ECLA 2022 Spring Conference

Once again our ECLA Conference will be virtual. We have a great line-up of presentations for librarians and book lovers alike. Check it out and register now, the live date will be April 30th.



Event Information

Date: Starting April 30th

Location: Online

Registration Fees: $30 Virtual registration /addition of $10 for partial membership until October 2022.

Presentations will be available on the website for six months from the conference date.

What’s on the conference schedule?

Ceil Carey and Mary Clapp, ECLA co-chairs – Welcome to the 2022 Spring Conference

Ceil Carey ECLA president

Ceil Carey is a retired public and school librarian who is really obsessed with reading. She has led a book discussion for twenty years, serves on her local library board, and reads an excessive amount of books each year! She loves to share ideas with other librarians and book lovers.

Mary Clapp

Mary Clapp formerly served as a church librarian for 20 plus years. She also worked as a cataloging librarian at a public library for 10 years. Currently Mary serves on the board of ECLA as the Co-president.


Chris Jager & Jessica Moore – The Latest Book recommendations

Chris Jager Librarian

Chris and Jessica have a wonderful list of new likes for you to enjoy and to add to your library shelves.

Chris Jager stumbled on the perfect job and over 23 years later is still enjoying working at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has always been a reader and now shares that love with readers every day. She also loves to spend time with her family and 2 funny dogs.

Jessica Moore

Jessica started out hating reading, until her mother got her hooked on a series and refused to continue reading them to her. Now she lives and breathes books, working at Baker Book House for 3+ years, reading in every spare moment, and writing her own books.

With a combined 25+ years of experience recommending the perfect book for every season, these two book ladies will talk about their current favorites in the Christian book world. Jessica will be book talking her children’s Christian books and Chris will be book talking adult Christian fiction.

Denise Roberts & Debbie DeHart – “Almost” Everything A Reader Needs to Know to Enjoy Reading.”

Join us for a “fireside chat” type of conversation as we talk about All Things Reading! Why reading is important; reading for growth, information, and other good reasons to read; determining what makes a “good book” – all these will be discussed.

Denise Roberts ecla conferenceDenise Robert is a pioneer in the homeschool movement who taught her own six children, Denise also wrote and directed a girls’ mentoring program. Initially created with her daughter in mind, it continued on for seventeen years after she graduated. In addition to being a librarian, Denise’s hobbies include speaking, writing, reading, sewing, enjoying retirement with her husband, and, whenever possible, spending time with their thirteen grandchildren.


Debbie Dehart ECLA ConferenceDebbie Dehart has been an avid reader (in two languages) all her life, even when she lived overseas and English books were hard to come by. She has been a librarian at Berean Baptist Church in Portage, MI since 2013, and because organization and the Dewey Decimal System are among her favorite things, she especially loves cataloging and making sure everything in the library is in order. She lives in Schoolcraft, MI with Terry, her husband of 40 years. Their four children, three children-in-law and eight granddaughters all live within a twenty minute drive.

Bethel Grove – Book Launching 101

Do you know what a book launch is or want to know how you can be a part of one? Whether you have never heard of a book launch before or have been part of a few book launches, learn all about publishing industry terms related to book releases, Bethel’s personal journey to becoming a book launcher, and ways that you can also be involved in the work of launching books and supporting your favorite authors.

Bethel Grove grew up as a pastor’s kid and graduated from Ozark Christian College in 2014. She has currently self-published seven books, written dozens of Christian book reviews online, and been involved in over a dozen Christian book launches, both as a team member and a leader. In addition to reading and writing, Bethel loves watching Disney movies, mentoring teen girls, and wearing the color red. She hopes to someday be both a vocational youth minister and a well-known author.

Robin Melvin – Uncover Your Divine Design: Who did God create you to be?


Robin Melvin writes to inspire others to live abundant life their divine design. Her nonfiction book, Uncover Your Divine Design: Who did God create you to be? is her story of healing unhealthy mindsets formed as a child of an alcoholic, authoritarian father. This story of hope shows how God transforms us by changing the way we think. Releasing in the fall of 2022, Uncover Your Divine Design has already won a First Place Blue Seal Award.

