"People of the Books" Blog

AJL READS, and a Raffle

Thanks to those who sent in suggestions for the AJL Reads virtual book discussion. From among all those excellent suggestions, we have chosen Reading Claudius: A Memoir in Two Parts by Caroline Heller because it’s about the power of literature.

We will hold the book discussion November 1-2, 2016 at our AJL READS Facebook group, where discussion questions will be posted throughout those two days. Author Caroline Heller will join us to answer questions about the book. If you have a Facebook account, you can join the Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ajlreads. If you are not a member of Facebook, you may be able to read the discussion but not participate.

Join the Facebook group any time between now and September 30, 2016 to be entered into a drawing for a free copy of Reading Claudius! Two lucky winners will receive free copies by mail.


The Jewish Library Handbook

Originally published in 1982 as How to Organize a Jewish Library by Margot Berman, this practical guide has been extensively revised and rewritten by AJL's Publications Chair Joyce Levine. 

Contains up to date information on:

  • Starting a New Library
  • The Budget
  • The Collection
  • Cataloging
  • Classification
  • Automation
  • Programming
  • Promotion and Advocacy
  • Accreditation

Also included are sample mission statements and policies for circulation and collection development.

Order your copy of The Jewish Library Handbook here!

For other useful works published by AJL, see our Publications page. 

AJL Conference, NYC June 19-21, 2017: Call for Papers

The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) will hold its annual conference entitled "The Sky's the Limit: The Next Generation of Judaica Librarianship" at Hebrew Union College in New York, NY from Monday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Librarians, archivists, scholars, educators, authors, and others will meet to share their interest in Judaica librarianship, Jewish history and culture, and related topics.

AJL is soliciting proposals for papers and presentations on all aspects of Judaica librarianship as it pertains to libraries, archives, museums, schools, synagogues, and related institutions. Past topics have included: collection management, programming, reader advisory services, special and rare collections, cataloging and classification, digital and electronic resources and emerging technologies. The 2017 conference will have a special focus on the international nature of AJL and New York City, and we encourage international presentations (and attendees!). Submissions dealing with topics such as programming, cataloging and linked data, collaboration, digital curation and dissemination, genealogy, and social media in libraries are especially welcome.

Submissions should include the following:

  • Presenter's name, address, affiliation, telephone and email contacts.
  • Brief biography
  • Title of proposed presentation
  • Summary of proposal
  • Specific technology or equipment requirements, if any

All submissions must be received by November 30, 2016. Please submit proposals by e-mail (PREFERRED) to: conference@jewishlibraries.org

Proposals will be reviewed by the Program Planning Committee, which is composed of national and local AJL members. Notification will be made in January, 2017.

Opening on Council: Publications Chair

The AJL Council is seeking to fill the position of Publications Chair. The Publications Chair oversees sales of existing AJL Publications and looks for opportunities to create new publications. The Chair also works with related committees as needed, such as Bibliography Bank, Conference Proceedings, News & Reviews, and Judaica Librarianship.

The Publications Chair is a Council position with voting rights. The Chair attends the Council meeting at the annual conference in June and the midwinter meeting in January (this year being held in New York).

This is a great opportunity to get involved in AJL leadership, influence the organization, and bolster the profession through timely publications. Past Chair Joyce Levine will be happy to mentor the incoming Chair.

To learn more, please contact Member Relations Chair Heidi Rabinowitz at heidi@cbiboca.org or 561-241-8118 ext. 206.

Call for Papers: Judaica Librarianship 20 (2017)

Dear Colleagues,

Situated in the field of Library and Information Science and international in scope, Judaica Librarianship (peer-reviewed) provides a forum for scholarship on the theory and practice of Jewish Studies and Information Studies. The journal seeks to publish research articles and essays related to the development, management, and/or digital curation of Judaica and Hebraica collections in all types of libraries and archives, the creation and dissemination of information resources in all formats, the promotion of Jewish information literacy, and Jewish bibliography and booklore in general. All research articles and essays go through double-blind peer review. We now welcome submissions for the next volume.

Call for Reviews: Books, Electronic Resources, Exhibits, and Digital Humanities Projects
In addition to comprehensive review essays of reference works and electronic resources, we welcome thorough reviews of library and museum exhibits pertinent to the scope of Judaica Librarianship, and of Jewish Studies digital humanities projects. Please contact the editor for all review types except for digital humanities projects. The latter refers to substantial undertakings that use digital platforms and technologies to advance research in the field of Jewish Studies, rather than just digitization projects of books or objects. This new journal section will cover reviews of digital humanities projects and interviews with practitioners, and serve as a forum for scholars, students, and librarians. For more details regarding reviews of DH projects, please contact section editor Michelle Chesner at mc3395@columbia.edu

Submission deadline for the journal’s next issue (2017) is December 31, 2016. For author guidelines for all sections and online submission, see http://ajlpublishing.org.

I am pleased to welcome Rebecca Jefferson of University of Florida Libraries to the editorial board of Judaica Librarianship. Rebecca is replacing Pearl Berger, past AJL President and immediate past Dean of Yeshiva University Libraries who had a pivotal role in developing Judaica Librarianship since its very inception in the fall of 1983. Thank you, Pearl, for many years of service and welcome, Rebecca!

Rachel Leket-Mor, Editor
Arizona State University Libraries

Editorial Board
Zachary Baker, Stanford University Libraries
Annette Goldsmith, University of Washington
Rebecca Jefferson, University of Florida Libraries
Arthur Kiron, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
Roger Kohn, Library of Congress
James Rosenbloom, Brandeis University Libraries
Barry Dov Walfish, University of Toronto Libraries