posted on January 24,
Author Sharon Bially recently made the decision to publish her most recent novel, Veronica's Nap
, online, as a blog; the story of a mother struggling with marriage, children and life choices has a distinctly Jewish setting in the milieu of Sephardic France and in the questions below, she addresses why she chose these topics to write about, the challenges she faced and her views on the future of publishing and of the book.
1. Why did you choose to set your novel in the Sephardic culture of
France? What do you find interesting or special about this corner of
the Jewish world? How does the setting impact your characters and by extension, the story?
France’s diverse and vibrant Jewish community is a fascinating microcosm of world Judaism, embodying nearly all of its aspects and living them out with an intensity rarely seen outside of Israel. Its half-million-plus members – the third largest Jewish population worldwide after Israel and the U.S. – include both Ashkinazi survivors of Nazi occupation (as well as their descendants), and large numbers of Maghreban Sephardim – emigrants from France’s former colonies, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. Discovering these two groups’ differences and similarities, their traditions, customs and direct, palpable links to the past, was far more intriguing to me than getting to the bottom of that French je-ne-sais-quoi
during the twelve years I spent in Paris and Aix-en-Provence. And learning about the Maghreban Sephardim has opened my eyes to a whole other dimension of Judaism that deserves a lot more attention than it gets! It’s so important to be able step outside of ourselves and look back in from another angle. As a Jewish American married to a French-Italian Cohen, I continue this discovery process every day and want to share it.
On top of its cultural and historical richness, the French Jewish community lives alongside France’s 5 – 6 million Muslims. Tensions often flare, particularly in conjunction with developments in the Middle East. Synagogue bombings and other such incidents spark high-voltage emotions that can make Jewish life in France feel like it’s taking place at the very core of the Middle East conflict.
I find Provence intriguingly symbolic of all this. There’s a large population of both Maghreban Jews and Muslims, and the landscape even reminds me of parts of Israel, with its Mediterranean blue skies and cypress trees. Its vivid contrasts – striking shades of blue and green and orange, harsh wind that rips through the peaceful scenery, architecture that simultaneously encapsulates both the past and the present – resonate with all sorts of conflicts, from world politics to one woman’s identity struggle. And its beauty can fool you into forgetting what’s really going on beneath the sunny surface. This is the linchpin of the emotional bond between the setting, the characters and the story of Veronica’s Nap
2. Your protagonist, Veronica, is a privileged married woman who has the luxury of time to herself and the resources to follow her dreams of painting, yet she struggles. What kinds of value-oriented questions is Veronica challenged by? What are her moral guideposts?
Veronica Berg Benhamou, the story’s protagonist, has the good fortune of having most of her material needs provided for by her husband and parents. Like many others with a similar background, she’s awash in choices and has never had to fight for her well-being or ideals. When her hard-working, Moroccan-Sephardic husband loses patience with her aimlessness, triggering her quest for change, she’s forced to question the assumptions underlying her rose-tinted values about personal merit, hardship, the sources of inner strength and her role as an adult.
As guideposts, Veronica initially looks to the values touting individual fulfillment she was raised with in suburban New Jersey and the sanguine belief these fostered that if you just give it a good old college try, things will always turn out for the best. Deeply attached to her own family, she values Jewish family life – enough to agree to the more observant lifestyle her husband leads, including keeping kosher, and to join his family in celebrating holidays Moroccan-style. As the story unfolds, she’s forced to question what these values mean to her, too.
3. You’re publishing this novel on a blog, at www.veronicas-nap.com. How did you become interested in using social media as a vehicle for telling your story? Has it changed the way you told the story?
As a professional publicist, I’m fascinated by the power of social media, which has blurred the lines around many stalwart institutions including the press and is a fantastic community-building tool. And as a writer who’s had two unsuccessful agency contracts over a period of ten years, I was yearning to share my work by the time I finished Veronica’s Nap
. I was also eager to connect with people about its many issues – motherhood, identity, the French and Jewish angles – and to share the “backstory” about my path as a writer and what I’ve learned from it, which I hope can be of value to others. Blog technology just seemed like the right tool for accomplishing all these goals together.
Because I completed the book before launching the blog, blogging hasn't changed the way I've told the story -- which in fa ct may not be particularly well suited to blogging! It'll be interesting to see this relationship evolves for others, though, as more writers begin posting work-in-progress online.
4. What are some of the challenges you faced writing this story? What did you learn?
To adequately describe the challenges of writing this book, I’d need to write another! I began writing fiction before the internet age really took off, and even when I started scribbling the first drafts of Veronica’s Nap
, online resources for writers were rare. So I relied mainly on a couple of local writing groups for support. Unfortunately, the quality of the input I received was often dubious at best and it was difficult to figure out where to get better advice. At one point, I threw up my hands and stopped looking, since this search seemed to take up more time and energy than writing.
As a result, I had no guidance shaping the narrative or plot of Veronica’s Nap in a way that fits in with current publishing trends. Veronica’s inner conflict, her denial, her relationship with her husband, how it feels to be her
– these quiet, contemplative events inspired me, so that’s what I wrote about. I’ve only recently learned that they’re too “quiet” from publishers’ perspective. Still, it was as exhilarating as it was challenging to explore them in depth, and in addition to growing as a writer, I learned a lot from putting myself in Veronica’s shoes about the power and limitations of denial.
Now that I’m more familiar with the publishing world and its trends, I’ve also learned to question my own values as a writer. While I used to be determined at all costs to to write a book that would attract a publisher, I now feel differently. Simply continuing to write what’s meaningful, to improve as a writer and share my stories when I’m ready has become much more important. And the lives of French Jews are extremely close to my heart: Veronica’s Nap
is just the tip of the iceberg. My next book will tell the story of a woman who’s the victim of a bizarre and fiery form of terrorism targeting a synagogue in Paris and the unfair fate of the Muslim man who tries to help. Maybe a bit risqué, but I intend to write it.5. What do you see as the future of e-publishing? It differs even from “traditional” paper-based self-publishing as being a more ephemeral medium. Do you plan to publish your book in paper form, ever? Why or why not? What do you see as the advantages of e-publishing?
Confession: I don’t have an e-reader, and always buy paper copies of books! And since I love that there are so many different reading options out there today, I do want to produce both a paper copy and an e-book of Veronica’s Nap
to supplement the blog. I’ve been looking into it, but haven’t made as much progress by now as I would have liked. There are only so many hours in a day!
