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Read Library Notes: Reviews of books in our collection

The mission of the Adat Shalom Library is to provide resources not readily available in area secular libraries for the study of Judaism in support of the diverse and multi-generational needs and interests of the congregational community. As a resource that supports Jewish studies, the library provides a variety of print and multi-media materials to help our members learn about and enhance their experiences as Jews and as members of a Jewish community. The library collection includes sources on Torah study and interpretation as well as other classic and recent reference materials that focus on liturgy, history, sociology, language, dictionaries, humor, and literature. Through donations and financial support from the congregation, the collection will grow and develop to reflect the diversity of Adat Shalom.

Collection Scope

As stated in the mission statement, the library collections are designed to meet the Judaic needs of our congregational community. Keeping in mind the resources available at other local institutions (area public libraries, university libraries, and other synagogue libraries), the Adat Shalom library collections will focus on materials of Reconstructionist Jewish content and relevance. The adult fiction collection will include popular bestsellers of Jewish relevance and critically acclaimed literary works.

The library will maintain and keep current a collection of Jewish theology and liturgy, Jewish history, and Israel and Zionism. In addition, the library will concentrate on strengthening these areas of the collection:
1. Primary source material and commentary from a Reconstructionist perspective relating to the Torah, Tanakh, Talmud, Mishna, Gemara, Midrash, Jewish Law and Responsa, and Rabbinic literature. The reference collection will include specialized Judaic dictionaries, encyclopedias, and CD-ROMs.
2. Material (particularly fiction and non-fiction books, videos, and computer software) focusing on the modern Jewish family, Jewish observances, and life cycle events. As stated in the mission statement, these materials are intended to help our members live and experience Jewish life in a creative and personal way.
3. Material (particularly fiction and non-fiction books, periodicals, newspapers, and videos) focusing on the American Jewish experience. This will include the experiences and involvement of Jewish individuals, groups, and organizations in American history and culture, as well as the Jewish response to and involvement in modern political, economic, and ethical issues.
4. Material (particularly fiction and non-fiction books and videos) celebrating the diversity of Jewish communities around the world.
5. Multi-media materials, particularly audio and video recordings, focusing on Jewish involvement in art, music, dance and film on both a national and international level.

Process of Selection

All selections must be consistent with the library mission and collection policy, and will be purchased at the discretion of the librarian with an approved budget. The librarian will select new material from catalogs, flyers, announcements, current reviews, and published bibliographies. New material will also be considered by the written request of congregation members, clergy, and staff. General selection criteria include, but are not limited to:

• Items of Jewish content and relevance to our congregation
• Items useful to the primary users of the library
• Items presenting a variety of points of view on a controversial subject
• Items of lasting literary or social value

The library will avoid purchasing materials that while useful to our users are more appropriately held by another local institution. In addition, at the discretion of the librarian, the library will avoid purchasing material of a sensational, violent, or inflammatory nature. Financial and space limitations will always be considered when selecting material.

Gifts and Donations

Gifts of books and other library materials are gratefully accepted by the Library with the understanding that they will be considered for addition to the collection in accordance with the mission statement and collection policy. Potential donors must make an appointment with the librarian to drop off materials. The library reserves the unconditional ownership of gifts and reserves the right to sell or dispose of materials at a later date.

The Adat Shalom Library may elect to send unneeded donated materials to other Jewish institutions. The Library also reserves the unconditional ownership of anonymous donations and may discard or donate the material to another institution.

Gifts of funds are always welcome. Donations can be made here - Designate the Library Fund in the "Select a Fund" section. Recommendations from the donor are honored in so far as the suggestions are in accord with the mission statement and collection policy.