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It's that time again. Here's a selection of links on books, libraries and more for the week.

AJL's Lisa Silverman published a great article, What's New for Kids to Read, at

Treasures of the Bavarian State Library, including a section on Hebrew books, available as an iPhone app.

My Jewish Learning is running a poetry contest for the High Holy Days.

The American Association for School Librarians posted is Top 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

Calling Dibs on Culture, a fascinating article from the Jewish Publication Society.

From the Jewish Literary Review, Jonathan Papernick: A Modern-Day Book Peddlar.

From Points of Reference, OverDrive Customers Can Add Project Gutenberg Titles to Their Virtual Collections.

AJL's monthly Jewish Book Carnival post will be up on Sunday, August 15. Hope to see you here!

As always feel free to contact me if you have a link you think would be good for our weekly roundup. My email is mcloutier @

Posted by Marie.
So you're interested in AJL and want to connect with a group of AJL librarians local to you? Here's a list of some of the websites and blogs set up for and by some of AJL's regional chapters.

Greater Cleveland AJL Chapter

Judaica Librarians’ Group (Israel) (in Hebrew)

Judaica Library Network of Metropolitan Chicago

New England AJL Chapter

AJL of Southern California

South Florida AJL

Some of these are fully-functional website and some are blog-style; all of them provide great basic information on what folks are up to elsewhere in the United States, and elsewhere in the world.

This list is also included in AJL's blogroll, which is linked to on the right hand side of this page. The list is updated regularly. If you are part of a regional chapter and you don't see your chapter's site listed, please email me at mcloutier at and I'll be sure to include it.

Posted by Marie.
Posted in: Uncategorized

The Jewish Publication Society has honored People of the Books with the "Beautiful Blogger" award for our efforts at building community in the Jewish book blogosphere through our Jewish Book Carnival initiative (and they're going to host in September!).

In return, the rules of the award state that we must share seven interesting facts about AJL and pass the award along to seven of our favorite blogs.

The facts:

1. AJL has held 45 annual conventions in the US, Canada and Israel, beginning in 1966 in Philadelphia. Ohio and California are tied for hosting the largest number of conventions over the years - six each, and Canada will catch up by holding its 6th AJL convention in 2011 in Montreal. While conventions are always exciting, we have persevered through many outrageous adventures such as the SARS scare (Toronto in 2003) and the transvestite beauty pageant being held at the convention hotel (Miami Beach in 1991).

2. AJL is the Association of Jewish LIBRARIES, not LIBRARIANS. We have members from all streams of Judaism and members who are not Jewish. What we all have in common is an interest in sharing Jewish culture and knowledge through libraries.

3. AJL is a volunteer-run organization with no central office. Members volunteer their time for everything from running local chapter meetings to writing publications to organizing international conventions.

4. AJL has been podcasting its convention sessions and other events since 2008. You can hear recordings of lectures, panel discussions, author talks, and workshops at

5. AJL has two divisions- the Research Libraries, Archives and Special Collections division (RAS) for academic libraries and the School, Synagogue, and Community Centers division (SSC) for general interest libraries.

6. AJL publishes a quarterly Newsletter and an occasional scholarly journal called Judaica Librarianship, as well as various guidebooks and bibliographies available through the Publications Department [link:].

7. AJL recognizes great Jewish literature through several annual awards: the Sydney Taylor Book Award [link:] and Manuscript Award [link:] for children's literature, and the Reference and Bibliography Awards for scholarly works [link:].

The seven blogs we'd like to nominate are:

Jewish Book Council

Jewish Publication Society

Jewish Womens Archive

Kar-Ben Publishing

My Machberet

The Sisterhood, a blog of The Forward

Tablet Magazine

Thank you to JPS for this honor!

Posted by Marie

Posted in: Uncategorized

Things have been a little slow over the summer, so I have to apologize for the lack of blog posts lately. I promise we're going to have some great content for you very soon. In the mean time here's our roundup of great finds on the web for the week.

From Stephen's Lighthouse, Another Great Library Video, from the University of Bergen in Norway.

