Page 191 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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collecting books of Jewish interest: histories of the Jews, auto­
biographies and biographies, novels and criticism, biblical
studies, works on Judaism and Jewish thought in the ancient, me­
dieval and modern periods, monographs about Israel and
Jewish-Arab relations, and so on. At some universities, the
Judaica and Hebraica may be interspersed throughout the li­
brary’s general holdings (not an advisable course of action for
larger, growing collections) or kept together in the library stacks
by a special location symbol above the number. Even if the avail­
able resources cannot immediately provide for a separate build­
ing or a self-contained stack area in close proximity to a Judaica
library reading room and offices for staff, a distinct location sym­
bol should be placed on catalogue cards and on the books for sep­
arate shelving in the general stacks. This “gathering function”
will facilitate eventual removal of the books to a separate library
wing or other area if the opportunity arises for transfer to an­
other building, perhaps one housing the Center for Jewish Stud­
On the other hand, the value or uniqueness of the Judaica col­
lection may encourage libraries to designate their newly acquired
books as a non-circulating special collection. This “rare book”
room approach may be preferred in large, urban centers if
fundraising objectives require creation of a showplace atmos­
phere for attracting visitors and potential benefactors to exhibits.
However, in most secured library environments, the day to day
research needs of faculty, students, and visiting scholars will dic­
tate a circulating collection.
At the University of Florida, the Price Library of Judaica is a
branch library reporting to the Associate Director for Public
Services. The decision to emphasize service and access and, thus,
allow the collection to circulate required that the books be cata­
logued and processed for lending while balancing important con­
siderations for special treatment of non-circulating rarities,
bound and unbound serials, fragile pamphlets, and all
uncatalogued materials in general.
For a collection to be useful to students and faculty, it must be
catalogued to provide users with access. Local cataloguing
practices, of course, will vary but most university libraries, re­
gardless of their classification system, now participate in com­
puter networks enabling them to originate and share cataloguing
data, especially the authoritative Library of Congress cataloguing