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This year, AJL will participate in Library Snapshot Day, an ALA library advocacy initiative.

It's easy and fun to participate and we want your library to be part of it!

Here's all you have to do:

1. Pick a single day during the week of November 1 - 7, 2010 (Monday through Sunday) for your Library Snapshot Day. During your chosen day, you will keep a head count of the number of people who visit your library.

You may wish to plan a program that will bring in lots of people, but you are welcome to record a "typical" day in your library if you choose. Sunday November 7, 2010 is also the Global Day of Jewish Learning; if you are planning an activity tied to that event you are welcome to double dip and use it for Library Snapshot Day too. If you are already planning a crowd-pleasing event for the following week, you may choose to use that date for your Library Snapshot Day, as long as you can send in your results by the deadline, November 17, 2010.

2. Along with your head count, please collect comments from visitors about how wonderful your library is (written, audio, videotape, whatever works for you), and please take photographs. Pictures, pictures, pictures!

3. By Wednesday, November 17, 2010, send your head count, your comments, and your pictures to Please be sure to include your name, your library name and address, and the type of library it is (synagogue, day school, community center, academic, special, other).

The results will be publicized during the first week of December, which coincides with Hanukkah. Our theme will be "Your Jewish library - a gift to your community!" Feel free to use the results of Library Snapshot Day as an advocacy tool within your own community to show the value of Jewish libraries in general and your library in particular. We anticipate publicizing our results through ALA, via the AJL website/blog/Facebook page/Twitter, via Hasafran and by e-newsletter to nonmembers, and through a press release to the media. AJL will also provide a fill-in-the-blanks press release that you can adapt to your library and use with your local media.

Posted by Marie.

UPDATE: When taking photos of patrons, please make sure that they have given permission for their pictures to be used by AJL. AJL will use selected photos on our website/blog or in our newsletter.
Posted in: Events, ALA
It's Banned Books Week this week, September 25-October 2. Banned Books Week is the American Library Association's annual spotlight on books that have been challenged or banned from libraries all over the United States.

You can click here for ALA's main Banned Books Week page, including free downloads and other resources.

Does your library have a policy in place to deal with challenges? What happens in your library when a patron says a book should be removed, or that access should be limited? Have you ever had to remove a book or move it to another section because a patron complained?

The State of Oregon compiled this useful page of resources and tips for dealing with challenges.

The National Coalition Against Censorship offers the Book Censorship Toolkit.

Last year 460 challenges were reported to ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom. See the 2009 Top 10 List here.

Leave a comment with your thoughts on this important issue!

Posted by Marie.
Posted in: Events, ALA
The American Library Association has launched a new page rounding up all of their online learning resources in one place.

Here you will find links to many programs, forums, webinars and webcasts covering a range of topics from collection development and management, to advocacy, to service delivery, and more. The programs are even sorted by ALA units and delivery type- it's like one-stop shopping for your remote learning needs.

Most programs are open to anyone, ALA member or not. Many are free; others have fees attached depending on the course type, length and membership status of the librarian taking the course.

I know I'm going to be spending some time investigating ALA's offerings, now that they're gathered together on this page; it looks like there's something for just about everyone!

Posted by Marie.
Posted in: ALA
You can see the full press release here:

Nominations are being accepted through September 20, 2010 for this  year's I LOVE MY LIBRARIAN AWARD.

The award is open to MLS-holding librarians in the following categories:

  • School Library

  • Public Library- including synagogues and community centers whose libraries are open to the public, and

  • College, Community College and University Libraries.

The Promotional Tools page includes sample press releases, logos, badges- and flyers to distribute to your patrons.

When you make them available in your library, your patrons have the chance to recognize the work you do.

ALA will select up to ten winners; what a great opportunity to create some buzz in our communities and even nationally, for AJL and for all the work you do to promote Jewish books, scholarship and reading.

Good luck!

Posted by Marie.
Posted in: ALA