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Judaic Audio Lectures, Panel Discussions, Author Talks, Workshops & More

The AJL Podcast brings you the best talks on Jewish literature and the Jewish library world, with respected experts and popular authors. Please check back periodically, as new lectures will be added to the series.


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Use the links on the left to select a category of interest or to use our index.

Entries for 'Librarianship'

In 1982, after moving to a planned community thirty miles north of Houston, Dede Fox Ducharme and her family joined a small congregation that met with visiting rabbis in various locations. As Beth Shalom of The Woodlands grew into a synagogue with 170 families, a rabbi and a building, many families expressed the need for a synagogue library. What began as a couple of boxes of donated books and a pile of index cards eventually grew into a meticulously designed, automated library with 2,000 cataloged books, a children's area, a small bank of computers, a display case, and a Torah study table. Follow Dede's journey from parent, religious school teacher, and board representative to synagogue librarian as, little by little, she and her spiritual community built something from nothing.

Presented by Dede Fox Ducharme at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.


Posted in: SSC

As the e-revolution rolls on, and Kindles and tablets begin to rule the world, how are librarians to deal with the material we already have? This talk discusses some of the questions we are discussing in Oakland, and suggests some concepts that may be useful, as technology becomes even more ubiquitous. These important issues include: How "new" does the collection have to be? How do we decide what to purchase? Who is our clientele, if the younger generation is using e-readers? How do we reach them? What is our teaching role? How do we market ourselves?

Presented by Fred Isaac at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.


Posted in: SSC

Jennie Maas Flexner (1882-1944) was the first readers' advisory librarian at the New York Public Library from 1928-1944. She was a champion for immigrants to the city, an advocate for adult education, and author of books revealing a strong service philosophy to library patrons. As a pioneer in readers' advisory services, her patron-centered philosophy is inspiring and relevant, serving as  a model to librarians today.

Presented by Douglas Campbell  at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

Posted in: SSC

Two related sessions in one podcast recording:

Strategic Planning for AJL: Process, Methods, Timeline and Members' Participation

the world of libraries is experiencing rapid changes in technology, modes of access, costs of delivery and professional training. The world of Judaica Librarianship is also affected by the ways in which Jewish institutions change, redefine themselves, allocate resources, and reach out to constituents. The AJL has been in a state of flux over the last few years, reflecting these realities, and in order to survive and thrive, we have embarked on a strategic planning process. The process entails a review of AJL's vision, mission and all its operations, and aims to create an effective plan of action that will ensure the survival and promote the growth of the association. This presentation describes the process that begain in January 2013, what was accomplished up until June 2013, and plans for the next six months.

Presented by Dr. Yaffa Weisman at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.


What AJL Can Learn from Other Professional Organizations

These are challenging times for Judaica librarians and for AJL, but we're not alone. How are other professional library organizations dealing with the sluggish economy,membership drop-off, conferences and other issues? This panel discussion features AJL members who are active in other library organizations who will share their insights.

Presented by David Hirsch, Elliot H. Gertel and Sharon Benamou at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

Posted in: RAS, SSC
This session presents a survey of free online professional development resources that librarians can use both in their own practice and to develop expertise to share with colleagues. Of primary interest to those working with school-aged children, many resources will overlap with the needs of those working in research-based settings.

Presented by Sara Ravid at the 2011 AJL Convention in Montreal, Quebec.

53 min 57 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC
In these times, where technology goes so fast and helps librarians to develop their work in the most efficient way, Rita Saccal shows how it is possible to manage a library without all the advantages of modern technology.

Presented by Rita Saccal at the 2011 AJL Convention in Montreal, Quebec.

21 min 24 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

In this highly interactive workshop, we think dynamically about the role of the library in your synagogue and learn how to demonstrate to your lay leadership that the synagogue library is an asset in their efforts to draw in members, bring in revenue, and create a focal point for community involvement.

Presented by Kathy Bloomfield at the 2010 AJL Convention in Seattle, WA.

1 hr 1 min 57 sec

Posted in: SSC

Working in a Judaica library, whether in a synagogue, a day school, or a school of higher learning, requires special knowledge and skills in addition to those offered in library school. Where does one acquire those special skills in Judaica Librarianship? One would imagine in a graduate program in library science. However, such is not the case. Over the years, there have been attempts to teach a course or two in Judaica Librarianship in various library schools. Unfortunately, in every case, the course offerings did not go beyond the pilot program stage. Why? Through interviews with librarians in the field, literature review, informal discussions, and through feedback on Ha-safran (AJL’s listserv), this roundtable attempts to offer several ideas for professional development in Judaica Librarianship, as well as present a short history of Judaica Librarianship course work. We also see this as a means to stimulate interest in Judaica and Jewish libraries for our non-Jewish colleagues.

Presented by Haim Gottschalk and Nancy Poole at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

25 min 42 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC