Saturday, July 14, 2007

Convention Slide Show

Just for fun, I uploaded a few of my pictures from the convention into the slide show maker at Thought you might enjoy the results.
~ Heidi

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Success at the Shuk!

Usually when I bring home a book for my tweenagers from a conference, it's as if I put a kiss of death on it. Almost by definition, if I thought they would like a book, they were determined to hate it.

But this year ... enter Rabbi Harvey. The kids fought over the Adventures of Rabbi Harvey : a graphic novel of Jewish wisdom and wit in the Wild West by Steve Sheinkin. And as soon as one of them put it down, I picked it up.

In this graphic novel, Harvey is the kind, wise, and crafty sheriff rabbi of a shtetle frontier town. The familiar rabbinic and Hasidic stories seemed strangely at home in the Wild West. This was a great family read - and finally a good parent pick!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

OPALS Powerpoint Now Online

If you would like to see the OPALS powerpoint that was presented at convention by Harry Chan, you can find it in the cataloguing section of the Jewish School Librarians wiki at

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jonathan Kirsch

I arrived in Scottsdale for the convention in the middle of the keynote speaker dinner Sunday night, so I was a little dazed and confused (not to mention hungry and jetlagged). So, I apologize for not posting about Jonathan Kirsch earlier and for how sketchy this report will be. I invite (really beg) someone to write a more complete summary!

Jonathan did phone in a greeting on the June 17 podcast - click on posts in the "listen in" box to the right and then select the June 17 selection to hear him.

His talk was called "Animal skins and God's bones: how the making and keeping of books has enriched the world and ensured the survival of the Jewish people"

He began his talk by explaining that the designation "people of the book" was a Muslim reference to both Jews and Christians. Jews embody the principle by not only reading books, but creating and interpreting them.

Although we received the Torah from the mouth of God, we were only able to "access" it by Moses' efforts - through his hand. In this way, human hands finish God's creative work of the Torah.

Kirsch also gave a wonderful little drash (I didn't catch the reference) that if the heaven's were parchment, the blades of grass brushes, and the oceans ink it would still not be enough the describe the wonders of the Torah.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Flickr Your Convention Photos

Safranim -

Thanks for a wonderful convention. It was a joy and a pleasure to see so many of you, the sessions were great, and I learned so much as always.

I am collecting Convention photos to post for our enjoyment. So a couple of requests.

I have created a Flickr Group called Association of Jewish Libraries. If you have a flickr account, you can join this group and post photos directly to the Group Photo Pool. Please tag all convention photos "ajl2007" and "convention".

If you do not have a flickr account, consider creating one at and doing as suggested above.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, or want me to do the work, please send photos by email to, and I will post them to the Flickr group.

Photos can be found at or just go to and search for ajl2007.


~Karen Ulric
AJL Advertising Manager

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Continuing to share...

The convention, sadly, has ended (sigh). However, we'll still be sharing our comments and impressions so don't tune out yet. I'm hoping for a few more phonecast reports from some convention attendees. Also, Karen Ulrich says she'll be setting up a photo-sharing site on Picasa or Flickr or something, so that we can all upload our convention photos.

I wanted to second Sheryl's comment that the food was excellent. Now I wish I'd thought to take a picture of dessert at the banquet: an amazing chocolate (flourless?) cake with raspberries, and giant chocolate-dipped strawberries, SO delicious! You'll just have to use your imagination. I did not have the mysterious vegetarian option, but from what I saw, my guess was risotto.

We'd love to know if this blog was entertaining/informative for you, and also what you thought of the phonecast. Please, please, please: post a comment to this blog, or email so we'll know whether we should do it again next year and if there are any ways we can improve its usefulness to you.

~Heidi Estrin

Wikis and blogs redux

The biggest disadvantage of presenting in the last session of the conference is that I had the whole conference to worry about it! I enjoyed it, but I'm really glad its over.

For those who missed my handout (that little scrap of paper) the site is here

Thanks to everyone who shared hints about how they use wikis and blogs. I realized that I steered you wrong in one thing. You can attach files to wikis!

happy blogging! and wonderful wikki-ing!

more winners

Here are more pics from the honorees at their book signing.

Award time!

For the most part, the food and service at the hotel has been excellent - with the one exception of the vegetarian entre at the banquet. I still haven't quite figured out what it was - an undercooked potato kugel maybe?

Anyway, its great to hear about wonderful books and to see how much the award winners appreciated the recognition.

The top picture is Heidi Estrin with Jo Taylor, daughter of the inspiring Sydney.

Here are a bunch of the honorees!