Librarian’s Programs

Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California

Brilliant Library Ideas

Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California
Minutes of the General Meeting
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Girls High School Library of Yeshiva University of Los Angeles


. . .The main program, introduced by Program Chair Abigail Yasgur [Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles], was entitled “Launch! Your Ticket to an Evening of Brilliant Library Ideas.”

Ellen Cole [Temple Isaiah Library] described three types of reading contests and brought samples of the contest materials, awards and supporting PR flyers, articles and photographs. The Biography Bash contest asks readers to read a biography and write a short essay on why readers would or would not be the person they read about. The Bingo contest encourages readers to read several books by filling in lines on a bingo card; every square is a different reading topic. The most bingos win. The Israel anniversary contest spurs reading lots of books by offering prizes to the reader with the highest total.

Lisa Silverman [Sinai Temple Library] spoke on book related programs with authors or films and handed out the PR to support these programs. She gave hints that reduce costs for the host library and suggested partnering with a nearby public library which would underwrite the cost. Lisa has lists of local authors who would not have travel or hotel and food costs. She underlined that many authors are looking for increased book sales and forgo speaking fees for sales or lunch. Different authors for different grades made a more successful Jewish Book Month program than the traditional one heavy hitter for all classrooms.

Judy Cohn’s presentation sprang from her philosophy that you sell a lesson with a story. She gave a moving reading of a civil rights picture book, This is the Dream, to lead into discussion. Judy stressed the importance of reading out loud to children every day, even at the high school level. She next shared her High School Library Assistants’ manual that she developed during her career [former Granada Hills High School Librarian]. This well organized, well illustrated, clearly outlined book, covered manners and civility as well as library chores and hints on following directions.

Suzi Dubin’s project [at Valley Beth Shalom Day School Library] to promote library bibliographies and learn call number sections was creative fun. Students formed several groups within the class Library lesson and made a commercial to sell their particular call number. Suzi photographed these commercials with a web-cam; students had fun seeing themselves. She will teach the next year’s students about call numbers with these videos. Suzi shared two other lessons: a Bingo game to learn library research tools, geared to individual students; and creating a Disneyland ride to explain ancient Israel, geared to group learning.

The readers’ theater presented Suzi Dubin’s original skit on Shavuot. With spare, but evocative costuming, and changing voices, Chaim, Abigail, Suzi, Paul, and Rayna retold the biblical tale behind the holiday. The members of the audience shared the action by reading the narrator’s parts as a group.

Adaire Klein [Simon Wiesenthal Center – Museum of Tolerance Library] closed the evening with a talk on her library’s annual Once Upon a World Children’s book award. The award started in 1996; from 1997 on it has been funded through a generous endowment from author Sonia Levitin and her husband, Lloyd who increased their funding this year. Future awards will go to two books, one for readers age six to ten and now one for young adults. Stressing the need to move books into the hands of readers, Adaire described the SWC’s video conferencing program which backs up the award for books promoting social justice and harmony.

. . .Respectfully submitted by Assistant Secretary, Recording,
Ellen Cole