A report from the Jewish Women's Archive on their 2010 Institute for Educators.

The Most Interesting Reaction to my NewCAJE Workshop, from OnLion/Behrman House.

Summer Nostalgia, from the Jewish Publication Society.

Summer Reading: Jewish Bestsellers on Amazon, from the Jewish Literary Review.

Got a link you'd like to share? Email me at mcloutier at Have a great week.

Posted by Marie.

We have a bunch of great links to share this week!

Book Recommendation Services, about online readers' advisory sources, from the great Stephen's Lighthouse blog. What are your favorite online resources for RA?

Connecting Kids to Character, from OnLion.

Social Media: Fad or Friend? from the AJL's Greater Cleveland Chapter blog. This is such an important topic for all libraries and librarians.

News Update from ALA's Washington Office: 'Topic du Jour? Access' (aka A Busy Time in DC), from ResourceShelf.

ebrary Adds 400 Titles to Public Library Complete, from Points of Reference.

Posted by Marie.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
We skipped our weekly link roundup last week because we had the Jewish Book Carnival but we're back today with some great things to share.

Why the Next Big Pop Culture Wave After Cupcakes Might be Libraries, from

ALA Virtual Conference: Top 10 Trends in Academic Librarianship, from Blogomancy.

Rabbi Harvey Interviews Gary Shteyngart, at

The New Era of Israeli Literature, from

Jamie Keiles: Teens Writing About Teens, from the Jewish Womens' Archive.

Legal Research Guide: Israel, from the Library of Congress.

Special Treasures from the JTS Library.

PLA offers free library advocacy training, from ALA.

Harvey Pekar Dies, from

Art for Peace: A Poet's Voyage to Israel, from

Oldest Written Document Ever Found in Jerusalem, from

I am actively seeking new blogs to add to the feedreader. If you know of an interesting, well-written blog that's updated regularly focusing on librarianship and/or Jewish books and publishing, please email me at mcloutier at In particular I'm looking for blogs on academic librarianship.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
The Jewish Book Carnival is your chance to participate in People of the Books.

The Carnival was started by Heidi Estrin and me, to promote blogs that cover Jewish books. It's an effort to build community, so that blog writers and readers can share posts on Jewish books. We'll read each others' blogs, support each other and promote each other- and Jewish books-  throughout the blogosphere.

Every month on the 15th, someone will host the roundup; this month (and next month) it will be here on the AJL blog. After that, we'd love to know if you would be interested in hosting the carnival on your blog!

The Jewish Book Carnival has a GoodReads page; we'd love for you to join, to keep up with Carnival news, join in our discussions and share what you're reading and writing about.

We are also running a poll to choose a name for the Carnival; the voting is open until August 31.

In the mean time, let's go with the inaugural edition of the Jewish Book Carnival.

From Steve Bergson, From Cyberspace to the Printed Page, from his Jewish Comics blog.

From Barbara Bietz, a post from her blog on Laurel Snyder and her new book, Baxter The Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher.

From Erika Dreifus, on the Fiction Writers Review blog: a review of Sarah/Sara by Jacob Paul.

Erika also sent us From My Bookshelf: Prisoners: A Muslim and A Jew Across the Middle East Divide.

The Jewish Book Council blog contributed Writing a Book Like Coney Island, a guest post by author Joshua Cohen, author of Witz.

The Jewish Women's Archive blog Jewesses with Attitude contributed their Summer Reading List.

From the Jew Wishes book blog, a review of Mr. Rosenbaum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons.

From Ann D. Koffsky, Lifeguarding and Illustration.

From Barbara Krasner, a review of Lost, by Jacqueline Davies, and a review of Emma's Poem, by Linda Glaser. Both are from the excellent Whole Megillah blog on children's literature.

From Sylvia Rouss, Once Upon A Time There Was a Little Rescue Dog.

Please visit and bookmark all these great blogs. Thanks to those who participated, and if you're a blogger who'd like to participate next month, please feel free to email me at mcloutier at Happy reading!
Here's this week's collection of links on Jewish books, reading, libraries and more.