While I hope paper books will never go extinct and don’t think they will, I do see e-publishing as the mainstream of the future. Just look at how quickly the world switched to reading and watching the news online. And this is not a clock we can turn back: publishers will only be able to resist the tidal wave for so long. E-books are cheaper to produce and are better for the planet. They make great economic sense for books whose profit margins don’t absorb the costs of printing – and even for those that do. They’re easier to publicize and distribute. And with four times as many self-published books as traditionally published books in 2009 alone and those numbers growing, e-books are helping make writing into what it should be: something to share.Sharon, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us about your book and the future of the book business. As librarians this is a topic that has a big impact on us and the services we offer and will be offering into the future. Thank you for your insights, and best of luck with the book! Sharon is Vice President, Farrell Kramer Communications and Principal, Connaissance Media.
posted on January 23,
On Friday, January 28, please join us for our third and final installment of Facebook Friday in its trial run, with librarian extraordinaire and past AJL President Susan Dubin, who will answer questions on using general-interest books to teach Judaism and Jewish values.The details:Who: Susan Dubin, librarian and past AJL President
Where: AJL’s Facebook page here.When: Friday, January 28 9am PST/12pm EST
What: A live Q&A chat on teaching Jewish values with general interest books.
You must “like” AJL on Facebook in order to participate. To ask questions, just use the “Status Update” tool.
Want more Facebook Friday? Want to be a guest host? Email Marie Cloutier at mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org by the end of January.
Posted by Marie.
posted on January 20,
Here's this week's collection of links about libraries, Jewish libraries, librarianship and more, as well as some holiday links for Tu B'Shevat.What Doesn't Kill You on Tu B'Shevat
, from TCJewfolk.Eating Jewish: Recipes for a Tasty Tu B'Shevat table
, from Jewesses with Attitude.The Triangle Fire, in Couplets: Enter the Poetry Contest!
from Tablet. This might be fun to share with your patrons as well!Another 12 Technologies on the Verge of Extinction
, from Stephen's Lighthouse. I'm not sure I agree with all of his choices, but it's thought-provoking. What do you think?
The Jewish Museum tells us about Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish
and the Opening Night: 2011 New York Jewish Film Festival
.New Book on American Hebrew Literature
, discussed at the Jewish Literary Review.Searching 60 Million Pages of Canadian History
, an article highlighting the Canadiana Discovery Portal, a new database of Canadian history sources. A search for the keyword "Jewish" brought up 10 pages of results!
That's it for this week. Email me at mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org with feedback and suggestions. Have a great week.
Posted by Marie.
posted on January 19,
When I sent out an email to AJL members asking for Tu B'Shevat resources for a blog post, I was overwhelmed by the responses.
AJL's Bibliography Bank
has lots of resources, including two dedicated bibliographies just on Tu B'Shevat and lots of other suggestions mixed in with bibliographies on holidays and children's literature.
You can also search in AJL's fabulous Jewish ValuesFinder resource
AJL Librarian Melinda Herman of the Beth-El Synagogue Center recommends A Tree is Nice
by Janice May Udry and Marc Simont, Zolkower's It's Tu B'Shevat
, Gold-Vukson's Grandpa and Me on Tu B'Shevat
, The Trees of the Dancing Goats
by Patricia Polacco, Behold the Trees
by Sue Alexander and Leonid Gore, and Pearl Moscowitz's Last Stand
by Arthur A. Levine and Robert Roth.
The Jewish Community Library of Greater New Haven responded with a link to their catalog
, where you can find lots of great Tu B'Shevat materials. Click on "holidays" under EXPLORE. Then click on Tu B'Shevat.
Publisher Kar-Ben sent me a link to their selection of Tu B'Shevat books
AJL Librarian Basya Karp of the Shulamith High School and the Shulamith School for Girls says "Dear Tree
by Doba Rivka Weber (Hachai Publishing) is a gem of a book in which a young boy expresses his wish that his favorite tree should always have what it needs to flourish."
AJL Librarian Natasha Krause of the Vancouver Talmud Torah School likes The Giving Tree
, Sammy Spider’s Tu B’Shevat
and Grandpa and me on Tu B’Shevat
by Marji Gold-Vukson.
AJL librarian Barbara Mende suggested Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree
and Sylvia Rouss's Sammy Spider's Tu B'Shevat
and It's Tu B'Shevat
by Edie Stoltz Zolkower.
Jennifer Russell, an MLIS student in Ohio, says "I really enjoyed Behold the Trees
by Sue Alexander (a history of the land of Israel focusing on the fate of the trees) for upper elementary readers (although it's in picture book format, it's a sophisticated narrative). The illustrations, by Leonid Gore, are excellent. And there's always the picture book Solomon and the Trees
, by Matt Biers-Ariel."
AJL librarian and kidlit guru Linda Silver created a bibliography, For the Trees
, for the Greater Cleveland AJL's blog.
AJL Librarian Ellen Tilman of Meyers Library, Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, says "We define Tu B'Shevat very broadly and include books about trees and the environment. I am particularly fond of the two books about Wangari and her planting trees in Kenya. (Planting the Trees of Kenya
and Wangari's Trees of Peace
I also received a number of full-length bibliographies and shelflists that I wasn't able to include on a brief blog post but I encourage you all to visit your local synagogue or community-center library to check out their holdings- there's a lot of great stuff out there!
Feel free to leave a comment on this post with your favorite Tu B'Shevat books for children- or adults!
Posted by Marie.
posted on January 14,
Welcome to the January edition of the Jewish Book Carnival, a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read and comment on each others' posts.
The carnival was started by Heidi Estrin and Marie Cloutier to build community among bloggers and blogs who feature Jewish books. It will run every month on the 15th.
We're hosting this month, and we got a fantastic collection of links from our participants.
From Barbara Bietz comes Welcome Howard Schwartz- Gathering Sparks
Boston Bibliophile has a review of Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, by Barry Deutsch
Waste Not, Want Not
comes from ForwordsBooks.com.
The Fourth Musketeer brings Book Review: Threads and Flames, by Esther Friesener
Leora of Here in HP gave us Scapegoat by Eli Amir: A Book Review
Ilana-Davita sends Hush: A Short Book Review
The Jewish Book Council blog sends two great links: 2010 National Jewish Book Award Announcement
and JBC Bookshelf: First Edition
Turning Numbers into People
comes from the Jewish Journal.
The Jewish Publication Society offers Tu B'Shevat is Almost Here, So Get Ready to Plant Some Trees!
Review: An Italian Renaissance, Choosing Life in Canada
: a review from JewWishes.
