Page 63 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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ALPERT ---- LIBRARIES IN ISRAEL
55
L
a b o r
M
o v em en t
Quite aside from the direct assistance rendered by the Histad­
ruth to the libraries in its cooperative affiliates, there are a number
of important collections established and maintained by the labor
movement.
The Library Division of the Histadruth Culture and Education
Center reports about 120 collections attached to local labor coun­
cils, and about 50 in labor educational institutions, hospitals and
cooperative associations of various kinds.
One of the most important of these collections, about 30,000
volumes, is to be found in the library of Bet Berl at K far Saba,
which serves as a center for Histadruth seminars, leadership train­
ing courses and, during the summer months, for students from
overseas.
The Labor Library in Jerusalem also contains about 30,000
books.
Tel Av iv has four libraries operated under the auspices of the
labor movement: the Nachman Syrkin collection (20,000); the
Zev Barzilai Library (17,000); the collection at the labor move­
ment museum (12,000); and Bet Liessin (9,000), specializing
largely in sociology. The Histadruth’s Agricultural Center also
maintains a collection which is in constant circulation to the
settlements.
In Haifa the Borochov library, together with its 20 branches,
has almost 50,000 books.
“ F
o r e i gn
” L
i b r a r i e s
A number of foreign nations maintain specialized libraries in
Israel. Their purpose is to serve essentially as a source of informa­
tion on the sponsoring country. Such collections vary in size and
importance, as well as in popular appeal, but both the East and
the West are represented.
Perhaps the best known of all is the United States Information
Center, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, next door to Bet Bialik.
Founded in October 1949, with a collection of some 8,000 volumes,
it has since grown to 13,000. The emphasis is on books of im­
mediate, practical use, and there is no desire to increase the collec­
tion appreciably. The library has a splendid reference department,
as well as the very latest works on science, technology and on the
practical and liberal arts.
An innovation at the U. S. Library is the open shelf display of