When American Jewish University's libraries open in the later part of 2012, they will become a significant addition to AJU's already notable appeal as an enchanting destination for residents and visitors to the region.
Together, the Bel and Jack M. Ostrow Library and the Burton Sperber Memorial Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles will provide 22,000 square feet of unique exhibits, rare collections, and interactive multimedia experiences that can only be found at AJU.
The Ostrow Library will hold the main collections, with the architectural crown jewel being the Lowy-Winkler Rare Book Center, which will house the Maslan Collection of approximately 4,000 Bibles from as early as the 16th century. The libraries will also be home to the Kahlman-Friedmann Collection of Italian Judaica, German Jewish pre-World War II periodicals, and 2,000 individual rare books.
In addition to more than 110,000 print volumes, the libraries will offer the Gindi Microfilm Collection, which contains manuscript collections from the Jewish Theological Seminary, several Jewish and Israeli newspapers from the turn of the 20th century, an extensive collection of dissertations published in the United States on Jewish subjects, access to databases containing thousands of journals, more than 40,000 electronic books, and a growing collection of books on tape, CD's, and over 500 DVD's in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English.
The Frank Family Learning Center, featuring unique heirlooms from the Werner and Phoebe Frank family, will be dedicated to genealogical research and intergenerational learning. Outside the Ostrow Library entrance will be the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, which is a part of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, celebrating Jewish athletes who have accomplished extraordinary achievements in sports and who have made significant contributions to society through sports.
The Sperber Community Library will provide a multi-purpose area for casual study, lectures, and a range of events to compliment AJU's community programs. This community library will also feature popular books from the university's collections and rotate unique elements through the year.
A space of far-reaching importance will be the Israel Experience multi-media space, which will be the only interactive presentation in the U.S. dedicated to virtually experiencing modern-day Israel both historically and in the present. The Israel Experience will remain under development when the libraries open, as an underwriter is being sought.
The public is invited to research the collections, which will be available online, and to visit the libraries, which will be open every day with the exception of Saturday.