Page 61 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 24

Basic HTML Version

College, the Jewish division of the New York Public Library and
of the Library of Congress, Yeshiva and Brandeis Universities—
a veritable Who’s Who of the Jewish library world.
Pioneering on a nation wide basis was initiated not by a library
organization but by the Jewish Book Council of America. It
burgeoned from a tiny seed planted in 1925 by the late Fanny
Goldstein of the Boston Public Library. Originating as Jewish
Book Week in the Boston area, the movement grew untii 1943,
when the national Jewish Book Council was formed. A year
later the Council came under the sponsorship of the National
Jewish Welfare Board, thus making possible a considerable
expansion of its program.
Although its activities are devoted to promoting Jewish books
in general, and are not confined to the library field, the Council
has nevertheless rendered invaluable service to the Jewish library.
Its publications are particularly helpful to the small, isolated
library, especially its basic book lists and its library manual, the
latter prepared by Sophia N. Cedarbaum. Its annual bibliog­
raphies, such as those found in this volume, are a useful check­
list, and its monthly book review supplement,
In Jewish Book-
provides a basic tool for book selection.
The Jewish Book Council has also pioneered in the establish­
ment of standards for Jewish libraries. Beginning in 1948 and
continuing to the present, the Council has awarded library
citations to libraries throughout the country which have met
these standards. T o date, about 190 libraries have received such
Nevertheless, there was still a need for a central organization
to provide for the needs of the small, non-scholarly library,
oriented to the Jewish layman rather than to the scholar, and
to the Jewish child as well as to the Jewish adult. In 1962, chiefly
through the efforts of Miriam Leikind, a Cleveland synagogue
librarian, the Jewish Library Association was formed. Working
on the popular level, it has made available library information
and provided the impetus for new library projects, such as the
Index to Jewish Periodicals.
It has distributed classification
schemes and subject headings lists adapted to Judaica libraries.
It has promoted the establishment of library associations on the
local level, and sponsored workshops on varying aspects of
library work. Its membership survey has been a valued addition
to the limited literature hitherto available on the subject of
Jewish libraries. Through its bulletin, libraries scattered through­
out the United States and Canada can maintain contact with
each other.
— L
th e
ew ish
a y m a n