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The host of this month's Jewish Book Carnival is Leah Berkenwald over at Jewesses With Attitude, the blog of the Jewish Women's Archive. Thanks very much to Leah and JWA for hosting and to all the many bloggers who contributed links to make this a successful Carnival. 

Visit to find all the links. You'll find lots of fascinating interviews, book recommendations, reviews, and book-related ponderings.

Feel free to share the links and to leave comments for the bloggers. We'll see you again next month for another Jewish Book Carnival!

The host of this month's Jewish Book Carnival is Amy Meltzer over at Homeshuling. Thanks very much to Amy for hosting and to all the many bloggers who contributed links to make this a successful Carnival.

Visit to find all the links. You'll see book reviews, interviews, musings and ponderings, and even a holiday coloring page!

Feel free to share the links and to leave comments for the bloggers. We'll see you again next month for another Jewish Book Carnival!
Two positions on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee will be available beginning January 1, 2012. Applicants should be members of AJL, familiar with the scope of Judaic children's literature, experienced in writing critical reviews, willing and able to read and review over 120 books during the course of a year, and able to meet deadlines. Committee members are expected to attend annual conventions and to participate in committee-sponsored events, including speaking at the Committee's annual presentation. The term of membership on the Committee is four years. Each committee member typically receives more than $2,000 in books for review each year, which may be kept for personal use or added to the member's library. Membership on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee is both fun and intellectually challenging, but it also requires a substantial commitment in terms of time and energy. Members must be able to submit reviews electronically and correspond with other committee members through regular e-mail.

To apply, send a letter indicating the reasons for your interest, a resume, and several examples of your recent reviews of Jewish children's books to Barbara Bietz, Committee Chair, at Applications will be accepted through October 30, 2011.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Best, Barbara

Barbara Bietz
Chair, Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee
Association of Jewish Libraries
The September/Octorber issues of AJL News and AJL Reviews are now ready for viewing online at .

Please remember that the deadline for submitting information to the next issues (Nov/Dec) is October 15, 2011.

With best wishes for Shana Tova,

Uri Kolodney

AJL News / AJL Reviews editor-in-chief  

The 13th Annual Jewish Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Conference will be on Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 9 am until 5 pm. This year's conference will be held at Temple Emanu-El on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The program includes AJL representatives who will speak about the Sydney Taylor Book Award and Manuscript Award.

Registration for this conference is now open! Visit for more information and to sign up.
September Jewish Book Carnival
forwordsbooks, a blog by AJL member Kathy Bloomfield, is thrilled to be hosting this month’s Jewish Book Carnival, a gathering of blogs about Jewish books and other happenings in the Jewish world sponsored by AJL.  Please visit this month’s carnival participants and comment on their web sites making sure you tell them you saw their post at the September Jewish Book Carnival!

You can find the September Jewish Book Carnival at

Happy Reading!

The 2011 Reference Award from AJL was presented to The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, published by Brill. Edited by Dr. Norman Stillman of the University of Oklahoma, this 5-volume encyclopedia is the first English-language reference that deals with a part of Jewish history that is obscure and inaccessible for many readers. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World opens a new window into this world and will inevitably generate more research and interest in the field. An online version is currently available as well. More information on the Encyclopedia can be found at

Now The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World has won the 2011 Wheatley Medal from the Society of Indexers. The announcement on their web site states: 

"At the Society of Indexers annual conference at Keele University, the Society’s President, Professor John Sutherland, presented the Wheatley Medal for 2011 to a team of indexers from the Netherlands, Caroline Diepeveen, Pierke Bosschieter and Jacqueline Pitchford-Belder, for their index to The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (edited by N. Stillman and published by Brill in 2010). According to the chair of the judging panel, Professor Cathy Shrank of Sheffield University, this was an exceptional index and a most deserving winner. ‘The size of the task (indexing a five-volume work) was immense in itself, and indexing an encyclopaedia (which is itself a kind of index) requires something different from indexing other works. In this case, this difficult task was accomplished with scholarly authority.’ They singled out the scrupulous editing for particular praise. ‘None of us found any clues to the fact that this index was compiled by a team. The overall editing [by Caroline Diepeveen] must have been very thoroughly done – no mean feat in an index of this size. In short, the panel was deeply impressed.’"

