Kudos to the Lampert Library

At the 59th annual conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries held in San Diego this week, the Alan Lampert Memorial Library of Congregation Shomrei Emunah received accreditation from the SSCPL division of the Association. Accreditation means that the library has done a self-study and meets the Association’s standard for an effective library.

The Association of Jewish Libraries is an international organization of Academic, Research, School, Synagogue, Center and Public Libraries and librarians who serve these institutions. Among the members are the Library of Congress, Brandeis University, the New York Public Library, the National Library of Israel, Jewish Theological Seminary, day schools and synagogues across the United States as well as in Europe, Mexico, and Israel.

The Lampert Library has been an integral part of Shomrei since the 1950s. Originally supported by Sisterhood, it most recently operated solely through donations. Ironically, the library’s first location was exactly where it is today. But back then, the library space was a few metal shelves in a dark corner of the lower-level meeting room. The library moved several times to accommodate its growth and now has its home next door to the rabbi’s office.

The Lampert Library has been a member of AJL since 1980 when the New Jersey Chapter was founded. Although the New Jersey Chapter no longer exists, the Lampert Library and librarian have been involved in AJL on many levels: attending conferences, utilizing the AJL’s Hasafran listserv, chairing AJL committees and participating in continuing education.

With the help of Shomrei congregant, Rutgers MLIS student Katherine Delaney, librarian Aileen Grossberg analyzed the Lampert Library collection and provided examples of library programs and resources.

In the Accreditation Committee’s notification that the Lampert Library met AJL’s standards, chairperson Shaindy Kurzmann stated that the Lampert Library served the community in a professional manner, provided excellent columns in Kol Emunah/Shomrei Week highlighting the library’s resources, and has worked hard to overcome the challenges of flooding and funding.

Katherine and I are delighted to be among the more than 50 libraries accredited by AJL.

All are invited to visit the library, make requests for materials, check out books of Jewish interest and submit reference questions to the librarian.

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