posted on August 01,
Right after returning from the AJL Convention, I headed out to Mickey Mouse Land (Anaheim, California) to attend ALA. I spent all day on Friday at the Library Advocacy Workshop
. It was very valuable even though much of the information had to do with influencing state and local governments to fund public and school libraries. There were some good suggestions for fundraising and a few good lists of how to present your case about the need for libraries and librarians. The AJL Convention
also had a workshop on Valuing Libraries
given by Joanne Roukens
. If a chapter would like to bring Joanne Roukens to present a regional workshop, they should contact me to arrange it. It is well worthwhile!
I also spent time visiting the exhibits and speaking to some of the vendors about attending the AJL Convention next year in Chicago as well as trying to set up some agreements for AJL members to get discounts. More on that as agreements are worked out! For now, AJL members can get discounts from KarBen
'Til Next Time,
, AJL President
posted on July 31,
The Chicago Convention Committee has arranged for Mrs. Barbara Schneider-Kempf, the Director General of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preuischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin State Library- Prussian Cultural Heritage), to address the AJL membership about an ongoing project of the Berlin Library to identify and find the owners of many books that were taken from Jewish homes and libraries during the Holocaust. According to an article in Der Welt
that was cited by AJL Past-President Phil Miller, the Berlin Library holds up to as many as 150,000 books suspected of being stolen from Jewish owners and others persecuted by the Nazis. The Library has identified some of the former owners and returned books that were taken from Arthur Rubinstein and Leo Baeck to their legacies. Mrs, Schneider-Kempf will speak about the project to identify the books and their owners and tell AJL members how they can help as librarians.
The AJL Convention
will be held in Chicago, July 5-8, 2009, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. It is an event open to all 1100 AJL members and others interested in Judaica Librarianship. See the Association of Jewish Libraries web page
for more information.
posted on July 25,
One of our members from Argentina, Rita Saccal of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano
, just got back from the VII Convention of the RLIT (Red Latinoamericana de Informacion Teologica
- Latin American Network of Theological Information) in Paraguay where she was the only Jewish librarian. Because of her input, for the first time in the history of this Red de Informacion Teologica (Network of Theological Information), to add Judaica in the Theological Librarianship Studies. She even taught the Convention participants to say the "Ha-Motzi"
before meals! Many thanks, Rita, for introducing Judaic librarianship to this important South American organization.
This weekend, Vice President/President-Elect David Hirsch and I will be visiting Seattle to meet with the 2010 Convention committee and to check out the hotels we are considering for the Convention. While there, I will speak to a group at the Seattle Public Library Northeast Branch
about the importance of libraries in our society and the role of librarians in building bridges with books and libraries. If you know anyone in the Seattle area, please invite them to attend!
'Til next time,
posted on June 30,
Happy Canada Day to all AJL Canadian Members!
Many of our AJL members hail from our Northern neighbor. In fact, our current School, Synagogue, and Center Division President is from Bialik Hebrew Day School near Montreal. We have been fortunate to have several of our annual conventions in Canada. Most recently, we travelled to Toronto during the height of the SARS scare. Despite the news media hype, those of us who attended the Convention in 2003 had a marvelous time, completely germ-free.
We are just starting to plan our 2011 Convention in Montreal
. If you live near there, please volunteer to help or join us for l'event fantastique!
'Til next time,
Susan Dubin, AJL President
posted on June 28,
Hi! I am Susan Dubin, President of The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), and we are "The People of the Books." I just came back from our annual convention. This year we met in Cleveland at the Cleveland Marriott East, with some of the friendliest and most helpful hotel staffs I have ever known. The Cleveland chapter of the Association of Jewish Libraries organized the convention and provided learning, entertainment, and comraderie beyond excellent. Many of the sessions were recorded for podcasting and will be available soon on our website at www.jewishlibraries.org . In the meantime, you can read thoughts and observations from some of the convention attendees as well as some photos of the event at the 2008 AJL Convention Blog. Check it out! Nothing replaces the excitement of meeting old and new friends and being able to network in person, however.
The tone for the Convention was set by the keynote address by Dr. Ellen Frankel, CEO of the Jewish Publication Society. Dr. Frankel is a well-known author and publisher. She gave an overview of the history of Jewish publishing in the United Sates and left us with many words of wisdom.
One of the highlights of the Convention was a workshop on library advocacy. Unfortunately, libraries are very much undervalued in our society and several libraries have closed or reduced their services due to budget cuts. This workshop helped librarians to become their own best advocates and gave very practical tips on how to do that. The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) plans to offer this program to chapters or regions around the country as a way of supporting those members who are being faced with budget cuts or lay-offs.
Another amazing event was the post-convention 40th anniversary celebration of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards. This one-day workshop brought together authors, illustrators and publishers to reflect on the history of Jewish literature for children and speculate about future trends. One of the panels I attended on teen literature featured three prominent authors -- Sonia Levitin, Carol Matas, and Margo Rabb -- and had attendees in tears over the authors' personal stories. The Newbery Medalist and Sydney Taylor Book Award-winning author Sid Fleischman was the luncheon keynote speaker.
Hopefully you will join us next year when we go to Chicago!
'Til next time,
posted on May 15,
Have you ever been asked why the library should be part of the school curriculum? At the California School Library Association Conference held this past November, Doug Achterman gave a presentation on the latest study to confirm the relationship between school libraries and student achievement. Here is a quote from his email to the calib list serv:
" Here are some of the highlights from the new California study on the relationship between school libraries and student achievement:
--At the elementary, middle school and high school levels, the presence of certificated teacher librarians was significantly related to higher STAR test scores.
--At the secondary level, the more total library staff (certificated and classified), the higher the STAR test scores tended to be, even when controlling for school and socio-economic conditions.
--At all three levels, STAR scores were significantly related to the number of services a library staff provided. More services were a good predictor of higher test scores, even when controlling for school and socio-economic conditions.
--At all three levels, both certificated library staffing and total library staffing were significantly related to the number of services the library program offered. The more staffing, the more services.
You can download a copy of the presentation at http://caschoollibraries.pbwiki.com."
Have you some statistics about how your library has affected learning? An anecdote? Please share them with me, so we can start to gather our own information about the unquestionable value of libraries and librarians!
Association of Jewish Libraries