 Robin lives in Mokena, Illinois and is married to Jeff, an Army veteran. She is a mom to four and “Meema” to six. She loves rocks and driftwood, hiking and camping. Robin also loves words. How they look, feel, and sound. Some of her favorites are anomaly, anemone, serendipity, and discombobulated.

 You can find her stories at, in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and in War Cry and Priority! magazines. Also connect with her via email and on Facebook

Kendel Darragh – Using Kindles in Church Libraries

Traditional ebook systems like Overdrive provide large libraries many useful benefits, but are beyond the means of nearly all church libraries.  Basic Kindles allow church libraries to offer some of the benefits of the ebook environment at a far more reasonable cost.  In this session Kendel Darragh will talk about some benefits of providing Kindles in the church library, and the nuts and bolts of selecting, buying, preparing and maintaining them.

Kendel is  a reference librarian at the Library of Michigan, and she volunteered for 21 years in the library at First Baptist Church in St. Johns, Michigan.  During that time she was promoted to the position of Church Librarian through attrition.  During the last 5 years, the church library was able to purchase 5 Kindles with a combination of library budget and cash donations.  

Keynote Speaker: Erin Bartels – What Would Paul Read?

A church library is meant to offer resources and encouragement Christian readers, equipping them to walk closer to their God and to serve those in need around them. Perhaps no one in Scripture spent more of his life engaged in intense ministry than the Apostle Paul. Paul was a learned man; one wonders what stories his library card could tell! If he walked into your church’s library, what kinds of books might he check out in order to equip him to minister to people today? Would he find what he was looking for? In this keynote address, award-winning novelist Erin Bartels poses the question, “What would Paul read?” as a way of developing a fulsome understanding of what ministry-minded readers need in order to be equipped to carry out God’s call on their lives.

Erin Bartels is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things, The Words between Us, All That We Carried, and The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water. Her short story “This Elegant Ruin” was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest and her poetry has been published by The Lyric. She lives in the capital city of a state that is 40% water, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is really quite peaceful. Find her on Facebook @ErinBartelsAuthor and on Instagram @erinbartelswrites.

Michele Phoenix – When Reading about Pain is Discipleship

In thirty years of ministry, I’ve learned that exploring pain—entering into the suffering of others in order to better understand and help them—is a prerequisite for being empathetic channels of the healing God offers. My novels reflect this core belief: reading about pain isn’t just a way to spend a rainy day. It’s discipleship. 

Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Pheonix is an international author, educator and speaker. A prominent advocate for Third Culture Kids, she travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She writes in the margins of her busy life and has published five novels with Tyndale and Thomas Nelson, two of which were Christy Award finalists. Michèle is a three-time cancer survivor who understands the gift in every breath and milestone. She is inspired by good conversation, investigative travel and paths to healing.

Tinna Mills, Christy Ewing and Melody Green – Why stories matter: The transformative power of narrative

“Jesus knew the power of a story to inspire people towards greater empathy and spiritual maturity. Join us as we explore the power of good literature to inspire the kinds of formative conversations which have the power to lead to closer relationships with our communities and greater understanding of the world around us.”

Tinna is a youth librarian working at a public library in Mt. Pleasant, MI. She lives nearby with her husband and daughter and also serves as an elder at her church.

Christy is a school librarian working with fifth and sixth graders in Manassas, VA where she lives with her husband and two sons. 

Dr. Melody Green is the Dean and professor of Christianity and Culture at Urbana Theological Seminary. She has been the coordinator of two different church libraries, and currently the Urbana Seminary Library reports to her. Dr. Green teaches classes on C. S. Lewis, Christianity and Children’s literature and related topics; later this fall a book she co-edited called Tolkien and the Arts will be released by Square Halo Press.

Register for the Spring 2022 Virtual Conference below by Filing out the form and pressing the SUBMIT button, this will take you to Paypal for payment

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