Red, White and Kosher, from the Schocken Books blog.

In case you missed it at the convention, here's a link to the 2010 AJL Convention: AJL and Social Media presentation.

From the Jewish Book Council, PBS' Religion and Ethics Weekly featuring Debra Band and Pamela Greenberg.

From the Jerusalem Post, Taglit celebrates 10 years, a quarter million participants.

Anthony Julius and anti-Semitism in England, from the Jewish Literary Review.

Got something to share? Send me an email at mcloutier at Have a great week.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
The following is a summary of the AJL's Facebook feed from yesterday's convention proceedings.

  • Feinstein lecture. One of our resident librarian-scholars, Yossi Galron, gave the lecture Monday night. Dressed in a tie! He led us through the history of Jewish bibliography. I would like to have seen of his own online bio-bibliography, but he modestly left it out.

  • April Wayland Halpern tells the group about writing New Year's on the Pier.

  • April Wayland Halpern reads us her story.

  • When they say "the STBA committee tells all" they mean "all" The committee gleefully recounted the arguements they had, especially when trying to decide if a book is "Jewish" sfs

  • Margarita Engle tells about writing Tropical Secrets.

  • On the left, Margarita Engle's parents still married 62 years later. On the right, Margarita visiting her Cuban family's farm on land purchased with gold from a pirate ancestor.

  • My eyes are starting to cross a bit at the RDA talk. I'm trying to remember what RDA stands for ... Really Detailed something? lots of small changes to our cataloging practices. Adam Schiff is doing a great job zipping through slides and explaining the changes from AACR2. His presentation is at

  • New Sydney Taylor Award Committee members, Aimee Lurie and Debbie Feder, prepare to deliver their 2011 Sneak Peak presentations.

  • Heidi Estrin, Lisa Silverman, Ellen Cole and Kathe Pinchuck begin their discussion of Children's Book Reviewing.

  • The AJL's pre-Award Banquet reception.

  • Dr. Geoffrey Megargee, accepts the Judaica Reference Award.

  • April Wayland Halprin, author of New Year at the Pier, accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Young Readers.

  • Robin Friedman accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers.

  • Margarita Engle accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Teen Readers.

  • Joan Schoettler accepts the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award.

  • The Seattle Committee says thank you and goodbye...

Stay up to date even faster by friending AJL on its Facebook page.

Posted in: Convention
The following is taken from AJL's Facebook feed. Friend us on Facebook to stay up to the minute.

  • 17 photos from Sunday, the first day of the 45th Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries

  • I'm sitting at the awesome Seattle Public Library listening to a Reader's advisory talk by David Wright. The speaker got a big round of applause when our moderator, Diann Romm mentioned that he reads and speaks on NPR's All Things Considered. sfs.

  • David spoke about the difference between Readers Advisory and reference work. In reference, the patron know what subject she/he is looking for. For fiction, they're looking for other "appeal characteristics" such as the genre, the type of ending (happy, sad, open-ended), the tone, the age of the characters, setting, a......nd many others. He showed several libraries services and blogs that help people find new authors or title. Check out or

  • Kathy Bloomfield is starting off her library management workshop with relevant comparisons to classic Jewish children's books. She's using And Shira Imagined to talk about planning.

  • David Gilner introduces Laurel Wolfson for the AJL Life Membership Award.

  • Laurel Wolfson accepts the AJL Life Membership Award.

  • Enid Sperber lights up the room as she promotes chapters around the country.

  • Yelena Luckert welcomed AJL first time attendees. What brave souls!

  • Hazzan Isaac Azose led us in a beautiful Sephardic version of the Birkat ha-mazon

  • Sarah Barnard and Shuli Berger presented the library school scholarship to Haim Gottschalk (former conference chair in Phoenix) The other recipient Rachel Isaac-Menard couldn't make it to the convention. sfs

  • Heidi Rabinowitz explores Facebook and other Social Media with Jewish librarians in Seattle.