Ann Koffsky sent us two links this month: Reports of the Death of the Book Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
for your consideration, and Snowman Coloring Pages
, just for fun.
My Machberet has Richard Holbrooke's German War Photo-and Mine
Needle in the Bookstacks sends us Treasures in the Library
Rhapsody in Books offers a Review of Stronger than Iron: The Destruction of Vilna Jewry 1941-1945: An Eyewitness Account, by Mendel Balberyszski
Sylvia Rouss has Everyone Loves Sammy!
Thanks to all our participants for these links. Please take some time to visit and comment on those that interest you- which I hope is all of them! Stay tuned to the Jewish Book Carnival home page for a schedule of upcoming Carnivals and email Heidi Estrin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to participate!
The Jewish Book Carnival has a GoodReads page
, where we host discussions and more. Whether or not you’re participating in the Carnival, we hope you’ll stop by, join and take part!
Posted by Marie.
Feel free to download and save the logo, and use it on your blogposts or sidebar. Please do not link directly to the picture.
The Jewish Book Carnival has a GoodReads page
, where we host discussions and more. Whether or not you're participating, we hope you'll stop by, join and take part!
posted on January 13,
So many great links this week. So difficult to choose!
Stephen's Lighthouse offers his Predictions on the Future of Book Publishing
. What do you think?
The Greater Cleveland Chapter of AJL has an article by our very own Linda Silver called For the Trees
, a list of recommended books for Tu B'Shevat. I'll have more Tu B'Shevat book lists next week. I was overwhelmed with the responses I got when I put out my call for ideas!
OnLion, the blog from Behrman House, offers Transformative Learning in the Religious School Classroom
.Yehuda Halevi, National Jewish Book Award Winner!
, from Schocken Books.A List to End All Lists!
from the Jewish Publication Society.
The Jewish Literary Review has The Comic Torah: Reimagining a Very Good Book
.What's Your Favorite Yiddish Word?
from the Yiddish Book Center.
Have a great week. Email me at mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org with questions, feedback or suggestions.
Posted by Marie.
posted on January 10,
Tomorrow, Wednesday January 12 will find AJL- and hopefully you- participating in its second Facebook Friday live chat on Facebook.The details:Who: Daniel Stuhlman, blogger and AJL librarianWhere: AJL's Facebook page here.When: Wednesday, January 12 at 11amCST/12pmESTWhat: A live Q&A chat on library marketing.You must "like" AJL on Facebook in order to participate. To ask questions, just use the "Status Update" tool.You can find a full transcript of last week's Facebook Friday chat with Ann Abrams of Temple Israel, Boston, here
. Ann answered questions on running a synagogue library.
Want more Facebook Friday? Want to be a guest host? Email Marie Cloutier at mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org by the end of January.
posted on January 10,
Music: "Conflict in the Middle Table" by Michael StamplerHoward Schwartz
and Kristina Swarner
, author and illustrator of Gathering Sparks
, Barry Deutsch
, author and illustrator of Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
, and Dana Reinhardt
, author of The Things a Brother Knows
are the 2011 winners of the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book Award.
The Sydney Taylor Book Award honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family
series. The winners will receive their awards at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Montreal this June.
Schwartz and Swarner will receive the 2011 gold medal in the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s Younger Readers Category for Gathering Sparks
, published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing
. Both are second time winners. In 1992, Schwartz received the Sydney Taylor Book Award for The Diamond Tree: Jewish Tales from Around the World
. Swarner earned the 2008 Sydney Taylor Book Award for her illustrations in The Bedtime Sh’ma: A Goodnight Book
by Sarah Gershman.Gathering Sparks
is based on a sixteenth century teaching of “tikkun olam
,” or “repairing the world.” Committee member Debbie Colodny commented, “Schwartz spins a calming tale that suggests that the way to bring peace and well-being to our world is by doing good deeds and loving
one another... Swarner’s art and Schwartz’s poetic words interpret the concept of the vessel as a fleet of ships outlined in the night sky by millions of starry points of light.”
Deutsch will receive the 2011 gold medal in the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s Older Readers Category for Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
, published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams Books
. This is the first graphic novel to win the Award. Committee member Aimee Lurie noted, “Mirka is a clever, headstrong and imaginative heroine who will appeal to a wide audience. Teens who feel like they don’t fit in will have no trouble relating to her balancing what is best for her family versus her desire to fight dragons. Grounded in her religious beliefs, she is willing to put her fantasies aside to celebrate Shabbat. The illustrations strike the perfect balance of showing a realistic Orthodox community, while creating the perfect backdrop for a fairytale.”
Reinhardt will receive the 2011 gold medal in the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s Teen Readers Category for The Things a Brother Knows
, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
. Levi’s older brother Boaz is a military hero, and Levi has always lived in his shadow. Now Boaz is returning from war and it seems everyone thinks Levi is the luckiest boy in town. When Boaz refuses to engage with his family and barely leaves his room, Levi wonders if his brother will ever be normal. Committee member Rita Soltan said, “Reinhardt creates a moving portrayal of teen characters … She provides balance through Levi and Boaz’s Israeli grandfather, who served in Israel and has experienced war and suicide bombings. Realistic and subtle, her story unfolds with enough suspense, sardonic humor and pathos to keep readers focused until a conclusion that leaves room for pondering interpretation.” In 2007, Reinhardt earned a Sydney Taylor Honor Award for A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
Nine Sydney Taylor Honor Books were named for 2011. For Younger Readers, the Honor Award Winners are: Modeh Ani: A Good Morning Book
by Sarah Gershman with illustrations by Kristina Swarner (EKS Publishing), Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
by Linda Glaser with illustrations by Claire A. Nivola (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children), and Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale
by Barbara Diamond Goldin with illustrations by Jaime Zollars (Marshall Cavendish Children). Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winners for Older Readers include: Resistance
by Carla Jablonski with art by Leland Purvis (First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group), One Is Not a Lonely Number
by Evelyn Krieger (YM Books, an imprint of YALDAH Media, Inc.), and Black Radishes
by Susan Lynn Meyer (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books). For Teen readers, the Honor Award Winners are: Hush
by Eishes Chayil (Walker & Company, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing), Once
by Morris Gleitzman (Henry Holt and Company), and Life, After
by Sarah Darer Littman (Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.).
