Spring 2002 /5762
From the editor's desk
Dilbert principles are in action. I understand the public schools have a shortage of librarians. Chicago Public Schools have suspended their residency requirement for potential librarians. They have not made any provision for attracting new librarians. The certification system is aimed at people who know when they are undergraduates that they want to be public school teachers. There is no provision for librarians from non-public schools or public libraries to get a hassle-free certification. All the officials that I talk to hide behind "regulations" and really have a hard time listening. They gave answers that did not address the questions.
I interviewed a director of library services for a suburban St. Louis school district. She discussed the difficulties they have filling librarian positions. Missouri mandates that schools need librarians, but there is only one ALA approved program in the state. There are several non-ALA approved programs aimed at school librarians.
Here are several problems that she noted concerning librarians in her district. I hope none of them fit anyone you know. A school librarian is in charge of the school's computer system. The systems crash and the computers lose their data. When asked for the back-up files the librarian answered, "I'm supposed to do back-ups?" While I don't know all the details, in large organizations with IT (Information Technology) departments, individual users are not responsible for back-ups. In small organizations, the individuals are responsible for their data. This librarian had not done a backup for the entire school year. The data was lost for a whole year. I advise everyone to keep multiple backups including at least one copy off site.
Another librarian did not keep track of the materials ordered. She kept no budget records. Her spending went several thousand dollars over budget and she couldn't figure out what went wrong. Budgeting is part of running a library. While no library receives 100% of the materials ordered, vendors will allow libraries to set a dollar limit and stop further shipments when the limit is reached.
Receiving materials and cataloging is only half of the record keeping process. When books are removed from the collection, they must be deacquisitioned. A record must be made of every item removed. Although the requirements for this process vary from library to library, this is an essential part of tracking materials.
Solo librarians have no one checking up on proper library procedures. While the students and teachers may appreciate all the librarian does for them to find materials, proper record keeping and cataloging allow the librarian to keep on serving the patrons in the future.
These are serious problems. When combined with other lapses in performance, knowledge or preparation they could lead to loss of a job.
This issue includes an ode to the card catalog with comments by Eva Eisenstein, comments on gifts by Anne Dublin, one of our colleagues from Toronto, minutes from our meetings, an article on the spelling of family names in Hebrew and English, and a letter from the president.
Daniel "Donnie" Stuhlman, editor
Chicago, IL 60645
E-mail : DDStuhlman@earthlink.net.
Contents of this issue
From the Editor's Desk
Minutes of the Summer Meeting
Minutes of the Winter Meeting
Responding to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
How do you Spell the Name?
News from the Asher Library
Ode to the Catalog
Gifts--Treasures or Mouldy Oldies?
Letter from the President
The web site for previous issues: http://home.earthlink.net/~DDStuhlman\jln-home.htm
Minutes of the Summer Meeting
October 23, 2001
Marcie Eskin, Recording Secretary
Glenn Ferdman of Spertus Institute's Asher Library welcomed the members. After thanking Glenn and his staff for hosting, President Eva Eisenstein called the meeting to order. Fourteen members and guests attended.
The minutes of the July 19, 2001, meeting were distributed and approved.
Eighteen memberships (one new membership and the rest renewals) have been received, totaling $285. More renewals are coming in. There is currently a balance of $933.77 in the treasury. Eva passed around the most recent membership directory and asked for any corrections.
Shelli Elstein raised the issue of collection redundancy. She wanted to stress the importance of library preparation in the event of a catastrophe, an issue that she has thought more about following the destruction of the World Trade Towers. The first step in preparing is identifying resources. Shelli believes it is important to find out where information is and bridge gaps among libraries on the local and regional level. She is particularly concerned a-bout archival material, in that we generally have not done a lot to copy these kinds of materials. The discussion then turned to the use of a union catalog for local Judaica libraries. Cheryl Banks explained the history of the North Suburban Library System's (NSLS) union catalog (LIASON) and JLNMC's role in creating a Judaic union-type catalog. Beth El's catalog is on the NSLS system (updated monthly), and she urged other automated libraries to add their collections. Online links to Judaica research collections were also mentioned. After a bit of discussion, it was decided that this might be a topic for another meeting.
[ed note: NSLS will soon be using Aleph 500 for their LIASON catalog and will include Hebrew capability. Details are not available yet.]
