This Week in JPL History

This Week in JPL History: Way Back Play Back – the Norman Berman Children’s Library.

This Week in JPL History: Way Back Play Back – the Norman Berman Children’s Library.

One of the true treasures of the Library has always been its Children’s library. Through there wasn’t a formal space dedicated to children in the Library until 1951, children’s books were always present. In 1919 made up 10% of the Library’s overall collection. Today, the Norman Berman Children’s Library boasts over 30,000 titles. A long cherished program of the Children’s library has been Storytime. Running consistently through many of the years that the JPL has been open, the program has long encouraged keen readers and introduced them to new authors and [...]



This Week in JPL History: Circulation, Automation, and… FRBRization?

This Week in JPL History: Circulation, Automation, and… FRBRization?

During this week in 1991 Zipporah Shnay, the then Executive Director, submitted a report to Bryna Garmaise, then President of the JPL regarding the automation of the Library. This proposal would lead to a massive project which spanned from 1991 to 1993. Throughout the implementation of the project the Library kept its doors open. A major component of the automation was the use of Radio Frequency ID (RFID) tags. These days the tags are commonplace in libraries everywhere, however back in the day the JPL [...]



This Week in JPL History: The Roots of First Fruits

This Week in JPL History: The Roots of  First Fruits

The phrase “First Fruits” has many meanings to many different people. In Montreal the phrase took on a special connotation as it was the name given to the annual young adult writing anthology published by the JPL for 25 years. Each year the Library would gather entries from over 20 high schools around the city. The anthology contained a wide range of pieces from poetry, to prose, to opinion pieces and short stories. As the years passed artwork was added, as well as a musical [...]



This Week in JPL History: Come on, let’s celebrate

This Week in JPL History: Come on, let’s celebrate

For many years the JPL hosted an annual Gala fundraising event. Each Gala would feature a performer who would host the evening and would be held in honour of a supporter or supporters of the Library. The evening would be an opportunity for the Library to publically thank its supporters for their work in ensuring the continuation of the Library. In 2008 the Gala was hosted by Rick Mercer, the best-known Canadian political satirist, and honoured Rosalind and Morris Goodman. The event was a smashing [...]



This Week in JPL History: Break a leg!

This Week in JPL History: Break a leg!

Theatre has long been a part of the JPL. We have partnered with Montreal institutions such as the Centaur Theatre and the Saidye Bronfman Theatre, as well as to staged our own productions directed by seasoned professionals. Over the years, we have had dozens of Hebrew and Russian play readings directed by people such as Dr. Aviva Ravel and Gregory Ziskin. Dr. Ravel is the author of more than twenty-five plays, numerous short stories, and works of non-fiction. Her plays touch on Jewish life throughout [...]



This Week in JPL History: “Ladies and Gentleman: Leonard Cohen”

This Week in JPL History: “Ladies and Gentleman: Leonard Cohen”

On May 7th, the JPL hosted a live radio interview with Sam Gesser and Stanley Asher. The interview followed a screening of Gesser`s documentary Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Leonard Cohen. Gesser was a well-known figure in Montreal who played an integral role in the development and distribution of Canadian folk music and culture. Growing up in Montreal, Gesser claimed to have learnt much about the entertainment industry by working at His Majesty`s Theatre. In the 1940’s Gesser became the Canadian representative of the Folksways record [...]



This Week in JPL History: An Evening with Rochel Korn

This Week in JPL History: An Evening with Rochel Korn

On April 8th, 1951 the Library hosted an evening with Rochl Korn, a heavyweight of Yiddish literature who called Montreal home for many years. Korn was also a longtime participant in the cultural activities of the Library. First publishing her writing in 1918, Korn held a long career producing both short stories and poetry. In these early years she was known for her use of imagery from the natural world and later the rich internal landscapes she was able to create for readers. Her later [...]



This Week in JPL History: Extra, Extra! Read All About It! Library Bulletins

This Week in JPL History: Extra, Extra! Read All About It! Library Bulletins

As the Library has always been a library for the people, by the people; it has always been crucial for the Library to keep its members up to date with its goings on. Over the years the Library has used a number of means to advise its members of news and events. This has included Bulletins and Presidential Newsletters which were mailed to members. The bulletins and newsletters would include information on upcoming events, or reviews of past events, staffing news, new book lists, as [...]



This Week in JPL History: The Women of the Archives

This Week in JPL History: The Women of the Archives

On March 26th, 1990 JPL Archivist Carol Katz wrote a paper on the women of the JPL-Archives. These women were Yiddish and English speaking personalities of Montreal who had contributed to the literary, social, cultural, and educational life of Montreal`s Jewish community. They included Ruth C. Rotman, Sarah E. Fisher, Chayele Grober, Rochel Korn, Ida Maze, Una Shecter, Ethel Stark, Dora Wasserman, and Irene Rachel Wolff. Since the publication the JPL-Archives has been fortunate to receive donations from two other important Montrealers : Lea Roback [...]



This Week in JPL History: The Library in 1948

This Week in JPL History: The Library in 1948

For a period of years the Library would publish an Annual Library Book. This publication was different and separate from its annual report and gave snapshot of Library over the past year and would include an introduction written by a local author. On March 21st the 1948 Annual Library Book was officially published. It`s introduction was written by Irving Layton. In his introduction Layton spoke about the impact the Library had on many people, about the Library’s dedicated staff, and its full reading rooms. Most [...]