For more information about the Wheatley Medal or for biographical information on the indexers of the winning title, visit
Posted in: Awards
Author Eric Kimmel has recently published a new children’s story entitled Joseph and the Sabbath Fish. AJL member Lisa Silverman compares his version to the beloved Marilyn Hirsh book, Joseph Who Loved the Sabbath, in this article from the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.
The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) will hold the 47th Annual Convention in Los Angeles, California June 17-20, 2012. Librarians, archivists, scholars, educators, authors and others will meet to share their interest in Judaica librarianship and related topics. AJL is soliciting proposals for papers and presentations on aspects of Judaica librarianship as it pertains to libraries, archives, museums, schools, synagogues and related institutions. Past topics have included literature and other resources, collection management, programming, reader advisory services, special and rare collections, cataloging and classification, digital and electronic resources, technology and local Jewish history.

Submissions should include the following:

Presenter's name, address, affiliation, telephone and email contacts.
Brief biography
Title of proposed presentation
Summary of proposal
Specific technology or equipment requirements, if any

All submissions must be received by November 30, 2011.

Please submit proposals by email to:

or by mail to:

Sharon Benamou
UCLA Library Cataloging & Metadata Center
11020 Kinross Ave. Box 957230
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7230

Proposals will be reviewed by the Program Planning Committee, which is composed of national and local AJL members. Notification will be made in January, 2012.
The Jewish Book Carnival is a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read, and comment on each others’ posts. The posts are hosted on one of the participant’s sites on the 15th of each month.

This month, the Carnival is hosted at the Hebrew Union College Libraries' blog, Needle in the Bookstack

The Jewish Book Carnival is a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read, and comment on each others’ posts. The posts are hosted on one of the participant’s sites on the 15th of each month.

For the month of July, 2011, our host is author Ann Koffsky, who blogs at She's got a great round-up of posts from all over the blogosphere. You'll find author interviews, book reviews, and philosophical ponderings. To Ann's adorable embarrassment, two bloggers even submitted links to interviews with her, about her fun new picture book Noah's Swim-a-thon.

Enjoy the July Jewish Book Carnival at
Gathering Sparks by Howard Schwartz, illustrated by Kristina Swarner is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers. Howard joined us in Montreal and wanted to share his article about the 16th Century teaching of Tikkun Olam that inspired the book. Let's all gather sparks together!

You can read Howard's article in Tikkun Magazine at
Did you present at the 2011 AJLConvention in Montreal? Would you like your work to be included in the published proceedings that are available on AJL's website?

Please consider sharing your paper with those who were unable to attend your session. For submission guidelines and examples from previous years go to

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!

Jasmin Nof
Proceedings Chair
The Israel branch of AJL, formally called Judaica Librarians' Group (Israel), issues a publication entitled Alon from time to time. The publication gives librarians an opportunity to describe briefly some interesting item they have come across in the course of their work. Articles are accepted in all languages and should be directed to the publication's editor, Rabbi Avishai Elboim, Director of the Rambam Library in Tel Aviv (rambaml1 at gmail dot com).

All the issues of the Alon are available at So far only articles in Hebrew have been submitted but articles in any other language are welcome. A notice that a new issue has been posted to the Internet is sent to a couple of hundred Israeli librarians who are registered with the Judaica Librarians' Group. The audience is librarians working in the field of Judaica. Anyone can subscribe, just like anyone can subscribe to AJL's listserv, haSafran.  On the left hand side of the webpage, toward the bottom, is a link to the signup form.

We look forward to receiving your articles!
Posted in: Call For Papers
SOARING SOCIAL SKILLS THIS SUMMER with NATE and DARIM ONLINE, a 6-part webinar for Jewish organizations and educators on social media, begins today! The first session, "Congregational Education in a Networked World: Aligning Goals & Strategy," runs 1-2pm Eastern / 10-11am Pacific time on July 5. Sessions will be held weekly through August 9, 2011. Sessions will be recorded so that participants can view them at a later time. Registration for the entire series is $150.

