Page 167 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

Basic HTML Version

W O L P E /O S T R O W L IB R A R Y — U N IV E R S IT Y O F JU D A ISM
159
sity with unde rg radua te and g raduate programs in a variety
o f fields, including business, education, psychology, literature
and o f course, Judaic studies. Fully accredited by the Western
States Association, the University serves both its studen t pop ­
ulation and the Los Angeles Jewish community th rough the
largest Jewish adult education program in the nation. The Uni­
versity o f Judaism is the West Coast affiliate o f the Jewish T h e ­
ological Seminary o f America.
Th e Bel and Jack M. Ostrow library o f the University o f J u ­
daism, one o f the leading Judaica libraries in the country, began
with the found ing o f the University. The library was initiated
with a g ran t o f some 2,500 books from the Jewish Theological
Seminary in New York. Most o f the books were in the area
o f rabbinics, and constituted a helpful beginning for the Uni­
versity. Since that time, the collection has grown more than fifty
fold, embracing all fields o f Judaica as well as rapidly increasing
collections in secular subjects, particularly in business, psychol­
ogy, literature and education.
Since its inception, the library has been unde r the able d i­
rectorship o f Dr. Louis Shub. In 1954, Dr. Shub left the Zionist
Youth Commission to work full time at the University. O rig­
inally Dr. Simon G reenberg requested ju s t five hours a week
o f his time for the library, yet from the beginning Dr. Shub
took the library on as a full time task, one which he perform ed
with skill until his re tirem en t last year, after thirty-six years at
the helm o f the library.
COMBINED SYSTEM
When Dr. Shub began cataloging in the fifties, there was no
fully satisfactory system for accommodating libraries with both
general and Judaic collections. The addition o f a professional
cataloger, Bella Hess, fluent in seven languages, proved vital
to the library, and their partne rsh ip over the past thirty-five
years enabled the library to function on a modified Dewey dec­
imal system, adap ted by Dr. Shub to meet the libraries initial
needs.
O f late that system has proved inadequate to the increasing
bu rden o f library functions, and the conversion has begun to
Library o f Congress system, und e r the guidance o f University