Association  of  Jewish  Libraries
of  Southern  California



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new Next AJLSC Meeting: Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at 7:30 pm. Annette Goldsmith shares her newly published reference work: Reading The World's Stories: An Annotated Bibliography of International Youth Literature. See Calendar page for details.

new Job listing for "Librarian and Resource Coordinator."

new The AJL Sydney Taylor Book Awards will be announced at the Youth Media Awards (YMA) press conference during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in January 2019. This press conference is where the Newbery and Caldecott Medals are announced, along with the other ALA children’s and young adult awards. According to the Awards Chair, the YMAs are an enormous event in the children’s book field - the equivalent of being on the Oscar broadcast. 

Here is a link to an ALA press release: Also, read about the 2018 SYDNEY TAYLOR BOOK AWARD BLOG TOUR author interviews: February 4-8, 2018 - .

arrowIsrael in Fiction: Celebrate Jewish Book Month with These Titles by Israeli Authors, by Rachel Kamin, Library Director, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL. Source: Library Journal, October 31, 2017.


arrow"I'm a Librarian in Puerto Rico, and this is my Hurricane Maria survival story..." Source: American Libraries Direct, Oct. 27, 2017.


arrow"Impassioned librarians are a force to be reckoned with. We have the curiosity of a scientist, the work ethic of a teacher, the creativity of an artist, and the ferocity of a prizefighter. We are so much more than Google."

(Source: Alea Perez, Head of Youth Services, Westmont Public Library, in This Is What A Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access To Information, by Kyle Cassidy (New York, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2017; page 10.) [Note: This book is available from the Los Angeles Public Library.]


arrowNEW BOOK!! The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures, by the Library of Congress and Carla Hayden. To read the review, click here: File This Under Nostaligia: New Book Pays Tribute To The Library Card Catalog, by Andrew Limbong, published by NPR Morning Edition, April 13, 2017. Available for borrowing from LAPL. [Thanks to Gayle Schnaid and her sister for this item.]


arrowAJLSC's Doris Small Helfer received the 2017 prestigious award from the Special Libraries Association (SLA). This award is "granted to an information professional to recognize a lifetime of achievement as well as exceptional service to SLA and the library and information profession." Doris is Chair, Collection Access & Management Services, Oviatt Library, Cal State University Northridge. Mazel Tov, Doris! (Thanks to Jackie Ben-Efraim, our AJLSC Facebook Chair, for notifying us.)

arrowAJLSC's Annette Goldsmith of Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel in Los Angeles, CA, is the winner of the 2017 AJL Groner-Wikler Scholarship. This scholarship, generously underwritten by KarBen Publishing, is presented to an AJL member who demonstrates dedication to Jewish children's literature and library services. Mazel Tov, Annette. Also, Annette and her co-editors will be speaking at the ALA Conference about their new book: Reading The World's Stories: An Annotated Bibliography Of International Youth Literature (Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc).

arrowAJLSC's David Hirsch continues to globetrot as "No Ordinary Librarian!" Great article - with photos and details! Mazel Tov, David - our Middle East Judaica Bibliographer, UCLA Research Library.


arrowLibrary Escape Rooms! Here's a fun idea that some of our librarians think will work well. It takes place in-doors, can be a family event, and encourages critical-thinking skills and participatory storytelling. "Libraries on Lockdown: Escape Rooms, a Breakout Trend in Youth Programming," by Katie O'Reilly, September 1, 2016, in American Libraries Magazine.


arrowHere's an idea!! "Human Library" -- Originated in Copenhagen about a decade ago, Toronto Public Library held its first Human Library event in November and it was a success. Library users reserved and checked out an interesting person for a half-hour interview. Rabbi Patricia Fenton inquired about this on AJL's ha-Safran Online Forum, and cited this webpage:

Tribute Card arrowAJLSC supports its work through the sale of lovely tribute cards. Order a pack of 4 cards with envelopes for $18. We'll mail the cards to you. Please see details.

<-- Click image to enlarge and read

arrowPinterest is an illustrated finding tool and a way of sharing - a website with pinboards - images and text - that focus on lists of books, reviews, interests, etc. These will delight librarians:

-- AJLSC Selection of Books on Jewish/Blind Subjects

-- Children's Illustrated Holocaust Books

-- Children's Illustrated Passover Books

-- Jewish Holidays

-- 15 Fabulous Bookish Pinterest Boards (from American Libraries Direct 8/28/13)

-- Library Cartoons and Posters.

arrowHow Libraries are Using Social Media, an article in American Libraries, focuses on getting more folks coming into the library. Some goals—brand awareness, increased traffic, and creating community..." Helpful: Google Hangouts, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, blogs, and e-newsletters.

Library picture
          Sinai Temple Blumenthal Library 

arrowAJL and Resources - New resources are being added continuously to the AJL website - . Check out the People of the Books Blog about What's New! -- The Jewish Book Carnival monthly blog -- The Book of Life podcasts about books and authors -- Conference Proceedings with lectures, discussions, workshops -- The AJL Wiki for library how to's -- Jewish Library Advocacy Kit -- an extensive Bibliography Bank, et al.

Continuing . . .

arrowFor summaries of past AJLSC programs, including links to resources and photos, click here for Previous AJLSC Events.

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Awards for Judaica Books

AJL 2017 Sydney Taylor Book Award winners - for children's Judaica books.
   • [Younger Readers] I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, by Debbie Levy, illustrations by Elizabeh Baddeley (Simon & Schuster)
   • [Older Readers] The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, by Adam Gidwitz, illustrations by Hatem Aly (Dutton / Penguin)
   • [Teen Readers] Anna and the Swallow Man by Gabriel Savit. (Knopf / Penguin)
-- For 2017 Blog Tour Wrapup with interviews, etc., see the AJL Blog.

AJL 2014 Bibliography Award winner
   • Mi­kitveha­ʻitim : ʻitonut ha­haśkalah me­1820 ʻad 1845 by Mosheh Peli

AJL 2016 Reference Award winner
   •Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary (based on the lexical research of Mordkhe Schaechter) edited by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, Paul Glasser (editors in chief) and  Chava Lapin (associate editor). (Indiana University Press, 2016).

2017 Sophie Brody Award winner - "The annual award recognizes the unique role of contemporary writers in the transmission and examination of the Jewish experience. It is intended to encourage and promote outstanding writing of Jewish interest" by the Jewish Book Council.
   • Ways to Disappear by Ida Novey.  (Little, Brown & Co.)

National Jewish Book Council announced awards:
   • 1949 to Current Winners and Finalists - NJBC Awards - full list.
   • 2007 to 2017 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature - Winners and Finalists - full list.