Friday, August 08, 2008

Meeting Minutes: November 9, 2006

Minutes of November 9, 2006 meeting, Hillel Community Day School, Miami.
Minutes taken by Judith Jagoda and Art Quinn.

Present: Hope Bessette, Bea Citron, Steven Davidson, Heidi Estrin, Inez Feingold, Leah Glick, Etta Gold, Phyllis Gutmann, Judith Jagoda, Rabbi Moishe Kievman, Sue Kirshner, Blanca Laufer, Julie Levisman, Phyllis Levy, Nancy Maxwell, Arlene Merves, Charles Meyers, John O'Toole, Art Quinn, Annette Rindner, Rabbi Tobias Rothenberg, Barbara Samuels, Susan Sandress, Zelda Sherman, Walter Spielman, Ruth Weiner, Lee Wixman, Lottie Yacchber.

Heidi called the meeting to order at 12:35pm. Barbara Samuels, Hillel's Lower School Librarian, Julie Levisman, Hillel's Upper School Librarian, and their staff were thanked for hosting and providing the delicious lunch. We were also welcomed by principal Jane Johnson.

Heidi reminded members to stay current with membership dues and could submit the $15 at the meeting or by mail. A membership form is available to be printed out from our website.

The first topic was the anticipated date of the last meeting of the year scheduled at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Ration. The date in discussion was April 23, 2007 but it happens to be Yom Ha'atzmaut and that creates a problem for many school librarians. Therefore, they may choose a new date, of which we will receive ample notice.

Heidi brought copies of an article on SFAJL that appeared in the Jewish Journal. She also said that bibliographies were available on Hanukah books for children by AJL (available online at and a bibliography of Jewish literature has been produced by the Florida Center for the Book (based at Broward County Libraries' main branch in Ft. Lauderdale. Email Tara Zimmerman at or call 954-357-7386 to request copies. Jewish Book Month officially is the four weeks ending with Hanukah but some libraries are declaring November to be Jewish book month. There were also CD-ROMs available with the reviews conducted by the Sydney Taylor committee for the previous year. Heidi explained that Sydney Taylor was a writer of children's books with the theme of Jewish family life. Heidi also drew attention to two titles for adult readers. The Song of Hannah by Eva Etzioni Halevy, is definitely an adult book as it is a bit racy. It is a fictionalized version of the biblical character Hannah. Ms Etzioni Halevy's newest book about Ruth is coming out soon and the author will be speaking in the area, we will be informed of the date, time, and place. Life, De ath and Bialys by Dylan Shaffer, another adult book, is a memoir of the author's relationship with his dying father, and the baking class they took together at the Culinary Institute.

The next meeting is January 15, 2007 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and is hosted by the West Coast Florida Chapter of AJL. It will be held at Temple Shalom in Naples. About five members in attendance thought they would be able to attend that meeting. We are trying to implement Car Caravans and carpools to make it easier for members to attend the meeting.

Our Guest Speaker for the day was Nancy Kalikow Maxwell, Director of the Miami Dade College Library and Author of "Sacred Stacks, The Higher Purpose of Libraries, and Librarianship." Ms. Maxwell is well versed in the architecture and emotional appeal of libraries, and their influence on certain behaviors. "Physical space should evoke emotion." All of her research started when she came upon two photos, one was a library in Woburn Massachusetts and the other the Cathedral De Spiritos in Venice, Italy and the similarities were realized. The Cathedral evoking the emotion of Awe, Peace, calmness, and quiet, where people would enter quietly and speak in whispers. The same was true for the library. Ms. Maxwell spoke about 6 things libraries do, that are similar to achievements of religious institutions.

1) Provide a sacred space

2) Promote community

3) Keep civilization alive by preserving and transmitting culture.

4) Organize chaos.

5) Are uplifting to people and society

6) Bestow immortality (to the authors of the books housed there)

Some impressions from Ms. Maxwell's talk:

"Libraries will always be here and will be needed. We need to build libraries so that they are more Awe Inspiring that the cold physical structures that we see today."

"Remember the libraries higher purpose—to help & to serve. Libraries should be an arena for fund raising in order to perpetuate them."

We discussed the role of the librarian vs the Internet...Librarians offer organization. The internet is chaos. Even the best search engine brings you information that is unnecessary for your purpose but the librarian is able to find the information concisely and confined to an area.

Lee Wixman told us that he is setting up displays of menorahs from his personal collection in public libraries in Palm Beach County: Century Village in West Palm Beach, West Boynton, Delray Beach Municipal Library, and Southwest Boca Raton.

News from other members followed: Etta Gold announced programs at Temple Beth Am in Miami including author Nathan Katz on December 10. She also suggested inquiring at FAU library in Boca Raton on programs on Judaica. She also promoted the Miami Book Fair which takes place November 17-19.

Phyllis Levy asked for donated books that her school can sell to raise funds for a trip to Israel for students at Greenfield School in Kendall. Heidi asked all members to introduce themselves, as we had several new people joining us, including Steven Davidson of the new Touro College South and Rabbi Moishe Kievman of Chabad Chayil.

The meeting adjourned at 1:55pm.

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