Anshe Emet Day School will host the Winter meeting on a Sunday afternoon (perhaps January 20 or 27) in their newly renovated library. The topic for discussion will be the use of picture books in the curriculum. Rena Citrin and others will make the arrangements for speakers. Eva will work on publicizing the meeting to the community, particularly teachers.
Cheryl Banks encouraged everyone to join AJL, noting that the proceedings of this summer's national convention will eventually be available online. The 2002 convention will be held June 2316 in Denver at the Adams Mark Hotel.
The business meeting was adjourned. The Asher Library staff proceeded to conduct a valuable tour of the library including a walk through the stacks, a demonstration of the Aleph online cataloguing system and the library's collection of electronic resources, and visits to the Chicago Jewish Archives, the Rare Book Room, and the Conservation Lab. Glenn Ferdman graciously gave each member a complimentary ticket to the Spertus Museum's visiting exhibit A Gateway to Medieval Mediterranean Life Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue. Several people were able to view the exhibit, which included several works from the Asher Library's collection.
Minutes of the Winter Meeting
January 27, 2002
Marcie Eskin, Recording Secretary
Rena Citrin of the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School's Library welcomed the 15 members and guests. Because President Eva Eisenstein took ill at the last minute, there was no business meeting and the group proceeded with the program.
The program was entitled Picture Books and the Jewish Child. The first speaker was Bonnie Silverman, Preschool Director at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston. She discussed the "The Best Picture Books to Read Aloud to Jewish Preschoolers." Bonnie first talked about illustrations, noting their importance. She also mentioned many secular books that can be used to discuss Jewish holidays, themes, and values.
Rina Citrin, teacher and library media specialist at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, continued the discussion using secular books to present Jewish themes. She highlighted several recently published books.
The final speaker was Dr. June Cummins Lewis, Assistant Professor of English and Director of San Diego State's Children's Literature Pro-gram, who gave a fascinating presentation on "The Jewish Child As Depicted in Picture Books."
Responding to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Marcie Eskin
Originally appeared in the Beth Hillel [Wilmette, IL] Newsletter
How do you respond when someone argues that Palestinian violence is an understandable reaction to Israeli occupation? What do you say when someone tells you that the settlements are the obstacle to peace in the Middle East? It is important that all of us understand the historical and political background of the current situation in Israel, and that we are all prepared to support Israel by answering these kinds of comments with conviction and accuracy. In order to help us with this critical task, the Beth Hillel Library added an excellent resource to its collection. Myths and Facts : A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict, written and edited by Mitchell G. Bard, was recently published by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE).
In his preface, Bard states that his purpose is to "lay out the truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is the best weapon we have against the purveyors of falsehood."
Although Myths and Facts is over 400 pages long, it is set up in a very accessible and useful format. It consists of twenty-six chapters with
headings such as Israel's Roots, The 1967 Six-Day War, The United Nations, The Refugees, The Treatment of Jews in Arab/Islamic Countries, Jerusalem, The Peace Process, and The "al-Aksa Intifada." The chapters contain a set of myths (e.g., "Resolution 242 clearly requires Israel to return to its pre-1967 boundaries"). Each myth is followed by a one- to two-page factual rebuttal. Maps, tables, quotes, and footnotes provide additional documentation, as do extensive appendices such as copies of Resolution 242, The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (1995), and The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS). The alphabetical index makes the book even easier to use.
The entire text of Myths and Facts is available online at http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/myths /mftoc.html. It is as easy to use as the print version. In addition, Myths and Facts online is hyperlinked to a vast number of resources in AICE's Jewish Virtual Library, and is constantly updated as new events occur.
How do you Spell the Name?
By Daniel D. Stuhlman
A professor at Jewish Theological Seminary and one of my former teachers posted a question on H-Judaic (a list serve for Jewish studies) concerning the English spelling of an Israeli artist, named Arye Allweil (Aleph, lamed, vav, aleph, yod, lamed.) This question was defiantly required knowledge of library name authority. I searched library catalogs for the name and found several possibilities. When I learned he had illustrated a Passover Haggadah I knew I had the right answer. Arieh Allweil, born in Galicia in 1901, emigrated to Palestine in 1920. He became the first leader of the socially radical commune, Bittania, where Ernst was a member. It was during his year on Bittania that he decided to become a painter. He died in 1967. The information about the author was found the web site: www.imj.org.il/artcent/a/1202/1202.htm.
