"People of the Books" Blog

2018 Groner-Wikler Scholarship Applications Being Accepted

Applications are now being accepted for the Groner-Wikler scholarship for AJL conference attendance.  The application deadline is March 2, 2018.     

The Groner-­Wikler Scholarship of $1500 for conference attendance is generously underwritten by Kar-Ben Publishing and given annually to a member of AJL who demonstrates dedication to Jewish children’s literature or library services.

A member of AJL, this individual will have made a significant contribution in one or more of the areas listed below. Extra consideration is given to applicants who are considered promising new movers and shakers in the field of Jewish children’s literature and services. 


-     Active involvement in the Judaic library profession or related fields promoting Jewish children’s literacy

-     Strong advocacy for library/literacy services to children and youth

-    Positive role model to colleagues and the wider community

-     Innovative approaches to Jewish children’s literature or library services


Candidates may self-nominate, or be nominated by others. The nominator does not have to be a member of AJL, but the nominee must be a current AJL member. The winner will be selected by a committee made up of the AJL SSC President and Vice-President, the children’s book editor(s) of AJL Reviews, and the previous year’s winner of this award.

The recipient will be notified well before the registration deadline for the Association of Jewish Libraries annual conference. The presentation of the award will take place during the AJL conference.

Note: If a suitable candidate is not found, the scholarship will not be awarded in that year.

Nominator or applicant (may self-nominate) should fill out the form and email it with any supporting materials to AJL SSC President Kathy Bloomfield at [email protected]  by March 2, 2018. Please put “2018 Groner-Wikler Scholarship” in the subject line.

Readukkah 2017


The Association of Jewish Libraries and the Jewish Book Council present the third annual reading challenge for readers of all ages, Readukkah! To participate, all you have to do is post about any #JewLit book (any book of Jewish interest) on the Facebook event discussion board—or share a link to your review anywhere online—and use the hashtag #Readukkah to connect with other readers!

By sharing your Readukkah posts, your participation in this reading challenge helps spread the word about worthwhile titles, bringing them to the attention of more readers and supporting the publication of Jewish books!

Join the event at

Member Spotlight with Esther van Haaren-Hart

Our Member of the Month is Esther van Haaren-Hart of Curaçao.

Amalia Warshenbrot and Esther van Haaren-Hart

Amalia Warshenbrot and Esther van Haaren-Hart, 2017.

Esther van Haaren-Hart is the librarian and general manager of the Foundation at the Maduro Library and Museum housed in the plantation house at Rooi Catootje in Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean.

The foundation is named after Salomon Abraham (Mongui) Levy Maduro (1891-1967) who started collecting documents, books, manuscripts, archivalia and periodicals relating to Curaçao, the Dutch West Indies and his Sephardic Jewish community which goes back to the 17th century. One of the goals of the foundation is to preserve historical collections on subjects of Sephardic Jewish and Dutch Caribbean interest for future research.

The library collection consists of more than 10,000 books, 450 documentation files by subject, containing newspaper clippings and more than one thousand Antillean and Jewish periodicals, collected over a period of more than 100 years. Due to the growth of the collection, the library collection was moved to a state of the art new building, the Ena Dankmeijer-Maduro Pavilion, in 2010. Throughout the years, a wide variety of writers, historians, elementary school students and researchers have consulted the library collection. The library cooperates closely with other academic libraries, both in Curaçao and abroad.

Mrs. van Haaren-Hart is a mother of three and grandmother of one.  She attended the 2017 AJL conference, commenting:

“I enjoyed this well organized 52nd conference. There was a great variety in themes, the sessions were well planned and well prepared by the speakers. Networking with participants of so many countries and places in the USA was one of the highlights of the conference. I was very pleased to meet some old library friends and to make new ones. In general I consider the information about digitized materials, many of them online available, as another highlight of the conference.”

Esther plans to continue to communicate with AJL in the future to exchange ideas and information on a global scale and to be able to access information through application of advanced technologies

Esther welcomes AJL members and friends to visit her library’s website at www.madurolibrary.org to get acquainted with the library and the museum collection. Esther encourages all to visit the island and the facilities in person, like so many Jewish groups have done in the past and are still doing.

Webinar redux with discount!

We forgot to let you know that any AJL member in good standing is eligible for a 10% discount on any/all of the AJL/ALA webinars coming up.  Contact Sharon Benamou or Nancy Sack to get the discount code.

AJL/ALA Webinars

As you may know, AJL partnered with ALA last year to deliver a series of webinars. ALA/AJL Cataloging Sacred texts webinarThe first three webinars, to be held November 16, December 14, and mid-January, cover collection development and cataloging of Judaica resources for non-specialist librarians. The webinars are aimed primarily at librarians in school, public, and academic libraries whose responsibilities include collection development and cataloging of Judaica but who are not subject specialists. The webinars may also offer some tips and tricks to subject specialists who are new to the field of librarianship.
AJL/ALA webinar collection development
Registration is now open for the first 90-minute workshop, which will be held Thursday, November 16, 2017, starting at 2:30 pm Eastern time. For more information please contact Sharon Benamou or Nancy Sack.