New Books at Lander College for Women Library

photo by the author

The library at Touro’s Lander College for Women recently added a great deal of interesting new books.  In this post, I introduce some of the titles and take us through the work and considerations that go into ordering books for a library’s collection. 

Some factors we consider when ordering books include:  (1) Mission Statement, (2) Collection Development policy, (3) managing collegiate relations with Professors who can recommend purchases, (4) each branch curriculum focus, (5) guidelines noted in the Touro College Library staff Wiki on how to order and weed books to make room for new acquisitions (6) cultivating academic interests in editing books, researching & writing books, and book reviewing which helps the acquisition process and (7) fielding reference questions at Lander College for Women, making one familiar with course syllabi and curriculum.  

Academic subject interests cultivated by librarians   

Thirteen of these new titles added to the collection are published by Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, five of which, including Huss’ The Zohar Reception and Impact, I reviewed for various journals. Eight of the new Jewish Studies books are published by Brill Press, six of which I reviewed. 

Thus our librarian’s own scholarship and book reviewing are often assets in keeping a pulse on academic disciplines. For instance, a tincture of my published, peer-reviewed work can be found at: Touro Scholar and Facpubs.  See also AJL Proceedings, referenced in RAMBI, along with popular reviewing sources like Choice, and Jewish Book World.

Building up areas related to Womens’ history  

We strive to beef up our collection in works relating to Women in all academic disciplines. My book reviewing and scholarship assists in this process; I reviewed the following for  the journal Women in Judaism:  The Rabbi’s Daughter and the Midwife. , Chaya T. Halberstam’s Law and Truth in Biblical and Rabbinic Literature. ,  Rav Hisda’s Daughter, Book 1: Apprentice: a Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery. , Kempner, Aviva. Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg ; Merin, Tamar. The Rise of Israeli Women’s Fiction;  Fried, Mindy. Caring for Red: A Daughter’s Memoir; Haredim-Religion.com. Israel . In the peer reviewed music journal  Notes: Quarterly of the Music Library Association, I reviewed a work on the musician Sara Levy. Featured in the new books photo is Rebbetzin Vichna Kaplan: The Founder of the Bais Yaakov Movement in America and  The Martyrdom of a Moroccan Jewish Saint.

We try especially to purchase books in the area of women’s history to bring from the margins to center stage the often discriminated place of women in history as noted in a podcast discussing my recent publication, Gluskin Family History, which was reviewed by Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz of Ohr Sameach Yeshivah of Jerusalem on the Jewish Book World blog.     

Thus a host of factors noted in the above desiderata, go into the process of ordering books, thereby expanding our collection for current and future readers.

-post contributed by David Levy, Chief Librarian, Touro Lander College for Women Library.

Who is that masked man? Happy Purim!

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD - Royal Ontario Museum - DSC09614.JPG •Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD – Royal Ontario Museum – DSC09614.JPG  Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011

On the night of Wednesday, March 20th, after having fasted all day Jews all over the world will gather in synagogues, houses of worship, places of study, and sometimes in their own homes to hear the story of Purim.

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Chanukah: The Festival of Lights

A Chanukah menorah (or chanukia) (CC0 image via Wikipedia)
A Chanukah Menorah, or Chanukia (CC0 image via Wikipedia)

Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Rededication, or the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday that generally falls sometime in December (in the Hebrew calendar, the 25th of Kislev). This year it starts on Sunday evening, December 2 and ends in the evening of December 10th. It celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple after the successful revolt of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire. To rededicate the Temple, oil was needed to relight the menorah inside, and there was very little left – only enough to burn for one day.  However, the oil that was used burned for eight days, and to celebrate this, a festival was created – Chanukah. Continue reading

Celebrating Purim

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD - Royal Ontario Museum - DSC09614.JPG •Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD – Royal Ontario Museum – DSC09614.JPG  Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011

A long time ago when the empire of Persia and Medea ruled the world, all citizens of the capital city of Shushan were called to a feast at the king’s palace. Though the leader of the Jewish community, a very wise man named Mordechai, advised against it, the Jews of Shushan felt they had no choice but to obey the king’s decree. This feast was the beginning of a series of events that would lead King Achashverosh (Ahasuerus or Xerxes in English), to stamp and seal a terrible decree on the suggestion of his wicked advisor, Haman (a direct descendent of the ancient Jewish enemy Amalek): all Jews in the kingdom were to be slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the upcoming Hebrew month of Adar. Men, women, and children would be destroyed, no survivors. The Jews of the kingdom gathered in prayer under the guidance of their leader Mordechai. They donned sackcloth and ashes in mourning. But the Jewish people had a secret weapon, one that had been put in place some time earlier: Mordechai’s niece, Esther, had been chosen out of all the beauties in the kingdom to marry King Achashverosh. Queen Esther lived modestly in the palace, keeping her Jewish identity and faith secret, but in this she had no choice but to act. When she heard of the decree, she fasted and prayed for three days. Then Queen Esther went before the king without being summoned. This was a selfless, extraordinarily brave act that would lead to her death unless Achashverosh stretched out his scepter in welcome. Miraculously, he did. Continue reading

Library Staff Profile: LCW Librarian Dr. David B. Levy

Wmns bldng skylight 2008 10 03 020 - CopyDavid B Levy, librarian at Lander College for Women, loves serving LCW students, whom he believes possess great derekh eretz (manners), middot tovot (character traits), and pleasantness. David cherishes Torah lishma (learning for its own sake), as described in the TC Philosophy of Education LibGuide. Continue reading

Library Staff Profile: Judaica Cataloging Librarian Leiba Rimler

picWith its many campuses, Touro College is fortunate to have a large staff of highly skilled information specialists to assist students at its libraries. Our dedicated professionals play a crucial role in students’ academic success, responding to their reference inquiries and guiding them in the use of the libraries’ ample electronic resources.

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