Page 83 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 36

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GOELL / THE CENTER FOR PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN ISRAEL
chasing used books about to be discarded by other libraries. It
also solves the problem caused by the accumulation of duplicate
copies in libraries which receive or purchase collections en bloc.
The preparation of lists of discards and their distribution en-
tails much more time and effort than can usually be spared
by the limited staff of the average public library in Israel.
T he Center receives lists of discards from libraries wishing
to sell, which include authors, titles, publishers and dates of
publication. A standard, low price is set per volume, irrespective
of the actual market value. T he Center duplicates the lists,
distributes them with the weekly shipment of catalog cards, and
receives “orders” on a first-come first-served basis. The Center
then notifies the “seller” which books should be sent to which
“buyer,” credits the card of the seller and debits the cards of
the buyers. Thus no money actually changes hands except when
a summing-up is made once or twice a year. T he sellers are
charged a small percentage of the total transaction to cover
overhead.
IN S T RU C T ION IN L IBRAR IANSH IP
One of the tasks transferred to the Center in 1965 was the
organization of formal training in librarianship on a non-
academic level. At the time, much of the personnel employed
in public libraries had no such formal training. Today, after
12 years of courses, the situation is greatly changed: many of
the staff have completed at least one stage of the two-stage
course, and new recruits to the profession have in many cases
received their formal instruction before taking employment
in libraries.
T he diplomas (“Assistant Librarian” after Stage One and
“Librarian” after Stage Two) are awarded by the ILA on the
basis of nation-wide examinations. T he curriculum of the
Center's courses, held one day a week during 8 months a year
for each stage, is therefore in accordance with tha t set for
the ILA examinations.
There has recently been much criticism of the present state
of non-academic training for librarianship. An advisory “Com-
mittee on Public Libraries,” working on the premise that a pub-
lie librarian should undergo training no less intensive than