Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter, Volume 29, No.1, September-October 2009
Chicago is One Town that Won't Let You Down From Jerusalem to Warsaw, from South Africa to South America, from Baghdad to Bombay, from Birobidzhan to Boca Raton, this year's annual convention took us on Judaic journeys through a variety of topics. Heidi Lerner's "New tools for Jewish Linguistics" covered a number of recent computerized tools for the study of oral and written Jewish languages including audio samples and Web dictionaries. Yaffa Weisman's "Freedom of Speech: Assimilating Slang,
... gon and Other Languages into Current Israeli Hebrew," addressed the new linguistic shorthand in a Hebrew that is largely unintelligible even to native speakers who have lived outside Israel for the last decade. She showed examples of abbreviated expressions peppered with radically transformed words of Arabic, Russian, Ladino, Spanish, and Yiddish origin. Veronica Belling discussed the demise in 2008 of a South African bookstore-and provisioner-begun 105 years earlier in "The End of an Era: Beinkinstadt, Cape Town's Oldest Jewish Bookstore Closes Down." Henry Hollander provided a blueprint for book dealers and librarians to cooperate in "Jewish Libraries and Jewish Bookstores: Friends or Strangers?" Yiddish was prominently featured in two presentations, one on theater, the other on publishing. In the former, Zachary Baker discussed "Mahler, Copland, Bernstein ... and Rumshinsky? Reflections on the Yiddish Theater and its Legacy" as he Photo by Yaffa Weisman Photo by Yaffa Weisman with my executive members Maureen Reister and Nancy Rivin, or attending the authors' luncheon and book signing, or heading to the exhibits for a coffee break, or running to the schools K-12 roundtable, or listening to keynote speaker Dr. Peter Hayes on myths and misconceptions of the Holocaust, or the special plenary session speaker Barbara Schneider-Kempf on recovering books stolen under the Third Reich. I always attend the LC session to hear their hilarious 'update' and the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee sessions with award-winning authors and illustrators. From the CEU on digital Judaic resources, to the workshop on fund-raising and PR, to social media, to the Sydney Taylor Book Awards, so many valuable sessions were offered in Chicago. In order to raise our image in our library communities we must first raise ourselves, and that is what makes the AJL Convention so invaluable to us all. Kol hakavod to the SSC committee chairs as well as to the Chicago Convention Committee. We look forward to seeing you all next year in Seattle! Marsha Lustigman, SSC Division president More Chicago convention highlights begin on p. 26.