The Association of Jewish Libraries promotes Jewish literacy through enhancement of libraries and library resources and through leadership for the profession and practitioners of Judaica librarianship. The Association fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel.
AJL membership is open to individuals and libraries, library workers, and library supporters. There are two divisions within AJL: RAS (Research Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections) and SSC (Schools, Synagogues, and Centers). The diverse membership includes libraries in synagogues, JCC's, day schools, yeshivot, universities, Holocaust museums, and even the Library of Congress. Members represent North America and beyond, including China, the Czech Republic, Holland, Israel, Italy, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
AJL was established in January 1966 with the merging of the Jewish Librarians Association and the Jewish Library Association. The first president of the Association of Jewish Libraries was Herb Zaffren, librarian at the Klau Library, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in Cincinnati, Ohio. AJL has always been a volunteer-run nonprofit organization, and continues to rely on the energy and enthusiasm of its members.
AJL is an affiliate of the American Library Association and the American Theological Library Association.