Register at

Inspired after the great conference in Montreal? Disappointed that you didn’t have a chance to go? Want to get more involved in AJL? AJL Reviews is looking for new reviewers (or former reviewers who haven't participated in a while) for the adult reviews section. If you are interested, please send a brief writing sample to Merrily Hart (merrilyhart at gmail dot com) We are looking forward to hearing from you and working with you.
I went the RAS meeting to hear what our various committees have been up to.  I sometimes feel a little out of it - if it doesn't involve money, I don't often have the time to keep up with the various programs and committee work we do.  As always, I was impressed at the passion that everyone brings to their work.  I'm especially eager to see what the digitization committee comes up with for gateway to the many digitization projects our libraries are dong.

At the general meeting we voted on some constitutional changes to change out budget year so that the convention is in the middle of the year, instead of the at the edge.  This will make my job (and future treasurers) much easier.

And finally at the convention wrapup meeting we went over what worked and what didn't to plan for next years.  2 themes kept coming up.  One is that much of the planning is place specific.  Different hotels, caterers, cities, have different requirements, charges, setups, etc.  The other is that we need better communication from one convention to the next. 

I know that the LA people are already working hard to to plan next years convention.  They're going to be experimenting with some different scheduling and formats.  While I'm a little disappointed that I won't be able to travel to some wonderful new place for convention, there is so much going on in LA that I'm sure it will be an exciting convention.

As always, one of the highlights was seeing people in person that I mostly know through email for facebook and being able to reconnect with colleagues from all over the world.

Thanks to the Montreal committee! and see you all next year in Los Angeles!

p.s. I was going to post a picture of me happily snoozing on my couch, but I'm just too tired ;-)
Posted in: Convention
In what has to be one of the most colorful sessions I've been to at AJL, Steven Bergson and Elliot Gertel provided feasts for the eyes as well as the mind.

Steven started us off with "Judging a Book by its Cover"  Part graphic design critique, part symbology discussion, part marketing tricks, Steven took us on a whirlwind tour of both effective and problematic covers. The covers, his comments, and a bibliography are on his blog
And, in case you were about to judge Steven by his cover - he was looking especially spiffy in a suit and comic-themed (of course) tie.

His presentation was followed by Elliot Gertel's presentation "Kalman at the Bat : a webography of Jews in Baseball"  While many people (even non-baseball followers) can name Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg, Elliot showed sites with information about many other Jewish baseball players throughout baseball history.

Posted in: Convention
Gut Shabbos everyone! Here are this week's bookmarkable links:

I am loading all of the PowerPoint presentations into Slideshare. So far I've only received 2 (!) but any that I receive (please send to will be accessible in a single location here:

The following links are culled from this year's AJL 2011 presentations. More to come next week!

The Joe Fishstein Collection of Yiddish Poetry, housed in the Division of Rare Books and Special Collections at McLennan Library, McGill University, is considered to be one of the finest private collections of its kind in the world. It consists of some 2300 Yiddish works, mostly poetry, and includes many rare volumes, most of which have been preserved in vintage condition:

McGill University will print a book for you on demand even if you aren't affiliated with the college. Check out their one of a kind digitization lab here:

Judaica Europeana works to identify content documenting the Jewish presence and heritage in the cities of Europe. It will digitise 10,500 photos, 1,500 postcards and 7,150 recordings as well as several million pages from books, newspapers, archives and press clippings. The digitised content will be available at    

Digital Catalogs at Bibliotheca Rosenthalia  contains thousands of documents of digitized Judaica, searchable in English:

Posted in: Link Round-Up
Here are some notes and pics from Kathe Pinchuk.  We're having lots of quality time at the airport while waiting for our re-scheduled fligths.

Clever "Mirka" brought her knitting to keep herself amused, while this sad blogger/quilter forgot all her projects at home.

Jo Taylor Marshall, daughter of Sydney Taylor and sponsor the the Sydney Taylor book awards, attended the conference and shared a few stories about her mother.  She mentioned that the character Sarah in the books was based on her mother. Since it was difficult for women to get published, her mother wrote under the name "Sydney".  Jo still get letters addressed to "Mr. Taylor"

Mirka and STBA winner Barry Deutsch accept the award for older readers for his book  Hereville

The award winners, honorable mentions, Jo Taylor Marshall, and committee members.

Posted in: Convention

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