"People of the Books" Blog

AJL 2020-2021 Membership Drive

images of AJL members
You can easily join AJL or renew your membership by visiting our website at jewishlibraries.org.  
You will receive a collectible AJL Membership Pin that you can proudly wear at work and all AJL events!  
If you have questions about your membership, please contact Sharon Benamou at [email protected]org.
logo for 20-21 AJL membership drive

AJL Roundtable: COVID-19 and Your Institution

Our popular series of AJL Virtual Roundtables resumes on Wednesday August 12, 2020 at 12:30PM Eastern Time, with a joint meeting for members of the RAS and SSCPL divisions. Our topic will be "COVID-19 and Your Institution."

Suggested readings:

 

Please note that this event is for AJL members only. Members received the Zoom link in an email dated July 29, 2020. Non-members are welcome to join AJL in order to participate in this and future roundtables. A schedule of online events for the fall is being developed now and will be posted soon.

AJL Statement on Collecting, Serving Our Users, and Supporting Vendors in the Time of COVID-19

AJL Statement on Collecting, Serving Our Users, and Supporting Vendors in the Time of COVID-19

This statement has been endorsed by the Executive Committee of the Association for Jewish Studies.

The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) recognizes the interdependence of libraries, library users, vendors, and publishers that make up the scholarly ecosystem. Due to the COVID19 global pandemic, Jewish Studies librarians and archivists, alongside other area studies colleagues (such as SALALM, MELA etc.), are faced with unprecedented challenges to maintaining quality patron services and furthering their mission of supporting scholarship. As universities and research centers rely more and more on e-books in this environment of expanding distance programs and shelter-at-home directives, we assert that continuing to acquire physical books and other print and non-print materials is necessary to achieve and maintain robust research collections.

Relying solely on e-books presents many challenges:

  • Unavailability of material in electronic format: Jewish Studies scholarship relies on special collections and archival material that are often not published in electronic format or digitized. Furthermore, small publishers usually do not make their works available as ebooks and when they do, the books are not generally included in collection packages. Relying on e-books will prevent users from accessing material such as:
  • Various formats and genres: graphic novels, museum exhibit catalogues, art books, zines, sheet music, religious books, and broadsides
  • Self-published works: local histories, genealogy, and association publications
  • Congregational materials: newsletters, minutes
  • Special collections: ephemera, archival documents, and non-print materials
  • Privacy issues: Materials that belong to marginalized communities cannot be digitized and made accessible online to protect privacy and copyright.
  • Supporting the scholarly ecosystem: Most of the above collections come from small vendors in the U.S. and abroad, and small publishers who focus on emerging or specialized topics. AJL recognizes that these small vendors and publishers as well as their networks need to be supported, and their expertise retained.

AJL encourages our member libraries and archives, as well as all other scholarly institutions that hold Jewish Studies collections, to consider the long-term implications that budgetary constraints will have for future scholarship and the viability of the networks that sustain it. AJL stands with other area studies associations in our commitment to holistic and representative collection development policies and practices in research institutions.

The Board and Council of the Association of Jewish Libraries.

AJL 2020 DIGITAL CONFERENCE: Follow-Up

CONFERENCE FOLLOW-UP

  • It’s not too late to complete the Conference Evaluation.  Access it from the Socio website or App.  Your feedback is extremely important to us!

  • An overwhelming percentage of our Digital Conference attendees said they got a fantastic experience for very little gelt.  Thank you for all of the kind comments! Show your appreciation for all of the people who put in countless hours of work and sweat to deliver an extraordinary conference during these tumultuous times by making a donation to AJL in their names. Your gift is tax deductible.  

  • Have you been gushing to your colleagues about how fabulous the conference was? Well, tell them it’s not too late to register!  AJL members who missed out on participating in real time, can purchase a post-conference all access pass for $36 which will entitle them to the recordings of all of the sessions plus all of the handouts.  Click here for more details.  

  • Because we learned how important seeing each other is, we are developing a series of virtual round tables for this summer and fall. Stay tuned for details . . . 

  • REMINDER: The Socio website and app will remain in place and you can continue to access the session recordings and handouts until it’s time for next year’s conference! The one exception is Lesléa Newman’s talk, “Maidels and Dreidels and Ladles, Oh My! The Journey of a Jewish Children’s Book Writer,” which will only be available until July 30, 2020.

 

AJL IN THE NEWS:

Please share your experience at AJL's Digital Conference in your institution's newsletter or blog, then share that posting with AJL members. Spreading the word that you stay up to date with the latest Judaic librarianship practices is a great advocacy tool.

Thank you so much for being a part of the AJL 2020 Digital Conference! 
We look forward to “Staying Connected” with you all year!

