General Interest

Using Libraries as Jewish Art and Design Museums

Description: 

Most library users are looking to find content. However, Hillel often uses Judaica collections superficially, examining how the books look and feel. By doing so, he can gain inspiration for his work as a visual artist, as well as develop a deeper understanding of how Jews throughout history have thought about their place in the cultures they inhabited. Paying close attention to aesthetics - including typography, illustration, and overall design - we can discover historic trends in taste and style. We can see evidence of interaction between Jews and non-Jews and view the interplay between assimilationist and isolationist tendencies. We can glean insight into the creators' political and religious affiliations and sympathies. And we can see the big questions of our day reflected in artifacts from the distant past. Particularly as we explore what it means to be Jewish now, in a globalized, humanistic society, finding precedent is empowering. How can we explore our collections in new ways? What else do they have to teach us?

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A Sabbatical in Israel: Libraries, Bookstores and Non-Print Adventures

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During her semester-long sabbatical in Israel, Rachel visited several archives and research, public, and special libraries, mostly for research and study purposes, but also just for fun. In this presentation, she will share her experiences as a library user in both famed and obscure, regional libraries where she made discoveries of all sorts.

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Anne Frank at 90: Why Is the Diary Not Enough Today?

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In June 2019, Anne Frank would have been 90 years old. Anne and her family’s hiding place, now a museum, is still one of the top attractions in Amsterdam today. At the same time, studies show that fifty percent of millennials in the United States don’t know what Auschwitz was, and twenty percent can’t tell you what the Holocaust was. As a result, Anne Frank House is producing literature and educational support materials to help young people make connections between the past and the present, to make what seems like distant history feel relevant to their lives and their current experiences. Speaking from his long-standing role as Project Manager at the Anne Frank House museum, Menno Metselaar will talk about using the familiar Anne Frank as the original source for new books, teaching materials, websites and exhibits that are being developed to help both adults and young people better understand the experience of anti-Semitism, as well as all forms of racism and injustice that they may experience in their lives or see playing out in the news and the world around them. This session will encourage discussion around collection development relevant to these topics, and the resources available to librarians who want to work with Anne Frank House. Menno will answer librarians’ questions and exchange ideas in regards to exhibits, special projects and programming, and support materials for educators, libraries and schools.

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