  • Tina Weiss gave a talk on the use of mobile devices in the library. I'm taking notes on how to enhance, or rather simplify our library homepage and catalog. She advised taking out the graphics and any java scripts.I'm adding this to my "to-do" list once I get home. Oh the joy (sincere) and joy (light sarcasm) of learning... from my colleagues. sfs

  • After Tina spoke, Daniel Horowitz spoke about the genealogy program People can use their free download to create their family trees and then upload them to Bet Ha-tefutsot.

  • View 7 new photos

Come back tomorrow for more updates, or visit our Facebook page for up to the minute news.
Posted in: Convention
Let's see what's new in the world of Jewish books, blogs, libraries and more this week.

From the Jewish Book Council blog, Allegra Goodman on Writing "Jewish" Fiction.

From ResourceShelf, JSTOR Involved as Israel Prepares to Open First Digital Archive of Hebrew Academic Journals.

From the Jewish Publication Society, Making the Cut.

Erika Dreifus of My Machberet talks up the new YIVO Online Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe.

As always if you have feedback or suggestions please either comment below or email me at mcloutier at and have a great Fourth of July weekend.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
From time to time we here at AJL are contacted for review and interview opportunities for new or soon-to-be-released books. Whenever a new stack of books comes across my desk, I'd like to share them with you.
First up is Remedies, Kate Ledger's novel published in hardcover by Amy Einhorn Books: Simon and Emily Bear look like a couple who have it all. Simon is a respected doctor, while Emily shines professionally as a partner in a premier public relations firm. They have a beautiful house in Baltimore and a healthy daughter. But their marriage is scarred by old, hidden wounds. Even as Simon tends his patients' ills, and Emily spins away her clients' mistakes, they can't seem to do the same for themselves or their relationship....In a debut novel on apar with today's top women writers, Remedies explores the extradorinarily compliecated facets of pain, in the nerves of the body and the longings of the heart.

Based upon Availability is Alix Strauss's new book, out now in paperback from HarperCollins: From the very first page of this stunning novel, readers are drawn into the lives of eight seemingly ordinary women who pass through Manhattan's swanky Four Seasons Hotel. While offering sanctuary to some, solace to others, the hotel captures their darkest moments as they grapple with family, sex, power, love, and death.

Stay tuned for an interview with Strauss, coming soon to the AJL blog.

M.L. Malcolm's new novel, Heart of Lies, is also out now in paperback from HarperCollins: Leo Hoffman was born with a gift for languages. When his dreams for the future are destroyed by World War I, the dashing young Hungarian attempts to use his rare talent to reubild his life, only to find himself inadvertently embroiled in an international counterfeiting scheme. Suddenly Leo is wanted across the European continent for a host of crimes, including murder...An epic tale of intrigue, passion, an adventure.

Finally, coming October 26 from Random House is Avi Steinberg's memoir Running the Books: Avi Steinberg is stumped. After defecting from his yeshiva to Harvard, he has only a senior thesis essay on Bugs Bunny to show for his effort. While his friends and classmates advance in the world, he remains stuck at a crossroads, unable to meet the lofty expectations of his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. And his romantic existence as a freelance obituary writer just isn't cutting it. Seeking direction- and dental insurance- Steinberg takes a job as a librarian in a tough Boston prison.

Please feel free to contact me with feedback or other ideas at mcloutier at
Nancy Pearl is Seattle's superstar librarian. She invented the one-book-one-community concept, she promotes reading through her Book Lust titles, blog, podcast, and TV show, and she even has an librarian action figure modeled after her!

When the AJL convention was in its initial planning stages, Nancy Pearl was asked to be the keynote speaker. Unfortunately, family obligations prevented her from being able to attend, and we were lucky to be able to schedule Dr. Joseph Janes instead. We thought it would still be nice if you all could hear from Nancy, so we asked her for a Convention Countdown interview, and recorded a short conversation with her during Book Expo America in New York in May, 2010. Click the link below to hear the audio clip!

Deluxe Librarian Action Figure

Click here to listen to an interview with Nancy Pearl!

