Conference: 2013 Conference Proceedings

The 48th Annual AJL Conference was held at the Hilton Post Oak in Houston, Texas, USA June 16-19, 2013.

Houston, TX

Proceedings

The National Library of Israel (NLI) continues to make major progress towards its goal of being a modern national library for both the State of Israel and the Jewish people. During the past year, the library has introduced a new user interface to its bibliographic records, enabled multi-alphabet searching (both persons and subjects), as well as preparing for the changes in national bibliographic standards related to RDA. The library has created and staffed a department of educational services which offers many options to all levels of users, from school children to researchers.

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This session is dedicated to the memory of Bernard Rapoport, 1917-2012, a Texas Jew who made great contributions in many areas including education in the US and Israel; local and national politics; philanthropy, general and Jewish in the US and Israel; and libraries. It is hard to find an event in history in which Jews, broadly defined, did not participate. The early history of Texas, from the first colonization in the 1500's until the war against Mexico in 1836 which resulted in Texas independence, was no exception.

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When new library initiatives were paired with space limitations, staff and librarians in the Cataloging and Metadata Center at UCLA became concerned about their growing backlogs, especially those in non-Roman scripts. Sharon Benamou was appointed chair of a group charged to develop new workflows and methods to eliminate these backlogs. The speaker discusses the specific methods chosen for different historic backlogs held in the department, including Southeast Asian, the general backlog and our newest project, the Cummings Collection of Hebraica and Judaica.

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Representatives from the Israel and Judaica Section at the Library of Congress discuss developments in acquisitions and cataloging during the past year, including a presentation by Joan Biella on progress in RDA implementation as it relates to Hebraica and Judaica cataloging.

Presented by Aaron Taub, Joan Biella, Marina Korenberg, Gail Shirazi, Galina Teverovsky, and Aaron Kuperman at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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Introduction by Marlene Schiffman, and acceptance speech by Joan Biella.

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Aimee and Barbara share their insights about Jewish children's literature and their behind-the-scenes experiences as chairs of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. In an interactive presentation, they will explore the age-old question "What makes a book Jewish?" Participants will discover new ideas for implementing classroom and library activities that will engage and inspire young readers, including puppet shows, writers' workshops and author visits.

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Connect with the 2013 winners: Linda Glaser, Adam Gustavson, Louise Borden and Deborah Heiligman, as they provide in-depth discussion of their books and methods.

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

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Introduction by Aimee Lurie, and acceptance speeches by:
* Linda Glaser and Adam Gustavson for the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers Category for Hannah's Way
* Louise Borden for the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers Category for His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg
* Deborah Heiligman for the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers Category for Intentions

Starting with Rosh Hashanah and looking at stories, poems and activities to use with the youngest library users, we share ideas for good books and follow-up activities that can be used in the library or classroom through the year. Library lessons introduce young children to the library, the concept of borrowing and returning, book care, parts of a book, and good listening skills. Preschool skills such as color and shape recognition, identifying sounds, counting and alphabet will also be integrated int o the storytimes.

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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.

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Susan Freiband outlines some ideas for effectively managing volunteers in synagogue libraries, including recruiting and promoting volunteers from within the congregation, and training new volunteers. The importance of communication and feedback to build an effective team will be discussed.

Presented by Susan Freiband at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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Author Linda Glaser enjoys demystifying the writing process almost as much as she enjoys writing. She talks about her first drafts, revisions, rejections, and behind-the-scenes secrets along with some things you may be surprised to know about creating a book.

Presented by Linda Glaser at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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While doing research at the Jacob Rader Marcus archive in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kay Goldman discovered the memoir of entrepreneur Henry Mayer. After reading it, she realized it was the memoir of Henry's wife, Rebecca. This remarkable woman who married at fifteen and traveled as the lone woman down the Santa Fe Trail deserved to have her story told. Thus, Kay began to verify the story Rebecca told. First she verified simple facts such as the date her mother arrived in the United States. However, she also uncovered information the family never knew - the fact that her father owned slaves.

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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?

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This paper focuses on the ongoing research being carried out by Rebecca Jefferson on the history of the Cairo Genizah manuscript collections. Since 2008, Jefferson has been examining letters and documents held in various libraries around the world to uncover the story behind the discovery of the Cairo Genizah. These archives have revealed fascinating tidbits about the main protagonists, Solomon Schechter, Elkan Nathan Adler and Adolf Neubauer, as well as the back story of a shadowy nobleman, Count Riamo d'Hulst.

