This letter originally appeared at www.jewishlibraries.org.
On June 20, 2012 at our annual conference in beautiful Pasadena, CA, I
was installed as the 26th President of the Association of Jewish
Libraries. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as President
for an organization comprised of professional and intelligent people,
who are so passionate about their field.
My own journey with AJL began when I moved from the youth services
department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to take over the
Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, a
large Reform synagogue in South Florida. I was immediately drafted to
help with the 1999 AJL Convention in Boca Raton. Having been thrown into
the deep end, I quickly got to know the people and the organization.
I've stayed involved ever since, serving as President of the South
Florida AJL Chapter, and as Chair of the Mentoring Committee, the Sydney
Taylor Book Award Committee, and the PR Committee.
During my two years as Vice President/President-Elect under President
Jim Rosenbloom, I've been impressed by his leadership and heartened by
the dedication shown by so many members of AJL who serve in so many
ways. We are a completely volunteer-run organization, and we rely on
each and every one of you! Whether you serve on a committee, help with
conference arrangements, share your knowledge on Hasafran, or spread the
word about issues in Judaic librarianship via social media, your
actions add to AJL's vitality! I hope this tradition continues, and I
call on all of you who wish to contribute to the strength and growth of
AJL to contact me and join the conversation in any capacity and
expertise you can offer!
To that end, our new Vice President/President-Elect, Yaffa Weisman,
will be leading a Strategic Planning effort to help AJL adapt to the
changes going on in our profession and our world. We will be depending
on your participation and feedback to guide us in this process.
Thanks to Past President Jim Rosenbloom, the AJL Council, and to all
of you for your support. I look forward to my time as your President!
Heidi Rabinowitz Estrin
President, Association of Jewish Libraries