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Minutes 2022 Summer

Page history last edited by Jasmin Shinohara 1 year ago



AJL RAS Cataloging Committee Virtual Annual Meeting Minutes

16 June 2022, 11:30-1pm EDT


Old Business


  1. Session recording announcement. Greetings. (Neil)
  2. Winter 2022 approval. (Neil)
    • Jasmin asked for clarification about Ahava discussing RDA Committee last April
    • Minutes approved.
  3. Committee membership announcements. (Neil) 
    • Outgoing members were recognized; new members were welcomed.
    • Many thanks to Jasmin Shinohara, who is rotating out after her second term, for her contributions.
    • One vacancy in the committee remains unfilled. The new member will be announced as soon as possible.


Continuing/New Business


  1. Droppable words (Aaron Taub)
    • Should the list of “droppable words” (such as sefer, kuntres, shut) be widened to options like kovets, likut, mahberet?
    • Terms are to be transcribed on the 245 but could be dropped in fields such as 130.
    • Ma’amar suggested for inclusion.
    • Cataloger’s judgement regarding what cases constitute an exception where the words should not be dropped. Potential examples: Likute amarim (Tanya), Sefer ha-Temunah, Sefer Yetsirah.
    • Words in construct state should not be dropped.
    • While it would be preferable to add these words to the Cataloging Manual, the manual is waiting for revision, which is pending on new RDA rules. In the meantime, a list will be compiled and adding as documentation in the committee’s wiki (see here).
    • NLI’s practice is to put all words on 245 and just un-index the droppable words with the second delimiter, that is 245 14 for sefer and 245 17 for kuntres.
    • Wiki page to be created. Catalogers wanting to suggest other “droppable” terms should contact Neil or any member of the Committee.


       2. NLI updates (David)


       3. Diversity in LCSH: Considering being more specific with Jewish liturgy as Ashkenazi rite (if specified) instead of assuming that all liturgy is Ashkenazic by default unless otherwise specified (Jasmin)

    • We discussed the possibility of creating a term for Ashkenazi and then specifying regional variants. David Roth expressed concern about creating confusion regarding the rites. While Ashkenazi as a term seems to be quite clear, sefard/sefaradi could still be confusing between the different Sephardic rites on one hand and the Hasidic rites on the other.
    • Lenore Bell notes that this affects both descriptive headings and classification schedule. Aaron suggests focusing on the subject and descriptive part.
    • We cannot expect catalogers to be experts. We must accept the wording of how the prayerbook describes itself. Use a general term such as Ashkenazi, then add a second heading for the specific area.


       4. Recruiting and training new catalogers (Haim)

    • Given the number of retirements, an effort should be made to train and recruit new Hebraica catalogers.
    • Michelle mentioned that AJL is starting a series of courses in partnership with JTS to train Judaica librarians. Requests catalogers willing to help teach the pertinent modules.
      • Courses will be recorded, and asynchronous sessions will be made available online.
    • Ways of recruiting and potential openings
      • Michelle is maintaining list of Judaica openings requests updates about new positions and others that have been filled. (List is found in the members-only section of the AJL website, AJL resources, Job bank, with link to updated PDF document.)
      • We recommend AJL members to engage with graduate students and encourage them to consider cataloging training
      • Potential ad-hoc sessions could be organized at the conference. Conference is a great forum to network with interested folks


       5. Items for our Winter meeting

    • A few NAR issues (Nahid)
    • {Remainder of notes lost}


In attendance


Ilana Abend-David (UF)

Gabe Angulo (member)

Lenore Bell (USHMM)

Sharon Benamou (UCLA)

Shuli Berger (YU)

Michelle Chesner (Columbia)

Ahava Cohen (NLI)

Neil Frau-Cortes (Broward County, FL)

Vanessa Freedman (Univ. College London)

Yossi Galron (OSU)

Nahid Gerstein (LC, member)

Kinstanze Kunst (Yale)

Amalie Levi (HeritEdge Connection)

Caroline Miller (UCLA)

Clifford Miller (JTSA)

Tarina Rosen (Emory)

David Roth (NLI, member)

Daniel Scheide (FAU, member)

Jasmin Shinohara (UPenn, member)

Avrom Shuchatowitz (YU)

Daniel Stuhlman (Temple Sholom Chicago)

Aaron Taub (LC; RAS president, member, ex officio)

Chaya Sarah?


Draft by Neil Frau-Cortes  

Courses will be recorded, and asynchronous sessions will be made available online.

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