Page 57 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 20

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51
Z
a fr e n
— H
e b r ew
U
n io n
C
ollege
L
ibrary
unusual and heartwarming circumstances. First, the non-Jewish
public librarian of Mannheim risked his life to save the Jewish
books from the Gestapo. Secondly, credit must go to Chaplain
Henry Tavel and the post-war Mannheim Jewish community for
locating the books and sending them to the Hebrew Union
College Library. Thus, has the Library grown by the accretion
of publicly and privately collected materials.
Modern Functional Facilities
The physical accommodations for these collections are the
most modern and functional possible. To reduce the barrier
between the reader and the books he needs, reading spaces have
been provided in the stacks and adjacent to them. W ithin the
stacks there are many individual study carrels and several group
study rooms. Adjacent to the stacks are the individual faculty
studies for every faculty member and for visiting scholars, as
well as seminar rooms where teacher and student meet in a
library setting. Air-conditioning, excellent lighting, and tasteful
interior decoration combine in a suitable environment for pro-
longed study.
On the basement level of the building are other study facilities.
A Language Laboratory of 21 booths, capable of handling ten
different programs simultaneously, is perhaps the most advanced
laboratory in the country today. A high-fidelity, binaural system,
it has been used for the teaching of Hebrew of various periods,
of Aramaic, of Arabic, and even of subjects other than language.
Adjoining the Language Laboratory is the American Jewish
Periodical Center with its microfilm camera and several types
of reading machines for different microforms. Its purpose is to
reduce to film every American Jewish newspaper and periodical
in all languages, from the very beginnings through 1925 and
selectively thereafter. Close to 300 titles have already been put
on film and more are planned. The audio-visual stack provides
storage space for microfilms, tapes, music discs that enhance the
music collection, a fine book plate collection, and an outstanding
Israeli stamp collection. In addition to microfilm facilities the
Library has a photoduplication laboratory of wide capabilities
and a bindery that handles precious materials right on the
campus.
The tour of the new building, the third library building in a
row on this campus, might well end in the staff lounge where
one may meet the people who help the Library fulfil its functions.
Three persons with subject doctorates, two rabbis, one staff
member who has specialized in Hebrew books of the 15th and
16th century, and their clerical helpers who are distinguished