The Best Equipment to Get the Job Done
A well-equipped resource room needs several pieces of equipment. Here are the things we recommend…and the why behind each! Of course, it is not always possible to start with everything so consider this a priority list as well.
Laminator- 27” school grade
A laminator should be considered an absolute necessity for this work. A congregation will spend a great deal of money purchasing ready-made visuals and a great deal of time creating visuals. It is a shame and a waste when those materials are not protected. Buying the machine is a financial investment, but as laminated materials last many years longer than unlaminated materials, buying a laminator is a sound financial decision.
Some will ask why not save money by buying a smaller and cheaper machine. You can. But then you are limited to laminating smaller materials. A 27” wide roll laminator will allow you to laminate posterboard size visuals.
Recommendations: The Banner Easy-Lam (or Easy-Lam II) 27 in. Roll Laminator is a workhorse that stands up to years of use. But when it was time for the workshop to purchase, we chose the GBC Ultima 65. It has multiple speeds which allows better laminating for a wider variety of materials, buttons to select heat for specific thicknesses of laminating film, and is easier to feed materials smoothly. It also runs indefinitely without having to wait for the machine to reheat.
Table or cart for laminator:
Placing the laminator at one end of a sturdy table allows the laminated materials somewhere to lie flat after they exit the machine. However, that means the machine cannot be easily moved. A cart made specifically for the laminator allows for portability and frees up valuable table space.
Copier- laser monochrome
Teachers need to be able to copy materials to create visuals or for classroom use. Often it is possible to use a copy machine in the "church office.” However, having a copier in the resource room will save a lot of time and will cut down on traffic in an area where other things may be going on.
The ideal copier will be able to handle up to 80 lb. paper to allow for copying on cover weight Astrobrite paper. Ideal comes with a bigger price tag so you'll have to make a budget/need decision.
A regular vertical file will work, but as funds allow, a lateral file with drawers at least 16” deep should be considered. This will allow all but the largest sets of ABeka cards to be filed standing on edge which greatly improves handling and storage.
A good resource room is a library of visuals—and books! Pattern books, picture books, and reference books all have their place in a resource room. A simple bookshelf will make storing these books easy and will help protect them from damage that can come from just being stacked somewhere.
Overhead and opaque projectors have given way to data projectors. Use this to shine a computerized picture on the wall, enlarge it, and trace it. A cheaper option is a tabletop art projector. We do not recommend the inexpensive "craft projectors,” but the Artograph Prism might be a good option.
Suggestion: Look for a projector that allows you to place a book or small 3D object flat on the glass. Models that sit on the artwork or attach artwork to the lid are not as desirable. Also note the strength of the lighting. The stronger the bulb, the easier it will be to trace the art.
Small parts/utility drawer