Dr. David Gilner, Director of Libraries at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), was installed as President of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) at its 33rd Annual Convention held July 19-22, in Philadelphia, PA. The 1,150-member association of librarians, publishers, and booksellers is the only organization dedicated solely to supporting the production, collection, and dissemination of Judaic resources and library/media services.
Dr. Gilner has been Director of Libaries at HUC-JIR since 1996. He is also Associate Director of the American Jewish Periodical Center at HUC-JIR, and serves on the editorial boards of Studies in Bibliography and Booklore and theBibliographica Judaica series. Dr. Gilner holds a Ph.D. in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies from HUC-JIR and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois. He has taught biblical and Judaic studies at Wilmington College, HUC-JIR, and the University of Cincinnati. He has also collaborated with IBM to "scan" Hebrew illuminated manuscripts, making HUC-JIR the first Jewish institution to digitally preserve treasured manuscripts in its rare Judaica collection.
The AJL was created in 1965 by the merger of the Jewish Librarians Association, a grouping of institutional and academic librarians, and The Jewish Library Association, an organization of synagogue, school, community libraries, and media centers. Today the AJL holds annual conventions for the sharing of ideas and knowledge, awards children's literature and reference works, and devises certification standards and guidelines for sound library practice. AJL is a member of the Council of National Information Standards Organizations and National Information Associations. The founding president of AJL was Dr. Hebert Zafren, Director of Libaries Emeritus, Director of the American Jewish Periodical Center at HUC-JIR, and Professor Emeritus of Jewish Bibliography at HUC-JIR. Two other HUC-JIR librarians, Dr. Philip Miller and Harvey Horowitz, have also served as AJL presidents.