children’s literature, most recently in an essay on writing poetry with children for a parenting book, a presentation on books by Native authors for an elementary school faculty, and a talk on international children’s books for a local writers’ group.

At the TCACLA Fall Meeting, Susan Marie will be talking about picture books by Minnesota authors and illustrators, both her own and titles by a diverse group
of others. She’ll share resources, suggest criteria for book selection—and offer general good cheer about church libraries. She is a long-time member of Plymouth Congregational Church.

TCACLA Spring Meeting April 27, 2019

Spring Meeting
April 27, 2019
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
2730 East 31st Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406

churchHoly Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis will be our host for the Spring meeting. Per its website, the church “is a diverse community of open-minded believers striving together to learn what it means to follow the way of Christ. The people of Holy Trinity have wide-ranging beliefs on various matters of faith and life. We are knit together by a shared passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by a belief that God’s love is a gift given freely to all people regardless of class, race, age, gender, sexuality, or any other social distinction. Therefore, we are committed to welcoming all people, with no exception, to the full life of this community of faith.”

Holy Trinity has a strong commitment to helping provide affordable housing in its
com-munity. The congregation has developed two apartment buildings on the church’s property, is a member of the Metropolitan Interfaith Coalition for Affordable Housing and has worked on over 25 homes for Habitat for Humanity.

Our keynote speaker will be Stephanie Landsem, author of three novels in The Living Waters Series.  Her passion is illuminating history through fiction, particularly Biblical history and the people and places of the ancient world.

Registration for this meeting will be available soon but the Membership form can be found on this website under Forms.  Please note the address for this church as there are more than once church with this name!



TCACLA Fall Meeting

TCACLA Fall Meeting October 13, 2018

The next TCACLA meeting will be on the morning of Saturday, October 13, at Maternity of Mary Catholic Church 1414 N. Dale Street · St. Paul, MN 55117.  Registration at 8:45 and lunch at 11:30.  Please look under “Forms” for the registration and membership forms.

Our featured speaker is author Linda Daniels. Over her lifetime, Linda had received words from the Lord but they were sporadic and infrequent. This changed
when an inspirational speaker, Gary Oates, came to her church about 8 years ago.
Gary taught a session on hearing the voice of God and writing His messages in a journal. Linda has been hearing and journaling daily since that experience. Those messages,
along with pertinent Scripture verses, are the basis of her devotional, HIS HEART, HIS VOICE; Words of Encouragement.

On October 13, Linda will share some simple steps to hearing God’s voice. You will have time to listen, receive, and write it down. Linda believes that when people receive and then share what God says to them, it encourages everyone and develops a hunger
to hear more from Him.

The program also includes a workshop on marketing your library, the annual business meeting, a book swap and time to visit the church’s library.


TCACLA Meeting April 21, 2018 updated

TCACLA Spring Meeting
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
April 21, 2018
8:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Leanne Waterworth

Our featured speaker is Leanne Waterworth, inspirational author of Just Breathe; Choosing Joy, One Breath at a Time. A Wis-consin resident, Leanne blogs about the challenges she faces as the mother of two boys who have cystic fibrosis.  In her Jan-uary 25 post, “Lamentations,” she reported that her 15-year-old son had been struggling with debilitating back pain, her younger son had been hospitalized for persistent vomiting, her gymnast daughter had broken both heels and the entire family was adjusting to a recent move to a smaller home for financial reasons.  She wrote: “In spite of our circumstances, I still have joy. I love my husband, my children…Life is really, really hard sometimes. God is still good. Each day is new and I am able to find reasons to praise him.”  Copies of her book will be available for sale throughout the morning.

The program also includes a continuation of the conversation on weeding Just Breathethat began in the Fall 2017 Library “Nuts & Bolts” workshop.  How do you decide when it’s time to remove an item from your collection?  What do you do with items you no longer want?  Do you have different rules if the item was donated by a church member?  We anticipate a lively discussion.

The registration form is available on this website under forms.