In addition to the medal-winners, the Award Committee designated twenty-seven Notable Books of Jewish Content for 2011: thirteen in the Younger Readers Category, seven in the Older Readers Category, and seven for Teens. Notable titles, and more information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award, may be found online at www.SydneyTaylorBookAward.org
A blog tour, featuring interviews with winning authors and illustrators, will take place in early February, with participation from a wide range of children's literature, family interest, and Jewish blogs. The blog tour schedule will appear on the Association of Jewish Libraries' blog "People of the Books" at JewishLibraries.org/blog
# # #The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers: Gathering Sparks
by Howard Schwartz with illustrations by Kristina Swarner
(Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers: Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
by Barry Deutsch
(Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams)The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Teen Readers: The Things a Brother Knows
by Dana Reinhardt
(Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winners for Younger Readers: Modeh Ani: A Good Morning Book
by Sarah Gershman with illustrations by Kristina Swarner
(EKS Publishing)Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
by Linda Glaser with illustrations by Claire A. Nivola
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale
by Barbara Diamond Goldin with illustrations by Jaime Zollars
(Marshall Cavendish Children)Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winners for Older Readers:Resistance
by Carla Jablonski with illustrations by Leland Purvis
(First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)One Is Not a Lonely Number
by Evelyn Krieger
(YM Books, an imprint of YALDAH Media, Inc.)Black Radishes
by Susan Lynn Meyer
(Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winners for Teen Readers:Hush
by Eishes Chayil
(Walker & Company, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing)Once
by Morris Gleitzman
(Henry Holt and Company)Life, After
by Sarah Darer Littman
(Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.)Notable Books for Younger Readers:Engineer Ari and the Sukkah Express
by Deborah Bodin Cohen with illustrations by Shahar Kober
(Kar-Ben, an imprint of Lerner)Feivel's Flying Horses
by Heidi Smith Hyde with illustrations by Johanna van der Sterre
(Kar-Ben, an imprint of Lerner)Miriam in the Desert
by Jacqueline Jules with illustrations by Natascia Ugliano
(Kar-Ben, an imprint of Lerner)The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah
by Leslie Kimmelman with illustrations by Paul Meisel
(Holiday House)Say Hello, Lily
by Deborah Lakritz with illustrations by Martha Aviles
(Kar-Ben, an imprint of Lerner)Beautiful Yetta, The Yiddish Chicken
by Daniel Pinkwater with illustrations by Jill Pinkwater
(Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)A Tale of Two Seders
by Mindy Avra Portnoy with illustrations by Valeria Cis
(Kar-Ben, an imprint of Lerner)Jackie's Gift
by Sharon Robinson with illustrations by E.B. Lewis
(The Viking Press, an imprint of Penguin)Zishe the Strong Man
by Robert Rubenstein with illustrations by Woody Miller
(Kar-Ben, an imprint of Lerner)Sara Finds a Mitzva
by Rebeka Simhaee with illustrations by Michael Weber
(Hachai Publishing)Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher
by Laurel Snyder with illustrations by David Goldin
(Tricycle Press, an imprint of The Crown Trade Group/Random House)The Rooster Prince of Breslov
by Ann Stampler with illustrations by Eugene Yelchin
(Clarion, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)Dear Tree
by Doba Rivka Weber with illustrations by Phyllis Saroff
(Hachai Publishing)Notable Books for Older Readers:Is It Night or Day?
by Fern Schumer Chapman
(Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)Kings and Carpenters: One Hundred Bible Land Jobs You Might Have Praised or Panned
by Laurie Coulter with illustrations by Mary Newbigging
(Annick Press)Hot Pursuit: Murder in Mississippi
by Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon with illustrations by Craig Orback
(Kar-Ben, an imprint of Lerner)The Orphan Rescue
by Anne Dublin with illustrations by Qin Leng
(Second Story Press)The Year of Goodbyes
by Debbie Levy
(Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group)Sharing Our Homeland: Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp
by Trisha Marx with photographs by Cindy Karp
(Lee & Low Books)Mitzvah the Mutt
by Sylvia Rouss with illustrations by Martha Rast
(Yaldah Publishing)Notable Books for Teen Readers:An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank
by Elaine Marie Alphin
(Carolrhoda Books, an imprint of Lerner)Annexed
by Sharon Dogar
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)Inconvenient
by Margie Gelbwasser
(Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.)Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography
by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon
(Hill and Wang)Queen of Secrets
by Jenny Meyerhoff
(Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan)Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania
by Haya Leah Molnar
(Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan)Cry of the Giraffe
by Judie Oron
posted on January 06,
Welcome to 2011 and here we are yet again with our roundup of great links on libraries, librarianship, Jewish libraries, books, and more.Don't Make It Easy For Them
, this month's entry in ACRLog's monthly academic-librarian guest-post series.Re-energize Your Students
, from OnLion/Behrman House. This sounds fun!
From Booklist's Points of Reference blog, Subject Encyclopedias Dead or Alive
is an interesting article in the context of Jewish libraries and the questions many of us face around collection development.
From the Jewish Literary Reviews comes an Interview with Bryna Kranzler
, author of The Accidental Anarchist
, the story of her grandfather in the early 1900s Russia.
The Yiddish Book Center asks, Which Yiddish Books Would You Like to See Translated
? And it's not an idle question...
Are you going? London's Jewish Book Week
, at the Jewish Book Council blog. Wow!
That's it for this week. Come back on Monday for the schedule of the remaining Facebook Friday Q&As in January and if you're reading this before 1pm EST don't forget to check out today's event at AJL's Facebook page
starting at noon EST!
Contact me at mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org or a leave a comment on this post with suggestions and feedback.
Posted by Marie.
posted on January 06,
Ann Abrams, librarian at Temple Israel, Boston, will answer questions for an hour starting at noon EST
on the subject of running a small synagogue library. She has been the librarian at Temple Israel for a number of years and has a lot of expertise on this important subject.Here are the details: What: How to run a small synagogue library.Who: Ann Abrams, librarian at Temple Israel, Boston.When: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 12:00 noon EST
.Where: Log on to Facebook.com. You must “like” the Association of Jewish Libraries to participate. (This link will take you to the AJL Facebook page.)
How: Ask questions by posting a status update (click on the Status button).
Come back on Monday to see the schedule for the second and third sessions coming up!
posted on January 03,
I did an informal survey of AJL librarians recently, asking them for their favorite Jewish books of 2010. They gave me some great responses! Here they are:
Barbara Bibel says her favorites are
Kenneth Wishnia. The Fifth Servant (Morrow)
Julie Orringer. The Invisible Bridge (Knopf/Random House)
Margot Lurie of Jewish Ideas Daily forwarded a link to an article by critic D.G. Myers, A Year in Books
Gil Rosen, librarian at the Rabbi Marshall R. Lifson Library of Temple Emanuel in Newton Centre, MA lists his favorites, "in no particular order":
97 Orchard: an edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement by Jan Ziegelman. Cultural anthropology about food-educational and enlightening.
