On behalf of the AJL Awards Committee comprised of Joan Biella, Fred Isaac, Amalia Warshenbrot, and myself, I am delighted to announce that this year’s AJL Life Membership Award will be given to our esteemed colleague Heidi Lerner of Stanford University. A citation that includes some of Heidi’s numerous achievements is below. Special thanks to the committee members for their thoughtful deliberation and to Joan Biella for crafting this citation. Please join me in congratulating Heidi on this much-deserved award!
With best wishes,
Aaron Taub, Chairperson
AJL Awards Committee
For the past 25 years, Heidi Lerner has worked as Metadata Librarian for Hebraica and Judaica in the Catalog Department of Green Library at Stanford University. She performed original cataloging of monographs and serials in Hebrew and related languages and Judaica in those and Western languages in the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN) and local bibliographic systems using the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules/2nd edition (AACR2), Library of Congress (LC) subject headings and LC classification schedules until the advent of the new cataloging system known as Resource Description and Access (RDA). Then she chose to become an early student and eventually an expert user and teacher of the new rules. An experienced participant in LC’s Name Authorities Cooperative Program (NACO) and Monographic Bibliographic Record Cooperative Program (BIBCO), she also coordinates and provides specialized training for fellow catalogers worldwide through the Hebraica and Judaica funnel projects sponsored by the Library of Congress. At Stanford she performs as liaison with the Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections and with every other library service with personnel handling Hebraica materials. In particular she participates in planning efforts for the processing of large-scale Hebraica acquisitions. In addition she assists in cataloging of humanities and art monographs in a variety of languages, and her well-rounded career includes valuable service at the Green Library Reference Desk/Information Center.
She earned her Master’s of Library Science (MLS) degree in 1982 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she performed her first cataloging and classification as a music librarian. Returning to the United States, she served as a music librarian for the San Francisco Opera. Moving through a variety of cataloging and reference posts, she eventually found a home in the Stanford University Libraries system. Her fluency in Hebrew and her cataloger’s reading knowledge of Arabic, Yiddish, Ladino, French, Russian and German led her to her present work in Hebraica and Judaica, fields in which she is an acknowledged master and teacher.
Heidi is a vital force in professional organizations, especially as a member and often as an officer of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She served two terms, one ongoing, as Chair of the Research & Special Libraries Division’s Cataloging Committee. She has also contributed expertise to the University of Pennsylvania/Cambridge University Genizah cataloging and digitization project, the digital library JSTOR’s Hebrew Journals project, and the editorial board of AJS Perspectives, the newsletter of the Association for Jewish Studies. She is a founding member of the NACO Hebraica Funnel Project of the Library of Congress, which since 1994 has provided online coordination and training for a multinational group of Hebraica catalogers who provide high-quality records to the world’s bibliographic databases. She also coordinates the sister projects for Hebraica/Judaica subject headings and bibliographic records, which increase through standardization the shareability of records for Hebraic materials.
Mazal tov, Heidi!