We are all very grateful to Lorelei Ennis and her team for hosting today's meeting at Temple Dor Dorim in Weston on September 21, 2010.
Rabbi Lipson greeted us warmly, and we enjoyed a very lovely lunch. Lorelei introduced our guest speaker, author Ellen Brazer, who spoke of her novel Clouds Across the Sun, an engaging story of a Nazi attempt to infiltrate societies throughout the world.
We then moved the meeting to the Library, where we addressed a host of issues. A display of the 2010 Sydney Taylor Award books were set for our perusal and Heidi Estrin gave a full report of the 2010 AJL National Convention in Seattle, which was extremely instructive, enjoyable, and worthwhile. It is hoped that a greater number of South Floridians will participate in the 2011 convention in Montreal.
We discussed the pros and cons of bring ebooks into the library, and our respective views on e-readers. While no absolute conclusions were reached, we all accept that they are here to stay.
In response to much discussion on-line addressing the dwindling membership of our national organization, Heidi asked "Why are you a member of national AJL? What do you feel is the reason for joining or, if you are not a member of national, why not?"
Attendees said "I am a member because:"
* The Newsletter is wonderful, helpful, connective, etc.
* I am supporting a good cause, an important cause/activity - Judaica librarianship
* It is a marvelous tool for networking
* Should I happen to be traveling to someplace unfamiliar, I can locate a synagogue/Jewish library via my membership directory
The reasons not to join National are:
* Lack of institutional support (workplace won't help pay dues)
* Retired from actively working in the field, still connected locally only
* Fee is too high - should have a retiree's special price
"What can we do to encourage membership?"
Suggestions to boost membership:
* Membership should get reduced prices on certain items (from publishers, gift shops, etc.)
* National AJL should offer Book Club guides as a benefit of membership
* National AJL should offer extension activities for children's books as a benefit of membership
* National AJL should offer technology education to members
Finally, several more announcements: AJL is now affiliated with ALA. Our organization will be participating along with ALA in Library Snapshot Day - November 1 - 7, 2010.
Dues will now be $18, payable to SFAJL, with checks going to Heidi Estrin. Past members should watch their email for an announcement about how to pay dues.
Look for an email announcement regarding the next meeting.
Our meeting was adjourned at 2:30 pm.