April 13, 2024
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Association of Jewish Libraries Plans 52nd Annual Conference

“Three possessions should you prize: a field, a friend and a book.” Rav Hai Gaon

Rav Gaon, the 10th/11th-century Jewish theologian, rabbi and scholar, might not feel at home in the 21st-century world of technology, where even books are digitized, but he would certainly find much to learn at the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) 52nd Annual Conference. Celebrating Jewish bibliophiles, this year’s conference, titled “The Sky’s the Limit: The Next Generation of Judaica Librarianship,” will be held June 19-21 at Hebrew Union College in New York.

The AJL conference is the exclusive professional development and networking event for Judaica librarians and educators from synagogues, day schools, community centers, museums, archives and academic libraries. This year’s theme, “The Sky’s the Limit,” highlights the boundless possibilities of the profession as it enters the digital era. The conference will have a special focus on the international nature of AJL and the future of Judaica librarianship.

The association fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel. It supports practitioners of Judaica librarianship, from synagogues and day-school libraries to academic and national institutions.

“This year’s conference has a truly global flavor, with presentations by librarians from Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Our New York location allows access to networking, collaboration and engagement among all of the librarians represented by our association at an unprecedented level, and the range of topics is incredible,” said Michelle Chesner, Norman E. Alexander librarian for Jewish studies at Columbia University and the chair of programming for the conference.

Presenters will speak on a large number of topics, including current Jewish literature for children, the history of the Hebrew book, new trends in cataloging, how to maintain a quality Judaica collection and more. Daily and full conference registration options are available, and kosher meals are included. Librarians, archivists, scholars, educators, authors and others are all welcome.

Although Rav Hai Gaon was a lover of books, this conference would undoubtedly open his eyes to a future of possibilities in the world of Judaica.

More information may be found at jewishlibraries.org.

 

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