Page 25 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 30

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For a number of years the Library retained its cultural status
in the new building, bu t by 1960 the Jewish population had
largely moved into the suburbs. In order to retain its central
situation, the Library sold its building to the Bibliotheque
Nationale de Quebec and moved to rented quarters once more.
These new premises were intended as an interim location until
permanent headquarters could be erected. However, the continu­
ing emergency in Israel prevented the Library from launching
its building campaigns and successive leases were signed, des­
pite the inadequate space and other disadvantages in the rented
quarters. Notwithstanding the difficulties imposed by such con­
fined housing, all Library programs continued and in several
instances actually were expanded. The restructuring of the ar­
chives program is detailed separately but mention should be
made of the joint programs held with 1’Association Sepharade
Francophone and other French groups, and of the increased ap­
propriation for the purchase of French books to meet the needs
of the ever-increasing Franco-Jewish population. A recent sur­
vey shows that, of the present Library holdings, 50% are in
English, 30% in Yiddish, 18% in Hebrew and 2% in French.
The total number of volumes in the main library is approxima­
tely 55,000, enhanced by a collection of 35,000 pamphlets and
periodicals. In addition, there are 6,000 books divided among
the Library’s branches4.
In 1967 a joint Library-Allied Jewish Community Services
survey was conducted to explore ways in which the Library’s
usefulness to the community could be enhanced. In 1969 a sup­
plementary study was commissioned by the Jewish Public Library
itself, and the recommendations of these combined reports are
now being implemented, in keeping with the Library’s un ­
remitting effort to increase its effectiveness as the focal point of
Jewish culture. Too, negotiaions begun in 1970 indicate that
the Library’s waiting period is nearly over and that, before
long, the Jewish Public Library will be offering expanded library
and cultural programs from a building of its own. Thus the
Library saga has come full circle.
The Developm en t of Archives
The Jewish Public Library’s Act of Incorporation did not
mention archives, nor were they mentioned in the Amended
Charter of 1919. I t is only in the Supplementary Letters Patent
M
il ler
— M
o n t r e a l
J
ew ish
P
u bl ic
L
ibrary
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*
Totals of the number of volumes and the language percentages given
through the courtesy of R. Feingold, librarian, Jewish Public Library.