This is the final entry in the Convention Countdown series on People of the Books. Thanks to everyone for reading and for forwarding the link, and mazel tov to all those who won $10 Amazon gift cards in our "Mention Convention" weekly drawings. You have ONE MORE CHANCE to win by sharing this post with friends and colleagues.

See you in Seattle at AJL!


Enter the Mention Convention weekly drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card by linking back to this interview on your blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter (hashtag #AJL10) — just email to tell us what you did!

Posted in: Convention
The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak, by Tomek Bogacki. Published 2009 by FSG Kids' Books. Hardcover.

The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak is alternately moving, sad and hopeful. Janusz Korczak, doctor, writer, activist and advocate for children, was born Henryk Goldzmit in 1878 in Poland. Although his own family was well-off, even as a child he felt a great deal of compassion and concern for those, especially children, without his comforts. He fantasized about sweeping in on a white horse to rescue poor children, and when he grew up he became a doctor and founded an orphanage for poor children where they would receive basic care. Importantly, they would also learn to take care of each other- and to care for each other. Over time he started another orphanage and even a newspaper run by the children.

When Polish Jews were forced into the Krochmalna Street ghetto, Korczak tried to maintain a sense of routine and safety for the children by organizing life the best he could and looking for anything and anyone to help them. Ultimately Korczak and his children perished in the Holocaust, but he left behind a legacy of hope and purpose in helping other and following one's dreams.

The book itself is beautifully illustrated and sweetly and simply told and shows how one person can make a difference in the lives of so many, simply by doing what is right. It's a wonderful book to share with children and adults.

Nonfiction Monday is a moving meme headquartered at Picture Book of the Day and hosted this week at Bookish Blather.
Maybe it's the early summer air, or ALA on the horizon, but there's lots going on on the web in the way of Jewish books, libraries and the like this week.

ResourceShelf directs our attention to a New Report from ACRL: Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians and to a panel from Toronto about the future of publishing and ebooks.

The Yiddish Book Center published a book club guide for Friendly Fire: A Duet, by A.B. Yehoshua, translated by Stuart Schoffman.

Erika Dreifus's book blog My Machberet published a guest post by Barbara Krasner entitled Writing Jewish-themed Children's Books: A Conference Dispatch including a mention of AJL librarian Lisa Silverman.

OCLC announced Three Gateway milestone records entered in May, one by the Society for the Preservation of Hebrew Books.

Jewish Delis: The History of the Nosh comes to us from the Jewish Publication Society's blog.

The Jewish Quarterly announced the winner of the 2010 Wingate Prize, the so-called "Jewish Booker," to My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness, by Adina Hoffman.

The New Yorker did a Q&A with Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love and more, in its 20 under 40 series.

Tablet published Reflections on a Book Paradise, about the sale of the Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., and why it's a Jewish story.

As always I welcome feedback and suggestions for next week's roundup at mcloutier at Have a great week and if you're on your way to ALA, enjoy!
Posted in: Link Round-Up
Today I have the privilege of sharing an interview I recently conducted with author Carla Jablonski, who's written many books for teens and young adults. You can visit her website and find out more about her and her books at Her first graphic novel, Resistance: Book 1, has recently been published by First Second. What follows is a conversation we had about this book, which focuses on the French resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II and in particular about the efforts of a French family to save French Jews.

  1. The narrative, while fictional, is based in historical fact and makes reference to several historical events and circumstances. The Velodrome d'Hiver roundup, the use the Paris sewers as hiding places and the significant presence of French Jews in the Resistance are all alluded to, and although it's not named explicitly, Paul and Marie's efforts to help Henri recall the activities of the Oeuvre de secours aux enfants (Children's Relief Efforts or OSE). When you were researching all this for the book, did you learn anything that surprised you about the Resistance or about France during the war, or anything else?

So much! As an American, what I learned in school was primarily about the American entrance into the war, or very specifically about the Jewish experience. I really didn’t know all that much about what it must have been like for ordinary French people during the war, their daily life, their struggles, and -- especially -- the ways life, although altered, still went on.