The kosher baker : over 160 dairy-free desserts from traditional to trendy by Paula Shoyer. An easy to use cookbook for both the amateur and expert baker.
The Settlers: and the struggle over the meaning of Zionism by Gadi Taub. This book, from a left-wing Israeli academic, was a real eye opener for me regarding the ideology behind settlements. I knew nothing about this subject.
Yehuda Halevi by Hillel Halkin. A short well written biography for laypeople about a person whose name we hear a lot but do not know much about.
Jackie’s Gift by Sharon Robinson 1) is a wonderful Hanukkah story about tolerance and 2) acquaints a new generation with a Jackie Robinson.
Hereville: How Mirka got her sword by Barry Deutsch. Great book-I hope it wins awards.
Beautiful Yetta by Daniel Pinkwater. A real favorite of my readers, both funny and lovely to look at. Trilingual too!
How to understand Israel in 60 days or less by Sarah Glidden. Expressive of Sarah’s uncertainty through both text and illustration. The drawings take me back to Israel. Another book that should win awards.
Enid Sperber, librarian at Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles says,
"I would like to submit the stunning novel Homesick by Eshkol Nevo as one of my favorite books of this year. It is an Israeli book in translation published as part of a new Hebrew Literature series by Dalkey Press. It is a "kaleidoscopic" novel about a group of the people living in a community called Ma'oz Zion just outside of Jerusalem in 1995. The writer makes it possible for the reader to inhabit each character in a very unusual way and the overall portrait of the contemporary Israeli psyche is compelling."
Tsipi Wexler, librarian at Henry Koor Judaica Library and librarian, Orot Yisrael College, recommends
From the Four Winds, by Haim Sabato
On Twitter, @JewishLibraries followers chimed in too. Author Laurel Snyder (@LaurelSnyder) seconds Hereville,
JewishBoston.com editor David Levy (@itsdlevy) also liked Sarah Glidden's How to Understand Israel in 60 Days
and liked Sarah Silverman's Bedwetter,
and author Carol Gordon Ekster (@cekster) liked Richard Michelson's As Good As Anybody
Thanks to all who submitted favorites! It's quite a list!
What are your favorite Jewish books of 2010? Leave a comment and let us know!
Posted by Marie.
posted on January 02,
On Friday, January 8, AJL librarian Ann Abrams joined us for a Q&A on running a synagogue library:
Question 1: Association of Jewish Libraries I don’t know if I can log on at noon for FB Friday, so I’m posting a question early. Ann, can you talk a bit about how a synagogue library can successfully compete for attention with all the other projects and activities going on within the synagogue? Thanks.
Association of Jewish Libraries Marie says, thanks for asking, Heidi! Ann will be here soon.
Ann Abrams When I was in library school, one comment a professor made, in particular, that stayed with me, was, to make ourselves be, as much as possible, indispensable to an institution. In those days, the example he gave was, if a professor asked for a copy of something, don’t just leave it in their box, but deliver it to thei…r office. I’ve tried to do that in different ways: by trying to anticipate requests by clergy, staff, faculty and congregants; building relationships with everyone I deal with; and trying to stay current on what’s going on in the library world, re: the programs I bring to the synagogue.
Ann Abrams Also, to more adquately respond to Heidi’s earlier question, I have an annual Jewish Book Month Program, which, very fortunately, was endowed 16 years ago. We bring in an author on a Friday evening or Sunday morning, have a nice oneg and book signing. It’s sponsored by the library committee, and I run it, so it keep…s us in the limelight, if you will. I try to be careful to not have our book group and other programs conflict with others, so folks don’t have to choose between one good thind and another.
Question 2: Amy Fellner Dominy Hi Ann. As an author, I’m wondering how you decide what books to carry in your library? I’m guessing your funds are limited…
Ann Abrams Most libraries have collection development policies, that guide us in making decisions about what to purchase. In my case, I try to purchase material that supports the school and adult learning programs of our synagogue, as well as materials for pleasure reading as well. in the last few years, my budget has shrunk quite a bit, like in most libraries, and so, unfortunately, I often am not able to get everything that would fit into those categories I just mentioned.
Daniel Stuhlman To answer Amy — All libraries purchase materials that will serve their readers. Schools try to select materials that support the curriculum. All libraries try to purchase quality materials.
Amy Fellner Dominy Thanks Daniel. I do wonder how synagogue librarians get information on upcoming books? Is it through the same catalogs as other libraries or are their special methods to find books with Jewish themes and content?
Daniel Stuhlman Acquisitions is an interesting challenge because no library has the money to purchase all they want. They are limited by budget, space and time. Gifts are a mixed blessing — the library gets materials that they did not fully selection to acquire. Ann, how do you deal with the challenges?
Ann Abrams At our library, we look at the NY Times Book Review, Library Journal, and of course, the AJL newsletter. We also look at whatever online or hard-copy Jewish journals have book reviews. I also look at blogs by folks who review Jewish books, including Boston Bibliophile, by our own AJL member Marie Cloutier.
Amy Fellner Dominy Wonderful information! Thanks. :-)
Ann Abrams Also, if there’s a publisher that I’ve purchased many materials from, I’ll look at their catalog. But, generally, I like to see at least one positive review (and not an Amazon review by a fan, but a review in a publication) before purchasing an item, unless I’ve read the book, or seen the film, myself.
Question 3: Sheryl Stahl Hi Ann! I was wondering if you run any book clubs? and if so, how they work out.
Sheryl Stahl I guess I should have added that our congregation has a monthly book club as well as a yearly “everyone read the same book” program – but they are run through the ed. committees and not the library.
Ann Abrams Re: Sheryl’s question, about book clubs. I do run a book club, along with our Women of Reform Judaism (formerly Sisterhood). It is monthly, and I learned quickly not to plan too many titles ahead of time, as the folks in my group often would come across something they really liked, and so, now at each meeting, I anno…unce the book for the following month (as opposed to what I tried in the beginning, of creating a year-long list of titles) We’ve read a lot of the same things other Jewish clubs have read (from what I see on the AJL website of bookgroup lists), and we try to pick something that has at least some Jewish content (although some folks don’t feel strongly about that), and is a good read. We get 7-10 folks a week, mostly women, 70 and up, and the discussions are always lively.
