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Overview of the Library
The 4,000-volume (and counting) Alan Lampert Memorial Library at Congregation Shomrei Emunah is one of the gems in our inheritance, and an essential part of our synagogue’s intellectual and educational life.
From its complete collection of the Talmud to its vast array of children’s stories, picture and board books, young nonfiction, Holocaust-related works, contemporary fiction, illustrated Megillot, cookbooks and reference works, the unassuming but inviting Lampert Library contains a whole, wide world of knowledge and literature ripe for exploring by students and learners of all ages.
Our children, naturally, are the most frequent visitors to the library, which serves the Jewish Learning Center’s Hebrew school students with regular library hours. It also sponsors lectures and author appearances, hosts storytelling events of its own and in conjunction with groups like the PJ Library, and welcomes all members of the community to use its facilities and borrow its books.
The heart and soul of the library is Aileen Grossberg, our treasure of a librarian, who can be found there Sundays during Hebrew school and many Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. She also is available by appointment. But the library itself is open whenever the synagogue building is open – providing a cozy, warm, well-lighted place in which to search, read, imagine, study, learn, discover, and escape.
In recent years Aileen has established a small satellite, of sorts, in the gallery outside the sanctuary and social hall. This limited but curated selection of books is available for circulation even on Shabbat: members need only find the index card with their name on it, paper-clip it to the card in the back of the book, and leave that behind for Aileen to collect later.
Aileen encourages everyone to double-check that there is a card with his or her name on it.
Circulation has improved greatly with this enhanced visibility for the library’s holdings. The library operates on the honor system, though, and its loss rate is considerably greater than we would hope.