Page 79 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 36

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GOELL / THE CENTER FOR PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN ISRAEL
sion with mobile units, in addition to the large allocations
made by the Libraries Section and the local authorities for
library construction, have been greatly responsible for this im-
pressive progress.
The initiators of the Center for Public Libraries fully realized
tha t only through library cooperation could proper library
services be provided for tha t part of Israel’s population which is
scattered throughout hundreds of development towns or small
agricultural settlements. I t is not enough to ensure the physical
facilities for a library in such communities. A staff (in many
cases limited to one or two librarians) must be properly trained
and relieved, as much as possible, of the technical chores of
acquisitions, cataloging and processing so tha t it may devote
as much time as possible to library patrons. T he Israeli Center
was consciously patterned after Scandinavian models—espe-
daily tha t of Denmark—though it has somewhat deviated
from the models over the years.
T he Center is an autonomous public organization and not,
as is often erroneously thought, a sub-division of the Ministry
of Education and Culture. I t receives about 4% of its annual
budget as a grant from the Ministry through the Libraries Sec-
tion; the remainder of its income must come from the sale
of equipment, publications, and services. I t is governed by
a Board of Directors composed of 4 representatives of the Min-
istry of Education and Culture, 3 representing the ILA, 2 rep-
resentatives of the Graduate School of Library and Archive
Studies of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1 representing
the Haifa University Library School, and the Administrative
Director. The Board meets several times a year to discuss policy,
approve new projects ranging from publications to long-term
undertakings, and set the annual budget. The day-to-day opera-
tions are the responsibility of the Administrative Director, a post
filled since early 1967 by Gad Rosenblat. The following descrip-
tion of the Center’s activities is topical, rather than chro-
nological.
CENTRALIZED CATALOG ING
T he Current Catalog Project, established by the ILA in
September 1963, was transferred to the Center upon its establish­