Question 4: Joyce Levine Hi Ann, Thanks for doing this exciting Q&A Facebook blog. I wonder if you could answer question recently posted on Hasafran by a JCC librarian. Do you circulate e-books at all? It was pointed out that in many institutions people are not as interested in borrowing books or even consulting the reference section as much sin…ce they do so much online nowadays.
Ann Abrams Hi, Joyce. We don’t have e-books, yet, but it’s something I’m looking into, and am following, with interest, discussions about them. If anyone else has experience with this, please chime in!
Joyce Levine Maybe someone could run at session about e-books at Convention. We would all love to learn more. If any of you out there are knowledgeable and would be willing to do this, please let me know.
Question 5: Joyce Levine I got burnt recently by accepting a rather large donation suggested by a Board member. Most of the books were unsuitable for our school library. I generally try to visit the home of the potential donor and just pick out what I want, which does not cause any “disposal” problems of unwanted materials.
Ann Abrams One of the most important documents every library should have, which was conveyed to me by a colleague a long time ago (I think at an AJL convention), is a gifts policy. Our gifts policy states that we have the right of refusal. It is stated more politely than that, but, that way, we can say, “Thank you for thinking …of us…if there’s something here we can add to our collection, we will, but, if not, we’re happy to try to find homes for the material if you’re agreeable to that.” As a result, we are able to get quite a few very good materials for our collection; and, I’m lucky to have assistants to help type up lists of the rest, so I can offer them to our clergy, staff, teachers, and other libraries.
Ann Abrams Re: book donations and Joyce’s comment, my observation is that most folks just can’t bear the thought of throwing books away, and are just happy to have someone take them. What Joyce says she does is very smart because, unfortunately, sometimes donations of old books can bring mildew, mold, bugs… other things we do…n’t want in our library. So, I agree, if it’s possible to go to the home, and take what you want – that’s a great way to avoid problems.
Ann Abrams Something I’m dealing with right now is what to do with really old books – not books that an appraiser would say are rare – but, books on Jewish topics that happen to have been written in the 1800?s and early 1900?s. I’m wondering what other folks with these types of books do with them, if, anything different than hav…ing them on the shelf? I just posted to hasafran on this, too.
Daniel Stuhlman Ann, concerning old books — it depends on your collection development policy. In my studies I need old books. I can’t expect my synagogue library to have them because they don’t have the room. Since most library users want the latest and greatest, it would be best if the collection could have a segregated stacks for older materials.
Sheryl Stahl we ended up weeding most of our old books too – we had a pretty successful book sale with them.
Ann Abrams In terms of the limits you mention, Daniel, I think I do the best I can, like everyone else. I try to prioritize, and, in the age of the Internet, I can, at least, say to folks, “We don’t have this item, but I can try to find it for you, elsewhere.”
Ann Abrams I agree a session about e-books sounds like a good idea! And thanks to Daniel and Sheryl for your comments and suggestions about what to do with old books.
Question 6: Lan Eng Ann, besides dealing with members, how do you work with the other constituent groups at your synagogue. Specifically, how do you work with your rabbis, religious school director and other staff members? Do you have regular meetings with them?
Ann Abrams Hi, Lan, thanks for your question. My position is part of the Education dept, so the Education director (same as Religious School Director) is my supervisor. The Educ dept has monthly meetings, and the other folks in this group are: the Director of Elementary Education, Family Educator, Youth Director, and the Assist…ant to the Educ. Director. We also have monthl all-staff meetings which I attend. But, I have interactions with everyone on the staff: the clergy often ask me for help finding materials, or creating resource lists for life cycle events; I send emails to all the staff re: things that I think might be of interest, for example, that they all have access to electronic resources.
Ann Abrams Many of the members of the staff use the library for their pleasure reading. The rabbis lead a weekly torah study group, and often use the library for preparation. The library is fortunately in the center of the building, so I can easily walk around to see folks, and be seen, to encourage casual conversation. I’ve be…en at the temple for over 20 years, and so I can sometimes anticipate what folks might want for annual programs, and will send it to them before they ask.
Question 7: Joyce Levine I know this is a pretty big topic and sorry to raise it at the last minute, but I was wondering if you run your own fundraising events and if so, what kinds? Or does your synagogue totally fund the library?
Ann Abrams My book, film, cd and other library material budget is completely from donations, in the form of “book shelves,” which are really book funds. I have an annual book fair, and make approx $600 a year from that. That’s all I have at the moment. I have an email list of library supporters and occasionally let them know …what’s going on so they can see where their money’s going. The temple has a development director and I sometimes chat with her about ways to raise revenue.
Joyce Levine Thank you. I hope to continue this conversation at a future time. Shabbat shalom!
Association of Jewish Libraries Ann, thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions in AJL’s inaugural Facebook Friday! And thanks to everyone who participated!
posted on January 01,
On Wednesday, January 12, AJL librarian Daniel Stuhlman joined us for a free-flowing discussion on the subject of library marketing.Association of Jewish Libraries
Welcome to AJL's second "Facebook Friday" (on Wednesday this time). Today's guest is AJL librarian Daniel Stuhlman, who'll take your questions for the next hour on library marketing. Welcome, Daniel!Association of Jewish Libraries
Please post your questions using the "Status Update" button
In 2009 Dean Hendrix, et al. published “Use of Facebook in academic health sciences libraries” in : . Journal of the Medical Library Association. (Jan 2009. Vol. 97, Iss. 1)Daniel Stuhlman
Please post remarks in the "post" tab above. That is easier for everyone to see the latest remarks.Daniel Stuhlman
Good morning or for you in the Eastern time zone, Good afternoon
Thanks for joining us. I was told that the January issue of College and Research Libraries (January 2011 vol. &2:1) has an article on using Facebook as a library tool. Unfortunately I didn’t read this article yet.
This is not a new topic in 2007 Laurie C...harnigo and Paula Barnett-Ellis published “Checking Out Facebook.com: The Impact of a Digital Trend on Academic Libraries” in . Information Technology and Libraries. ( Mar 2007. Vol. 26, Iss. 1; )Sheryl Stahl
Steven - your definitely right about authority control - I don't think the article was saying that FB was a good as a catalog - just that you can use the features of FB to explain the features of a catalog or subscription database.Daniel Stuhlman
Library marketing is about getting people into the library and its programs, public relations is to spread news about and concerning the library, cataloging and other tech services are the foundation of the library and its collection. Public services is between them. Without a catalog, acquisitions, and buildings, th...ere is no library. Without marketing no one knows what is happening or planned for the library. Both marketing and tech services have the goal of connecting collections, information and programs to the users via the public services of reference and circulation.