Marcie Eskin & Rachel Kamin, AJL 2020 Conference Co-Chairs
Lisa Silverman, AJL National Conference Chair
Kathy Bloomfield, AJL President
Dina Herbert, AJL Immediate Past President
and the entire AJL 2020 Digital Conference Planning Team

AJL 2020 DIGITAL CONFERENCE: Final Announcements

FINAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • 340 people participated in the AJL 2020 Digital Conference! From longtime AJL members to newcomers, presenters and award-winners, sponsors and guests - we’re so glad that you chose to spend your week with us!

  • While you can rate individual sessions on the Socio App, we also ask that you complete the Conference Evaluation.  Access it from the Socio website or App.  Your feedback is extremely important to us!

  • The Socio website and app will remain in place and you can continue to access the session recordings and handouts until it’s time for next year’s conference! The one exception is Lesléa Newman’s talk, “Maidels and Dreidels and Ladles, Oh My! The Journey of a Jewish Children’s Book Writer,” which will only be available until July 31, 2020.

  • More AJL Roundtables on Zoom will be scheduled throughout the summer and the rest of the year.  Check Hasafran and stay tuned for more details.  

  • Princeton Press has graciously extended the 50% off sale for Marcin Wodzinski's Historical Atlas of Hasidism to all AJL conference attendees. Visit their website and click the “buy this” button to add the book to your “cart.” At checkout enter the discount code AJL-FG and click “apply.” Princeton Press is also offering free shipping via UPS. Or, call 800-833-3324 during regular business hours and provide the discount code to get 50% off your order plus free shipping.

  • Kar-Ben’s FREE e-book program is available through September 30. These multi-user editions allow for unlimited simultaneous access by every student in your school or by any family member. Kids can access the digital bookshelf here; the username and password is karbenkids.

  • We had such a diverse and talented group of authors & illustrators participate in the AJL 2020 Conference!  27 of them shared their recent, new, and upcoming books for children, teens, and adults with us during the Author Open House.  Look for the list of participating authors, with their book titles and websites, in Socio. 

  • And the winners of the AJL Brain Bash Trivia Event were Sean Boyle, Annette Goldsmith, Susan Kusel, Arlene Ratzabi, Jasmin Shinohara, and Daniel Stuhlman of The July Jokers! They will each receive a gift certificate to purchase AJL swag from Zazzle. Thank you Jeremy Cahnmann for helping us to end the conference in such a fun way!  

 

WITH APPRECIATION:

  • A huge thanks to the 2020 Digital Conference Committee who dedicated countless hours over the past several months to pull everything together for this Conference: Lenore Bell, Jackie Ben-Efraim, Emily Bergman, Kathy Bloomfield, Michelle Chesner, Marcie Eskin, Elana Gensler, Dina Herbert, Rachel Kamin, Jerry Krautman, Rebecca Levitan, Heidi Rabinowitz, and Lisa Silverman.  This was an all-star team of volunteers!

  • Thank you to the 95+ presenters and moderators who shared their knowledge and expertise with AJL! We truly appreciate their flexibility and grace under difficult circumstances. Many swiftly changed their presentations to work on Zoom and several pulled together new presentations on short notice. Every session far exceeded expectations and was enthusiastically received by all of the attendees. 

  • Pivoting from an in-person to a digital conference in just a few short months was a remarkable achievement that would not have been possible without the members of the AJL20 AV Crew, coordinated by Heidi Rabinowitz, who stepped up to lend their time, energy, and willingness to learn new tech skills. Thank you to: Lenore Bell, Sharon Benamou, Jackie Ben Efraim, Emily Bergman, Kathy Bloomfield, Sean Boyle, Michelle Chesner, Erika Dreifus, Suzi Dubin , Taylor Dwyer, Annette Goldsmith, Haim Gottschalk, Toby Harris, Jacqueline Jules, Rachel Kamin, Robbin Katzin, Joy Kingsolver, Sonia Kozlovsky, Jerry Krautman, Rachel Leket-Mor, Amalia Levi, Joyce Levine, Rebecca Levitan, Elaine Mael, Susan Pankowsky, Arlene Ratzabi, Aviva Rosenberg, Sylvie Shaffer, Daniel Scheide, Amanda Seigel, Sheryl Stahl, Daniel Stuhlman, Aaron Taub, and Danielle Winter.

 

Thank you so much for being a part of the AJL 2020 Digital Conference!  We look forward to “Staying Connected” with you all year!

Marcie Eskin & Rachel Kamin, AJL 2020 Conference Co-Chairs
Lisa Silverman, AJL National Conference Chair
Kathy Bloomfield, AJL President
Dina Herbert, AJL Immediate Past President
and the entire AJL 2020 Digital Conference Planning Team