LC authority files have his name as: Allweil, A. (Aryeh), 1901- with cross reference from: Allweil, Arieh. In addition to the haggadah Allweil illustrated, Brandeis University Library has a book in Hebrew, Alvail, Aryeh, 1901- 'Iyun be-omanut. Tel-Aviv : Sinai, [196-?] Subject : Art--History. This name heading is from systematic transliteration of his name. His name does not appear in the Encyclopedia Judaica. What is the right spelling for his name? If we follow current LC authority the cataloging would use " Allweil, A. (Aryeh)." If the patron needs systematic romanization, use "Alvail, Aryeh." What's the right answer? I would recommend for any scholarly article, use of the name as it appears on the web page, "Allweil Arieh." For the library use, " Allweil, A. (Aryeh), 1901-1967." (I hate leaving open entries when the year of death is known.)
This is an example of a question that librarians are skilled at finding answers because we deal with name authority all the time. There is a larger question here concerning spelling people's family names. The quick answer to, "How do you spell the name?" is however the person wants the name spelled. This is not always so easy. As librarians we follow rules, but the rules are malleable. The final answer depends on the situation.
The practice should be to use the form of the name that the person actually used. To follow this we need a written source. I polled some people with names that have multiple possible spellings. The "W" is a source of difficulty. In German the letter is pronounced like a "v". The Yiddish spelling of "Wein, Wilk, and Weiss, " is with two vavs. In Israel the spelling is generally with one vav. I found one person who signs his Hebrew name with two vavs in the US and one vav in Israel.
The "st" in German is pronounced "sht." In English we usually lose the /h/ sound. For example I spell my name in Hebrew as it should sound in German or Yiddish, with a Shin. My brother spells his name in Hebrew with a Sameh as it sounds in English. A person named Weinstein could use the systematic transliteration to get: vav-vav-aleph-yod-nun shin-tet-aleph-yod-nun or the sound of the name to get vav-yod-nun sameh-tet-aleph-nun. When this person is Israeli and writes a Hebrew book, do we use a form of the name as if he was using an Amer-ican, German, or Polish spelling of the name? Library of Congress recommends using references such as the English Israeli phone book. If this is inconclusive, then the cataloger is to make a judgment call based on the most reasonable possibility.
The name Rosen presents interesting possibilities. We pronounce the name as /rozen/. The name means roses. An Israeli may trans-late the name to Shoshan or Shoshani. If the person transliterates the name to rash-vav-zayin-nun and accent is on the last syllable, we have a Hebrew word that translates as marquis or baron. The spelling is systematic transliteration, but the meaning is totally different. Rosen also has variants such as Rosenberg, Rosenfeld, Rosenthal, and Rosenstein.
In Yiddish aleph and 'aiyin are used as vowel letters. In Hebrew these letters are dropped. For example in Yiddish Berg would have an 'aiyn and Man would have an aleph for vowel sounds.
The Hebrew name /kohen/ has forms in English such as-- Cohen, Coen, Kohn, Cohn, Kahn, Kane, Kahne, Kohen, Kahan. In Hebrew the name could be spelled kaf-hey-nun just like the word meaning priest, but it could also be spelled with a kuf transliterating the "k."
To summarize the rules for romanization of Israeli Hebrew family names:
1. Choose the form of the name that the person preferred to use, if known from the Encyclopedia Judaica, the book's title page, or another reference source.
2. Use systematic romanization according to ALA/LC rules.
For works by European or American authors try to find a source in the native language of the country and use that form. When not possible use systematic romanization.
The above rules may not apply to authors who flourished before the revival of modern spoken Hebrew. Libraries may have established headings for these authors that are used today because that is how readers know these authors.
Do not automatically assume the name on the title page is correct. I have found incorrect names title pages and names that conflicted with information found elsewhere in the book. The answer to how to spell the name is : 1) If you are the cataloger follow the rules for establishing an authoritative entry; 2) If you are writing an article about the person, do your best to use the form the person would use; 3) If you are spelling your own name, then what ever you want is right.
News from the Asher Library of Spertus Institute
Variations on a Theme : Chicago Jewish Music in the Twentieth Century and Beyond is the name of the newest exhibit in the Asher Library and Chicago Jewish Archives. The exhibit in the 6th floor gallery features a 20 minute music loop of artists and composers featured in the exhibit. This exhibition portrays the range of Chicago Jewish music and musicians, from cantorial and klezmer to rock; from the twentieth century and beyond. Items include music, photos, and realia from the collections of Asher Library's Targ Music Center and the Chicago Jewish Archives. The exhibit will be on display through August 2002 and may be viewed during library hours.