However, frequently the roles of the triad are intertwined. A librarian can be doing all three in the course of the day.Steven Bergson
Here's something slightly off-topic.
There's a new concept out there (well ... new to me, at least). It's called the "content ecosystem" and there's a blog post about it at http://www.virtualwatercooler.com/blog/?p=459
I am wondering if you think that libraries (& Judaica libraries) have a place in such an ecosystem. If... not, shoud they?The Content Ecosystem « Virtual Watercoolerwww.virtualwatercooler.com
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the content ecosystem lately. I’ve been considering the entire end-to-end process of organizing, creating, managing, and publishing content for the global marketplace.Sheryl Stahl
Steven - I remember reading an article in Library school (way back when) that one reason that librarians sometimes don't seem to get much respect is that we disseminate content rather than create it. We don't generally "make" things. I think that we're being forced to change that and to get into the creating business.Steven Bergson
With all due respect to the author of that article, librarians have been creating "content" for a long time. It's just that such content is often taken for granted.
Bibliographies, subject guides, "how to do research", catalogs, indexes. The...se are usually considered dull &/or unnecessary ... until a patron desperately needs it and then they can't thank us enough for our hard work. ;)Daniel Stuhlman
Does your library offer superior services? Have you told the world about your services? Marketing is not just about your products and services it is about focusing on the needs of your readers, users and stakeholders.Daniel Stuhlman
Many librarians have a great difficulty stepping back and examining what the people really need or want. Are you determining the differences between "needs" and "wants?" Are you trying to access what your users and and potential users need and want?Daniel Stuhlman
Steven, I am not familiar with "content ecosystem" I will have to reserve a comment for later.Daniel Stuhlman
Steven and Sheryl -- I wrote about authority control several years ago. It is a concept that non-librarians don't understand.Sheryl Stahl
ain't that the truth!Ellen Tilman
We are constantly trying to let our customers know what resources are available in our synagogue library. Right now I am looking for the best vehicle to let the congregation know that they can find the just announced Sydney Taylor Books and Jewish Book Council Award winners right in the Meyers Library. Any suggestions?Steven Bergson
Do you e-mail newsletters out to your members (the ones who have e-mail, natch)?Daniel Stuhlman
I see Facebook as one tool in the marketing tool box. It is an easy way to have a public face. A good home page and web site need more work for creating and maintaining than a FB page.Sheryl Stahl
we tried that and have a page - but while a bunch of students a couple of years ago "liked" us - the new batch hasn't. We have a link from our library home page. Any other suggestions of how to draw them to the page?Association of Jewish Libraries
and as the dominant social network, many of your patrons are likely on Facebook already- so having a page and encouraging people to "like" it is an easy way to reach them.Daniel Stuhlman
Even the physical arrangement of furniture, stacks, and signs should be part of the marketing plan of a library.Daniel Stuhlman
Ellen, There is no "best way." One needs to hit the public with the message using several methods such as e-mail, signs, flyers, newsletters, personal contact, etc. Different folks respond to different kinds of messages.Daniel Stuhlman
Marketing also is matter of timing. Are you getting people the message at a time they are able to use it?Ellen Tilman
I plan to include a notice in our weekly email message as well as a posting on the congregational website and facebook page. Unfortunately, not everyone is connected. I will also post the information on our "physical bulletin board" in the main hallway. I also think I will send an email to the Religious school faculty.Ellen Tilman
I do have a library email list. I forgot about that as a marketing tool. Thanks for reminding me!Daniel Stuhlman
Sheryl-- I work in a college with more than 11,000 students. Fewer than 100 have friend-ed the library's FB page. We don't really push it since the person in charge of the library is not enthusiastic about it.Association of Jewish Libraries
Can you suggest it to the leaders in your library? By that, I mean use the "Suggest to Friends" feature to bring it to folks' attention?Daniel Stuhlman
We also tried Twitter, but few follow our tweets. I do hope that if someone uses a search engine they can find us.Association of Jewish Libraries
In my opinion Twitter works well as a networking tool- building relationships with individuals- and less well as an announcement or advertising tool.Daniel Stuhlman
In ancient times before the library had a computer, I had a constantly changing bulletin board promoting new books and periodicals.Association of Jewish Libraries
In my old library that stuff still works wonders! You can't beat person to person sharing & visual, tactile displays.Sheryl Stahl
Another challenge that we've been dealing with is that many of our patrons have/use technology that we (the library or the librarians) don't have yet. Most of our students have smart phones - I don't!Daniel Stuhlman
My college bombards faculty and students with e-mail. Everyone is automatically given and an e-mail account. The library does send e-mail very often. Occasionally we will tell the faculty about a recent article that is very appropriate or timely.Ellen Tilman
Last year our congregation received a grant for an Israel program. I was the coordinator. I placed a lifesize cutout of our Rabbi in the main lobby. Each week I would place an Israel oriented question onto a bulletin board he was holding. This unusual marketing tool attracted a lot of attention. Maybe I should try something similar for the library.Daniel Stuhlman
Please write in the "Post" tab. It is hard to find and answer when you reply to another message.Sheryl Stahl
I disagree! I get notified when you or someone else comments on my post - I can't really stay glued to FB waiting to see if anyone will answerStacye Mehard
Any suggestions for asking for donations of material for a free library that recieves no funds?Daniel Stuhlman
I don't have a smart phone either. You may want to tell users that WorldCat is available from a smart phone.Ellen Tilman
Our problem is getting too many book donations of books that we already have or don't need in our collection. We love to receive "dollar" donations that have not limitations on them -- unrestricted gifts are ideal.Daniel Stuhlman
Ellen, a life sized cut sounds great. It adds a personal touch to the questions.Association of Jewish Libraries
Sheryl, regarding smart phones, maybe the library could create a one-pager or pathfinder on library-oriented apps, like Worldcat as Daniel suggests.Association of Jewish Libraries
Just a few more minutes- any last minute questions for Daniel?Daniel Stuhlman
Getting the word out that you offer superior service is not easy. First you really have to offer superior service and believe in yourself. Then you have tell people via personal, electronic and print media what you do. We have to weed out the negative thoughts.Association of Jewish Libraries
That about wraps it up! Thank you Daniel, for a great chat, and thanks to everyone who dropped by with questions.
posted on December 30,
Well, here we are, up to our last link roundup of 2010. It's been quite a year online and off for AJL. Here are some great links on Jewish libraries, librarianship, books and more, to round out the calendar year.Yet Another Russian-Immigrant Novel
, from Tablet.
