Page 61 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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ALPERT ---- LIBRARIES IN ISRAEL
53
social sciences, history — all find their place in the want list. Not
one asked for fiction as such.
Two of the left-wing kibbutzin placed high on their want list,
books dealing with Judaism, Jewish holidays and festivals.
M
u n i c i p a l
L
i b r a r i e s
In Tel Av iv there are 15 libraries administered directly or in­
directly by the city. The central library, Shaar Zion, has eight
branches with a total of 130,000 books. Not long ago a newspaper­
man, covering streets in a perimeter not more than a block or two
from the Central Library, asked passersby, including many who
lived or worked in the neighborhood, where the library was located.
Some had an idea it was somewhere around, but not one could
locate it exactly. The newspaperman proceeded to make his point
that Tel A v iv ’s Public Library was a well kept municipal secret.
By way of explanation for the lack of publicity, the hard-pressed
librarians pointed to the pittance of a budget provided by the city,
sufficient to cover salaries in part, or procurement of a meager
number of new books, but certainly not both.
Specialized municipal libraries include the Rambam Library
(31,000 books), strong on Judaica and Jewish theology; Bet Bialik
(30,000), specializing in Hebrew letters, with the participation of
the Hebrew Writers’ Association; Bet Ahad Ha-Am (30,000); Bet
Mica Yosef (15,000); Bet Hanoar (6,500); Music Library (4,000),
with the cooperation of AMLI of Chicago; and the Tel Av iv A rt
Museum (4,000).
Haifa’s leading municipal library is Bet Pevsner, containing
about 45,000 volumes, with additional collections at the Museum
and at Bet Erdstein.
Jerusalem has no municipal library of its own, perhaps because
of the availability of the Jewish National and University Library.
An interesting small town library was recently established in
Nahariya, based on the private collection of Dr. Samuel Boorstein
of New York. It has today almost 15,000 books.
The Petah Tikvah Municipal Library has over 17,000.
E
d u c a t ion a l
I
n st i tu t ion s
The leading library in Israel is the Jewish National and Univer­
sity Library. It had a long and distinguished history right up to
the establishment of the State of Israel, when its collection of