About AJL


The Association of Jewish Libraries promotes Jewish literacy through enhancement of libraries and library resources and through leadership for the profession and practitioners of Judaica librarianship. The Association fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel.

AJL membership is open to individuals and libraries, library workers, and library supporters. There are two divisions within AJL: RAS (Research Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections) and SSCPL (Schools, Synagogues, Centers, and Public Libraries). The diverse membership includes libraries in synagogues, JCC's, day schools, yeshivot, universities, Holocaust museums, public libraries, and even the Library of Congress. Members represent North America and beyond, including China, the Czech Republic, Holland, Israel, Italy, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

AJL was established in January 1966 with the merging of the Jewish Librarians Association (founded in 1946 and composed of academic, archival or research institutions) and the Jewish Library Association (founded in 1962 for synagogue, school and community center libraries, as well as other smaller libraries and media centers.) AJL's two divisions SSC (School, Synaogue, and Center libraries) and RAS (Reasearch, Archive, and Special libraries) reflect this history. In 2019, SSC was renamed SSCPL to reflect the expanding membership. The first president of the Association of Jewish Libraries was Herb Zafren, librarian at the Klau Library, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1978 regional chapters were created. AJL has always been a volunteer-run nonprofit organization, and continues to rely on the energy and enthusiasm of its members.

View AJL's Mission and Goals

View AJL's Constitution and Bylaws

View AJL's Anti-Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Policy

AJL is an affiliate of the American Library Association, the American Theological Library Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies.

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