I admit I was shocked by the wide-spread and deep strain of anti-Semitism in France, resulting in an overwhelming amount of denunciations. I was also surprised by -- and then used as part of the story -- all of the conflicts within the Resistance itself.

The role of luck and coincidence in many of the successful -- or tragic -- events of the Resistance also was quite startling.

And of course, all the research got me asking the question: “What would I do if my country were occupied?”

  1. What was it about the Resistance that intrigued you? Why is it an important subject to learn about in the context of Holocaust studies for children?

The passion and commitment of people who became part of the Resistance was very compelling to me. How people made choices, what they were willing to risk, and conversely, what lines they weren’t willing to cross were all elements I wanted to explore. Also, the struggle for victory against enormous odds while suffering terrible difficulties is both dramatic and inspiring. I also find the idea of secrets a very appealing subject for fiction-- keeping them, having them, and the danger of them -- particularly as an element in a book for early teens.

For all those same reasons that I was drawn to the Resistance is why I think it’s an important subject for children to learn about. Children often feel helpless in the face of conflicts created by adults. These people took action -- in spite of so much being against them and the dire consequences of failure. Doing the right thing, even if that makes you the minority, is also an important lesson. Discovering that people can all want to do the right thing, yet not agree on how to go about it is also an important topic that can be discussed via the Resistance.

  1. One thing I enjoyed about the book from a reader's perspective was the way you built the suspense slowly and tell the story unflinchingly, sparing neither the horror nor trauma of war. Was it challenging to present these things in a way that's appropriate for children? What audience did you envision as you were writing?

I’ve written a lot for kids and teens, so I actually didn’t find that difficult. I guess I’ve somehow internalized those limits and so the story unfolds in an age-appropriate way without my consciously having to police it!

I think the ideal reader for this is probably about thirteen, though I hope it will appeal to those older (like Sylvie and Jacques) and to those who are younger, like Marie.

  1. What themes or ideas were you trying to illustrate with the choices you made about how to tell the story?

I purposely chose to have three children at different ages so that I could explore the impact of the war at different levels of maturity. Because it’s a graphic novel, I decided to make Paul an artist to really exploit the visual medium. I came up with ideas for his drawings in his sketchbook to reveal what he’s feeling but wouldn’t feel comfortable expressing another way -- while also providing a believable skill that would make him valuable to the Resistance. It was also really important to me to not just be historically accurate (while also being entertaining) but to allow the kids to really be kids -- not little superheroes or overly noble. I worked hard on the dialogue so that it would have the feel of real conversation.

  1. This book is titled Resistance Book 1, suggesting that there may be a Book 2 in the works. Is there? What's it going to be about?

Actually there are two more! It’s a trilogy, following Marie, Paul, and Sylvie through to the liberation of Paris. Each book is set one year apart, and as the kids get older and more deeply involved, the conflicts get more intense and the stakes get higher. Their roles in the Resistance change, they uncover more secrets about people they know, and their relationships change -- with friends, with other Resistance members, with Germans, and even with each other -- sometimes quite dramatically!

Carla, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to AJL and best of luck with the trilogy!
For all those who will be attending the American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC from next Thursday June 24-Tuesday, June 29, 2010 ­

You are very cordially invited to attend any or all of the following ALA Jewish Information Committee and AJL-related events (AJL is now an affiliate of ALA):

Sunday, June 27th: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Washington Convention Center -147A
Judith Schaefer's 59-minute film, "So Long Are You Young: Samuel Ullman's Poems and Passion," tells the remarkable story of the serendipitous international influence of one poem. This inspiring
documentary highlights Ullman's life (1840-1924), community humanitarian work, and personal courage as an immigrant Jew in Birmingham, Alabama, and how his philosophy came to influence General Douglas MacArthur, postwar Japanese society, and world leaders like Robert and Ted Kennedy.  Ullman biographer and historian Margaret Armbrester will facilitate audience discussion following the screening.