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Learn how to build and develop a film collection for your library as well as the ins and outs of hosting film screenings and film-related programs and events. Find out about new Jewish interest and Israeli feature films and documentaries and tips for keeping up with the latest releases. Copyright law and licensing will also be discussed.

Presented by Rachel Kamin and Lisa Silverman at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

The evolution of Jewish medieval classification of library collections evolved over the Tannaitic (70vCE to 200 CE), Amoraic (200-500 CE), Savoraim (500-600 CE), Geonic (600-900 CE), Rishonim (900-1450 CE), Achronim (1450-Shoah) periods as the genres of Jewish knowledge expanded and the world of Jewish knowledge developed in an oral tradition that later was set down.

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Acceptance speech for her work, Freestyle

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Six years ago, a reference librarian in the Dorot Room of New York's 42nd Street Library brought Doreen Rappaport three volumes she had not requested - all about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust - and sparked her curiosity to explore this subject. Rappaport shares her research journey from domestic and international libraries and archives to her work with Holocaust scholars and resisters to shape a book that covers the most up-to-date concepts of "resistance" and reveals how Jews organized to rescue themselves and others.

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Two of the silver medalists who won Sydney Taylor Honor Awards in 2013 were present at the conference in Houston, Texas. Hear the award acceptance speeches by Doreen Rappaport (Beyond Courage) and Sheri Sinykin (Zayde Comes to Live).

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Along with the typical print and music materials, the Hebrew Union College library has a number of more unusual items. Sheryl Stahl shares her adventures cataloging stamps, coins, fortune telling cards, jigsaw puzzles, stereographic picture cards, and even a license plate.

Presented by Sheryl Stahl at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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Only through knowledge and understanding can another Holocaust be prevented. Dr. Babaknia's four volume work on the Holocaust in Farsi is a 2013 AJL Judaica Reference Award Honorable Mention winner.

Presented by Dr. Ardashir Babaknia at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX

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Presentation speech by Daniel Scheide to Yaakov Sussman for his book Otsar kitve-ha-yad ha-Talmudiyim

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Acceptance speech.

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In this session, Jackie Ben-Efraim shares resources to help you prepare an emergency plan for your library and fill out a one page document to share with fellow staff members so that they have a plan of action beforehand.

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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.

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Ephemera have a storied and stormy history in archives and special collections: they live in a space between printed, non-unique material and unique materials, and pose preservation challenges for librarians and archivists. yet ephemera are among the most interesting materials in libraries and archives. As researchers start to utilize ephemera, catalogers must address the need for using ephemera. This presentation demonstrates challenges facing catalogers of ephemera in all types of institutions, including Judaic collections, and offers some possible solutions.

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While most "law" books in Hebrew characters are either Jewish, or in recent years, Israeli law, there are some odd exceptions. These are books written in a Jewish language, probably Hebrew but perhaps Yiddish, on the non-Jews' legal system. Some reflect an author trying to inform the Jews of the non-Jews' laws that might recently have become applicable to them, or to discuss their impact in a language that was more familiar and perhaps allowed more freedom than writing in a language that could easily be read by the non-Jewish population.

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Join us as we reveal the criteria used to evaluate books submitted to the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee. The positive merits of the winners, honors and notables will be discussed and we will divulge the exceptional qualities that made them worthy of distinction. Not only will you get insight into the work of the committee, but you can use the same criteria to evaluation books in your own collection.

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Get creative! Embrace technology in your library and learn about 21st entury tools that can be used by students, teachers, and librarians. Learn about useful tech tools to help promote, collaborate, and share with your faculty, parents, community, and the world. Tools to be discussed include Prezi, Livebinders, Mighty Bell, Smore, Flip Snack, Symbaloo, Google Apps and more.

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Abraham Joshua Heschel, a scholar, writer and theologian, is widely recognized as one of the most influential Jewish spiritual leaders of the 20th century. The Heschel archive consists of 85 boxes containing manuscripts, correspondence, publications, documents and photographs spanning five decades and at least four languages. Included among the papers are notes and drafts for nearly all of Heschel's published works, as well as extensive correspondence with some of the leading religious figures of his time, such as Martin Buber, Thomas Merton, and Reinhold Niebuhr.