From Stephen's Lighthouse, 2000 vs. 2010: How the World has Changed
. Includes statistics on demographics, technology, entertainment and more.
From ResourceShelf, Amazon Enables Kindle's Lending Feature and Other E-Book/Publishing Briefs
.'Unexpectedly Eighty': Judith Viorst's Poetry of Aging
, from The Sisterhood.
Have a great week! Contact me at mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org with feedback or suggestions.
Posted by Marie.
posted on December 26,
During the month of January 2011, AJL will be presenting three programs in a new initiative called Facebook Fridays
The complete schedule is still under construction but we have our first program lined up on Friday, January 7
, with librarian Ann Abrams of Boston's Temple Israel.
Ann will answer questions for an hour starting at noon EST on the subject of running a small synagogue library. She has been the librarian at Temple Israel for a number of years and has a lot of expertise on this important subject.Here are the details: What: How to run a small synagogue library.Who: Ann Abrams, librarian at Temple Israel, Boston.When: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 12:00 noon EST
.Where: Log on to Facebook.com. You must "like" the Association of Jewish Libraries to participate. (This link will take you to the AJL Facebook page.)
How: Ask questions by posting a status update (click on the Status button).
We have two other programs coming up in January- watch this space for details!
posted on December 23,
Here we are back again with this week's collection of interesting links from around the web on libraries, Jewish books and more.
From ACRLog, Incorporating Failure into Library Instruction
.Tu B'Shevat books for kids
, from the Jewish Literary Review.
From EarlyWord.com, Procrastinator's Guide: MidWinter '11
, for those going to ALA MidWinter in a couple of weeks.The Genesis of a Cartoon
, from the Jewish Book Council.The Future of Publishing
, from Stephen's Lighthouse.
Have a great week! Email me at mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org.
Posted by Marie.
posted on December 19,
Save the date, Tuesday, January 18, 2011, in the AM, for the 2011 Reference Workshop of the New York Metropolitan Area Chapter of the Association of Jewish Libraries, which will be held at the New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd
Evaluating the Usability of Digital Information – Dr. David Walczyk, Assistant Professor of Information & Library Science, Pratt Institute
Staying on the Cutting Edge: Jewish Studies Research in a Digital World – Michelle Chesner, Librarian for Jewish Studies, Columbia University
Future Developments in AJL – Jim Rosenbloom, President, Association of Jewish Libraries
The Reference Workshop will coincide with NYPL’s exhibition “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.” For information about this important exhibition, go to:http://www.nypl.org/events/exhibitions/three-faiths-judaism-christianity-islam
Full details about the 2011 Reference Workshop will be available soon – make sure to save the date and plan to join us.
Posted by Marie.
posted on December 16,
It's been another busy week for the blogosphere and we have plenty of terrific links for you on libraries, Jewish libraries, books and publishing and more.
Margo from The Fourth Musketeer offers us My Top Books for the Eight Nights of Hanukkah
AJL's own Edith Lubetski has an article featured in Theological Librarianship
, "Considerations in Preparing a Biblical Bibliography: Case Study: The Scroll of Esther"; you can find the download here
Gartner Research Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011
Stephen Abram of Stephen's Lighthouse lists The 10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2011
. This brief laundry-list post is a great starting-point for thinking and talking about the evolution of social media in the immediate future.
Schocken Books' blog features Joseph Tellushkin's Hillel: If Not Now, When?Yiddish Literature Making A Comeback?
from the Jewish Literary Review.
From OnLion, Without Bread... Reflections on Resources and Funding
On Twitter? On Wednesday, January 12 from 12:30pm- 1:10pm EST, the Jewish Book Council will lead a Twitter Book Club chat
about Elizabeth Rosner's novel Blue Nude
That's it for this week. See you back here next Friday for more links and news. Email feedback or suggestions to mcloutier at jewishlibraries.org.
Posted by Marie.
posted on December 14,
Welcome to the December edition of the Jewish Book Carnival, a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read and comment on each others’ posts.
This month, the Carnival is hosted by My Machberet and you can find the post here.
The carnival was started by Heidi Estrin and Marie Cloutier to build community among bloggers and blogs who feature Jewish books. It will run every month on the 15th. The Carnival headquarters is here
The Jewish Book Carnival has a GoodReads page
, where we host discussions and more. Whether or not you’re participating, we hope you’ll stop by, join and take part!
If you’d like to participate, either to host or contribute a link, send me an email to mcloutier@Jewishlibraries.org and I’ll get you hooked up on the particulars. We are actively looking for hosts from June 15 forward.
In the mean time, visit My Machberet
for this month’s carnival and don’t forget to check out the many great participating bloggers!
posted on December 14,
An anti-Semitic incident at Indiana University, Bloomington in November included not only rock-throwing, but defilement of Jewish texts from the shelves of the library. In support of IU's Jewish Studies program, our AJL member librarian at IU, and the university's efforts to combat prejudice, AJL President James Rosenbloom sent the following letter to IU President Dr. Michael A. McRobbie.
Dear Dr. McRobbie:
Recent anti-Semitic acts on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington are of great concern to the Association of Jewish Libraries, of which librarian Noa Wahrman is a member. Rock throwing at a Chabad House, at a church where synagogue services are held, and at a Hillel Center are shocking acts of anti-Semitic vandalism. The vandal or vandals also struck at the cultural heart of Judaism by taking eight volumes of Hebrew commentaries on the Talmud from the Library’s shelves and defiling them in bathrooms. We are not dealing with someone ignorant of Judaism. This act is a deliberate effort to insult and hurt Jews.
The Association of Jewish Libraries condemns these vicious acts. We are pleased to hear that the FBI and police are actively seeking to apprehend the individual or individuals responsible for this hate crime. We commend your administration’s and community’s quick and strong response to these acts. This is an appropriate moment to educate everyone in your community about the evils of prejudice and hatred in general, and about anti-Semitism in particular.
The members of the Association of Jewish Libraries stand in solidarity with you in your fight against anti-Semitism, and will support you in your efforts to combat this evil, which has unfortunately appeared on some campuses.
James P. Rosenbloom
President, Association of Jewish Libraries
To read more about the incident itself in Jweekly, click here
To read about Indiana University's response to the incident, click here