Monday, June 29th: 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Washington Convention Center -147A
Overview of two millennia-long Jewish community in Romania including the Holocaust, Communist, and post-Communist periods; immigration and history of Jews in the USA and Canada; Romanian Holocaust survivors and righteous Gentiles; biographical sketches of noted Romanian Jews; library materials on North American Romanian Jewry including Multicultural Review; and a discussion of the publication, The Romanian Jews in America and Canada (1850-2010) are the main components of this program.  Speakers: Lyn Miller-Lachman, Multicultural Review, Editor-in-Chief; Vladimir Wertsman, EMIERT Publishing and Multicultural Materials Committee, Chair.

Monday, June 29th: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Washington Convention Center -147A
Jewish Information Committee Meeting.
Please join us to discuss Jewish-related activities in ALA; to talk about how AJL's recent affiliation with ALA will impact the JIC; and to help us plan for the future in relation to programming at ALA's
upcoming Annual Conferences in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011; Anaheim, CA: June 21–26, 2012; Chicago, June 27- July 2, 2013; and Las Vegas, June 26-July 1, 2014.  Full listing of upcoming ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual (summer) Conferences through June 2017 can be found at

Monday, June 29th: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Eli's Restaurant
Kosher* dinner at popular Dupont Circle restaurant where we can continue the discussion in more relaxed surroundings and unwind from the intense activity of the world's oldest and largest professional
library association conference.  This is the same heymish/homey place we dined in 2007 as then co-ordinated by JIC immediate Past Chair Ellen Zyroff and current AJL/ALA Co-Liaison.

Directions, menus, and more information at

*Eli's menu and facility are strictly kosher under the supervision of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington

****PLEASE NOTE: If you are certain that you will be joining us for
dinner, please let me know as soon as possible, but no later than
next Wednesday, June 24th to insure your reservation by contacting me
directly (off list) at ****
Whether you're registered for the entire conference, a single day's full participation, or exhibits only, please come by the ALA Affiliates Exhibit Booth # 2533 in the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, and say hello at the following times:

Sunday, June 27 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Monday, June 28 from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Or volunteer to staff the booth for AJL at another time (please contact me for details).

Exhibit Hours:
Friday, June 25 -- Exhibits ribbon cutting 5:15 pm; Exhibits will open at 5:30 pm
Saturday, June 26 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, June 27 9:00am-5:00pm
Monday, June 28 9:00am-4:00pm

Hope to see you in Washington, DC at ALA and in Seattle, Washington State at AJL (July 4-7)!

Elliot H. Gertel
Irving M. Hermelin Curator of Judaica
Association of Jewish Libraries/American Library Association Co-Liaison
Chair, ALA EMIERT Jewish Information Committee
The University of Michigan
Near East Division, Area Programs
111-C Hatcher Graduate Library North
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1190

Posted in: Uncategorized
Howard Droker is a lawyer, a historian, an author, and a docent for the Washington State Jewish Historical Society. He will be leading a tour of Jewish Seattle for convention-goers on Wednesday, July 7.

Congregation Ohaveth Sholum

Howard, can you give us a little sneak peek into the kinds of things people will see on this tour?

Our tour's first stop will be in Pioneer Square, at the Gold Rush National Historic Park. We will briefly examine the role of Jewish merchants in outfitting the prospectors bound for Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. If participants are interested, we can take a 4 or 5-block walk to see the historic buildings that housed some of the Jewish merchants.

We'll then head east to Capitol Hill to visit Temple de Hirsch, the oldest Reform synagogue. The Schoenfeld Chapel houses some of the accoutrements of the 1907 building. And the Temple library is worth seeing. Then we'll drive around the neighborhood where the prosperous Central European founders and members of the Temple lived, south of Volunteer Park.

Driving south, we'll see how the other half lived, the Yesler/Cherry neighborhood where the Eastern Europeans and Sephardim mostly settled. We'll see several former synagogues and the Talmud Torah that have been converted to other uses.

Finally, we'll visit the Seward Park area where three Orthodox (two Sephardic, one Ashkenazic) synagogues relocated from the Central Area between 1954 and 1968. I hope to make arrangements to see the sanctuaries of two or three of the synagogues.

