Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California




June 17, 2007

Ellen Cole

Thank you!

It is a scary and awesome feeling to be honored by
Your peers who know exactly what you’re doing!

I salute the Goldstein winners who precede me:
including my CA colleagues Barbara Leff, Adaire Klein and Suzi Dubin; and my friend with her wonderful introduction,
Libby White.

I am thrilled to be declared AJL’s Fanny Goldstein winner, A Jewish Librarian’s librarian.
But I do not contribute in a vacuum.

My recognition was achieved thanks to you, my colleagues
You are my models, my mentors, my friends
You taught me what to do
You taught me what not to do
Your examples inspire me to what I can do

I would not be here without the support of my family
Who withstand my blur of busy
They shoulder long hours, late meals, phones, faxes, computers and
The chaos of never ending projects
Special thanks to my husband Marshall, who hates traveling,
But crossed State lines to share this award lunch with me.
We welcome him to his first AJL convention.
More importantly, it’s Marshall’s encouragement
That helped me achieve this award
He wants me to be mad, M.A.D.:
Make A Difference.

I am proud to win this tribute.
I belong to AJL by virtue of working in a one-room Judaic synagogue and religious school library. Your choice of me highlights the power of our profession to influence minds no matter our library’s size.

German-Jewish inventor Charles Steinmetz said: "No one really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions." So I ask you:

Why do we all do what we do as Jewish Librarians in notoriously underpaid, overworked jobs and still find time to work for AJL?

We do it because we love learning and Jewish civilization.
We do it to nurture a sense of community by turning Jewish literacy into a glue that binds us together and gives each generation a secure sense of common references, stories, histories, values.
We do it because we believe in delivering our past to enrich the present and enlighten the future of Jewish generations.
And, what a kick! In an era dominated by the bottom line,
We spend all day giving away priceless information for free

As we sustain our culture, AJL allows us to sustain one another.
Our profession is designed for sharing.
It is humane.

Thank you!


* The Fanny Goldstein Merit Award, named for the librarian, social activist and founder of National Jewish Book Month, is bestowed in recognition of loyal and ongoing contributions to the Association and to the profession of Jewish librarianship.