Welcome to The SOBs’ Sheila Holtgrieve Memorial Reference Library

For an all-volunteer organization, from concept to operation, the gestation of this Club’s Lending Library took a mere seven months—May to November, 2006—having been promoted to our Members in the May issue of our newsletter with these words: “If Members will donate their already read books, others can borrow them, appreciate them, and make an informed decision about adding them to their own libraries. It would be an inexpensive way to expand your Sherlockian reading without reducing your bank account, and a way to extend your Sherlockian dollars by first trying a book before you buy it. We hope you’ll all consider participating in this excellent venture!”…and put into action at the November Meeting, when Librarian Verne Johnson dispensed a number of the donated and catalogued books to anxious Members.

Members generously donated their own books (paperbacks & hardbound) and, as time passed, our President and Librarian would review newly published books on the market and, occasionally, add books with Board-approval and Club funds. Audio books were added, so were VHS tapes and DVDs. Like any library, each item was properly labeled and set up with in/out cards, so we had records of who borrowed what and when, and when items were returned…or not.

Our second Librarian, Member Sheila Holtgrieve (d. 5/1/2020)—becoming so in June 2010—took advantage of our website, posting a listing of our by-then-quite large collection of items available for borrowing. This allowed Members to order and for our Librarian to deliver items ordered to the next meeting—quite convenient to our local Members. 

After a dozen years in operation, however, it became apparent that our Lending Library had run its course becoming too large to manage and with fewer folks borrowing things. With Board approval, much of the contents of the Lending Library were culled, returned to the Members through our always-free-and-frequent raffles, and a plan was devised to create a high-quality Reference Library. The library has been curated now by our third Librarian, SOB Chris Berwald, since July 2018.         

In 2020, two further changes were made:

  • Our Reference Library was renamed the “Sheila Holtgrieve Memorial Reference Library,” (SHMRL); and
  • Realizing that the Club’s Library was benefiting only our “local” Members, a project was undertaken to create both funds and processes to provide ALL our U.S. Members with cost-free borrowing capabilities.

Now Available:

Postage-paid mailing of items borrowed from the Reference Library; i.e., free shipping of books, videos and audio items sent to / and returned from ALL our U.S. Members is now available.

To view the contents of the Sheila Holtgrieve Memorial Reference Library, click on these links:

Books Videos Audio

To borrow items from the SHMRL Library, to make inquires, and to make shipping arrangements, please contact Club Librarian, Chris Berwald by email as follows: SOB-Library@cberwald.com.