Please give us a brief overview of the history of Jews in the Pacific Northwest.

Being a historian, I can't give you a brief overview! But I'm attaching a pdf of a relatively brief article (about 3 pages) called A Sketch of Seattle's Jewish History.

What’s one Jewish thing about Seattle that most people would be surprised to learn?

I think the most surprising thing about Jewish Seattle is the prominence of the Sephardic community. Seattle has had historically, and continues to have, by far the largest percentage of Sephardim of any city in the country. As a result, Sephardic traditions and culture have survived to a surprising degree.

Can you tell us about any Jewish books set in Seattle, or books about Jews in the area?

I co-authored Family of Strangers: Building a Jewish Community in Washington State (University of Washington Press, 2004) with Molly Cone and Jacqueline Williams. The book draws on hundreds of newspaper accounts, articles, and oral histories to provide the first comprehensive account of Washington State's Jewish residents. You may recognize the name Molly Cone, as she is also a well-known and widely published author of books for Jewish children and teenagers.

What Seattle experience should visitors be sure not to miss?

Visitors should not miss the Pike Place Market on the western edge of downtown Seattle. Jews, especially the Sephardim, were prominent fish mongers and vegetable sellers in the market from almost the beginning in 1907. I think there is only one Jewish-owned business remaining, Pure Food Fish Market. The Market today is colorful and interesting, with farmers selling produce and flowers, craftsmen offering their wares, restaurants, and buskers. Plus the views of Elliott Bay from the Market are stunning.

Howard, thanks for the preview! We'll be seeing you on the tour!


Enter the Mention Convention weekly drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card by linking back to this interview on your blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter (hashtag #AJL10) — just email to tell us what you did!

Posted in: Uncategorized
At the Seattle convention, on Monday July 5, Diane Romm and I will be presenting a session called AJL & Social Media. We’ll be addressing the finer points of AJL’s website, blog, podcast, etc., and also discussing other social media sites of Jewish literary interest.

If this is a topic that interests you, and you think you might attend our session, I’ve got a little preview for you. You may remember last convention’s social media session with podcaster Mark Blevis in 2009, which inspired me to expand upon the topic on my podcast, The Book of Life. I’d like to invite you to go back and listen to those episodes NOW, as they make great background material for what we’ll be discussing at our Seattle session!

Please visit The Book of Life and listen to the 4-part “Why Be Social?” series of episodes. You can find the audio for all four parts here: Or you can look at the four individual postings, which each include links to extra materials and sometimes bonus video as well. Listening to this short series will give you a good grounding in Jewish social media and why it’s important. It’s certainly not required for attending our session, but I think it would help you get more out of it.

Part 1: Why Be Social? Philosophy

Part 2: Why Be Social? Definitions

Part 3: Why Be Social? Suggestions

Part 4: Why Be Social? Create-Consume-Contribute

Looking forward to seeing you in Seattle!
Heidi Estrin
Posted in: Convention
Here are some great links about Jewish books, libraries and more that have hit the web this week.

Two great posts from the Jewish Publication Society blog- a summer reading roundup and a post on Online Jewish Ethics Resources.

Safranim's blog has launched. It's in Hebrew and covers Jewish libraries and books.

Yesterday posted A Very Jewish Bloomsday: everything you need to know for today.

ResourceShelf posted a great article for ebook patrons on sending full text ebooks directly to a Kindle.

An article on Translated Poetry by Avron Sutkever in Hayden's Ferry Review was posted by Erika at the My Machberet book blog.

Great Authors on the Big Jewcy appears at the Jewish Book Council blog.

Q&A with Miryam Kabakov: Editor of Anthology on Orthodox Lesbians is at the Jewish Womens' Archive Jewesses with Attitude blog.

Inter-Religious Dialogue posted their review of the new online YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe.

Have feedback? A link  you'd like to share? Please email me at mcloutier at Have a great week!
Posted in: Link Round-Up

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