Monday, December 21, 2015

A Day at the Library

Thank you to my friend Tanya for inviting me to join her and her colleagues from ETAI (English Teachers Association of Israel) at their winter event at the National Library of Israel.

 My interesting and informative morning began with a presentation by AJL colleague Nachum Zitter about the history of the library and its collections. From there, the first stop was the map room, where Ayelet talked about the maps. While some of the originals are in huge books, many posters have been made, and it was interesting to see the different depictions of Israel, some of which included bible personalities and sea monsters.

Part of the map collection at the National Library of Israel

From the second floor,there is a great view of the stained glass windows. It was a rainy day, so I did not see them in their full glory (another reason to return for another visit). 

From there, it was on to one of the nine reading rooms.

After the short tour, the group heard about the resources available, in English, at the National Library: classes, programming and tours and their website - 

The site includes an open access digital primary resource database and educational activities and games. To give students and library patrons a multimedia experience, you can check out the audio recordings available at the Bella and Harry Wexner Libraries of Sound and Song and find songs and chants.

Another project, also available online is "Time Travel," which is a collection of Israeli ephemera (posters, pamphlets, menus, etc.). The collection is searchable by company, time period, language and more.

At one time the library had a program for bar and bat mitzvah-age students to do research on a subject of interest. A video showed the delight of one boy who was interested in the Bermuda Triangle and discovered the magic of the library. Another student did her project on Surika (Sarah) Braverman, the "first lady of the IDF," Braverman parachuted into Nazi-occupied Hungary with Hannah Senesh, but was able to escape. The girl was able to travel to Kibbutz Shamir and interview Surika as part of her library project. While the one-on-one program is no longer available, classes and groups can arrange to do research at the library.

A plug for ETAI and then some real cats:

"Founded in 1979 by teachers for teachers, ETAI's aim is to provide professional support, advice, teaching ideas and background knowledge to teachers of English."

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing the experience of this visit with us!


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