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Currently, there is a very strong national interest in family history. As with any research, there are methods, processes and sources unique to this study. An overview of beginning steps, tools for reference interviews, and sources used that help uncover our Judaic heritage are offered.

Presented by Sue Kaufman at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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This session provides a description and overview of collections of synagogue archives at Yeshiva University, with an emphasis on describing and providing examples of different types of records which typically comprise synagogue archives. There will be discussion of the history of synagogues, chiefly in New York City (plus a small taste of the large state of Texas), why it is important to collect synagogue records, and different aspects of acquiring synagogue records.

Presented by Shulamith Berger at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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Over seven years in the making, the Gershwind-Bennett Isaac Leeser Digitization Project uses digital technologies to make accessible on-line the physically dispersed corpus of over 2,100 handwritten letters, monograph and serial publications, as well as print material related to Isaac Leeser. Isaac Leeser (1806-1868) was an architect of 19th century American Jewish life, editor of the Occident, the first American Jewish monthly periodical, the founder of the first American Jewish publication society and of Maimonides College, the nation's first rabbinical seminary.

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A library is more than a collection of books found within the library walls. It extends out into every area of the synagogue and school, including the administration office, music department, gym and sports area, and to each classroom. Each area has a variety of resources and items that help to enrich the synagogue's congregation and student education. A library automation software program will help to organize, catalog, and keep track of all of these valuable and important resources.

Presented by Shara Blackmore at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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Debra Winegarten discusses her experiences leading workshops and giving presentations on the subject of "Being Jewish in Texas" over the past year. She shares stories she's gathered from other people's experiences, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and talks about how these experiences can be used to educate others on the importance of recognizing and honoring diversity among all people.

Presented by Debra Winegarten at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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Join EBSCO's Tim Heiges for an informative discussion on how EBSCO can help you maximize the value and accessiblity of your library collection with EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS).

Presented by Tim Heiges at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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Since its origins as the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) has been a leader in the documentation and interpretation of Jewish history in the American South. Josh Parshall, ISJL oral historian, will discuss the history and mission of the organization, including the Online Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities - a unique resource for learning about Jewish history in the region - and his own work conducting oral history research in Southern communities.

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The "Kitab-i Qissah'namah-i Hizaro Yik Shab" is a Judeo-Persian book published in 1915 in Kokand, Uzbekistan. Princeton University Library recently acquired volume two. Yaari has no record of it, and it seems not to be represented in any other library. The book is a translation or transliteration of stories from the "Thousand and One Nights," a cultural artifact which is not indigenous to Persian, Jewish or Uzbek culture. This paper considers the conditions that made this most unlikely book possible.

Presented by James Weinberger at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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This session explores select 20th and 21st century American publications for laypeople dealing with the observance of Jewish dietary laws, while highlighting various formats, developments and concerns.

Presented by Tina Weiss at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

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The Broder singers (Yiddish: di Broder zinger) were the first professional, secular Yiddish performers, bringing Yiddish songs and short dramas into wine cellars, restaurants, and inns in Galicia, Romania and Russia, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century and later overlapping with the early Yiddish theater. The Broder repertoire was both serious and comic, influenced by Chasidism on one hand and haskole (enlightenment) on the other.

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We're about community! In this day of digital everything, how do we entice people to come together instead of staying at home and watching a screen? Our synagogues, centers, schools, and libraries are the only places we can truly experience programs that provide opportunities to gather together, under one roof, in one place. Thanks to the digital age, much of this can be done on a shoe-string budget. Marilyn Hassid shares tips she has gained from her 30 years of experience producing hundreds of community arts programs for the entire Houston community through the JCC and other venues.

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Bryan Stone and Rabbi Jimmy Kessler gave the Opening Plenary for the 2013 AJL conference in Houston, TX on June 17, 2013. They described the history of Jewish life in Texas through the lens of myth and misconception. When the first Jewish communities began to emerge in the 1850's, immigrants were attracted in part by a Texas mythology that emphasized individual freedom and economic opportunity. In the 20th century, Texas retained its appeal as a place of mythic opportunity, as the Galveston Movement illustrates. Even today, myths persist about Texas Jewry.

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