The Feinberg E-Collection of electronic full-text resources in the area of Jewish studies, con-taining the electronic version of many basic Judaica and Hebraica resources is accessible 24 hours a day, from any computer connected to the Internet. The collection includes Bible, Talmud, and their commentaries, Midrash, ethical, and mystical works, and more. The Feinberg E-Collection is for the exclusive use of Spertus Institute students, faculty and Spertus Society members. Access is one of the benefits of Spertus Society membership.
This state-of-the-art remote access collection of electronic resources is made possible through the generosity of Mr. Reuben Feinberg & The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation.
To learn more about the Feinberg collection, visit the Asher Library website at http//www.spertus.edu/library.html
Ode on a Card Catalog
by Librarianous AnonymousOh musty oaken vessel rectangularThis recently discovered ode fragment gives us a melancholy but timely way to prepare you for a major change taking place in the library over the next few months. Sadly, the card catalog will be no more, and therefore a last word in praise of a wonderful old technology.
Thou multi-drawered artifact of days gone by
With presence modest and unassuming
Reliable ever, no moody whims here.
As a long-time librarian, I love the card catalog. It is never down, people don't need a seminar or manual to learn how to use it, and it provides for serendipitous discoveries. However, it is very labor intensive for the librarian, and slow to use for the patron.
Signed, Eva Eisenstein
[originally appeared in the Temple Sholom(Chicago) bulletin in June 2000]
Gifts--Treasures or Mouldy Oldies?
By Anne Dublin
Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto, Canada
Imagine my dismay when, after entering my library one Monday morning not long ago, I almost tripped over a huge pile of boxes filled with books. An anonymous donor left them and made a fast getaway.
Would the boxes be filled with treasures, or would I have to sift through mouldy, smelly books that were only fit for the dustbin? Well, I'm sure you understand. I had to look through them. Perhaps, I would find a veritable gem, a shining jewel, an item that would make my library perfect at last. I've been working my way through the books and, I must admit, enjoying every minute of it. The old dust jackets are simple things, from a simpler time like a worn-out, comfortable sweater.
I open the books, and read dedications written on the occasion of special birthdays or anniversaries, from people giving the gift of reading to friends or family they loved. I read such inscriptions as, "For Sam' sake, For Edna's sake, For God's sake, Please keep well."
And from time to time, I find a rare treasure. A novel, The Nightingale's Song, written by Dorothy Aloisin in 1948; a book of poetry by the Nobel prize winner, Nelly Sachs; selected writings by I.L. Peretz; selected letters by Stephen S. Wise.
In the Toronto Globe and Mail on April 8, 2002, Sarah Milroy quotes Walter Benjamin, the great German-Jewish scholar, who described the mysterious dynamics of collecting. In his essay, "Unpacking My Library; A Talk About Book Collecting," Benjamin asked "What is it that drives this compulsion? How is it that our deepest needs can be met through the amassing of stuff?"
Milroy continues, "On some profound level, Benjamin suggests, the act of collecting is an act of autobiography, of reaffirming one's identity, but it is also an act of salvation."
She quotes Benjamin, "I am not exaggerating when I say that to a true collector the acquisition of an old book is its rebirth."
These words amaze and inspire me. They remind me again that the library is much more than a repository of our Jewish culture.
Next time I walk into my library and trip over a box of books, I won't be so eager to sneer at its contents. In that box there might be a rare treasure just waiting to be found.
[Originally appeared in the May 2002 newsletter of the Toronto AJL chapter. Printed with the permission of the author.]
Letter from the President
by Eva Eisenstein
This is the last time I write in the newsletter as President. My tenure will end with the officer elections at our May 23 meeting. It has been a wonderful 2-year learning experience. I had a lot of help from others. Special thanks goes to Robbin Katzin who did a great deal of hand holding.
One of my goals two years ago was to try to increase the size of JLNMC. We opened up some of our meetings to others with publicity to sent to Jewish groups. Although no new members signed up at the one very successful meeting we had, the publicity we gained by advertising our event gained us greater visibility among Jewish education groups.
Another goal was to make JLNMC more visible in the Jewish press. This goal we did not achieved, yet, despite some valiant efforts by Paulette Goodman.
I hope the new Board will be able to take JLNMC to heights I did not even dream of. I know I will be there to offer all the help I can, and I am sure our membership in general will come through as usual with support and assistance. I hope to come back from the AJL annual meeting in Denver brimming with meeting ideas for the next year.