The Shaar Shalom library is a multi-purpose space, from meetings and social gatherings like Book Club, to Hebrew School and small lectures, or of course, just curling up with a good book! The library houses thousands of books, including books donated by family and friends to the Laura Herschorn Memorial Library, the Sylvia Herschorn Collection, the Leonia Falk Yiddish Collection, and Hebrew language books donated by the Atlantic Jewish Council. All books have been coded, labelled, and scanned into a digital catalogue which can be used by both Shaar members and Library members to browse and check out books.
The mission of Shaar Shalom Library is to provide Shaar Shalom members and the wider community with access to a broad range of books and other materials, programs, and services related to Jewish thought, language, history, and culture in an environment that encourages assembly and discussion.
The Shaar Shalom Library is a leading centre for Jewish culture and learning in the Halifax community. It provides a welcoming space for programs, events, lectures, and social gatherings within the context of Jewish life.
The Shaar Shalom Library will achieve its Mission and Vision by living these values:
1. Being a warm and welcoming place for community members to gather.
2. Encouraging active engagement in the life of the community.
3. Sustaining a collection that reflects the goals of the synagogue that supports it.
4. Being good stewards of the Shaar’s financial and material resources.
5. Ensuring ready, equal, and equitable access to library materials.
6. Providing the widest spectrum of ideas and materials possible.
The Library is open during office hours.
Using the Library
The Shaar uses a library card registry. Library users will use printed library cards.
Fees and Registration:
Use of the library is free for members, and $50 annually per non-member family, $36 per non-member individual.
Non-members seeking a library card will submit a registration form and pay for the card in advance.
All members will automatically be entered into the registry and can use the library free of charge as part of their membership. Their library card will be kept in the library for them to pick up the first time they use it.
Non-members will be added to the registry and permitted to borrow books from the library after paying the Registration Fee.
You borrow books via TinyCat. Using the TinyCat is easy! Just log in to our digital catalogue using your library card number, search for the book you want, and check it out!
As we continue our work to make the Shaar Library as valuable to the Congregation as possible, we are adjusting the way we accept and incorporate donated books into our collection.
While donations are very much appreciated, remember they do require considerable time on behalf of staff and volunteers to screen, organize, catalogue, or, in the event they don’t make it into the collection, pass on in one of several ways. We hope the guidelines below will streamline the procedure and help you shape your decisions about what to donate.
Familiarize yourself with the mission statement of the library (see above) and the existing collection. It will only take a few moments. You can also check in with someone from the library committee to discuss items you plan to donate.
CONDITION OF DONATIONS
Please only donate items in good condition. Remember that paperback books in poor condition can be recycled as is, and hardcover books can similarly be recycled once the covers have been removed.
Please only donate books that will strengthen and enhance our collection and further our Jewish mission (see Donation Guidelines). For good quality books outside the scope of our collection, consider donating to another local organization, such as Mission Mart or Value Village. For more ideas, check out the suggestions from the Halifax Public Libraries: (https://www.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/support/donate/donate-books-and-other-items/).
When leaving books for donation, please place them in the designated place in the library and inform either Tamara (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Madelyn (email@example.com) of their presence.
We trust you understand that we cannot keep all volumes that come our way. Any books that do not meet our collection guidelines will be passed along in various ways, including donation to Mission Mart, placement on our ‘free to take’ shelf, or sale to another entity, with proceeds going to the Library Fund.
Items we are seeking include, but are not limited to:
- New children and young adult literature with Jewish themes (including PJ Library/PJ Our Way)
- New publications, both fiction and nonfiction
- Contemporary Hebrew books for any age reader
- Classical Jewish texts, both in their original languages and in translation
We are not accepting:
- Items that are not in keeping with our library’s mission statement (LINK Mission Statement).
- Items that are duplicate copies of volumes we already have (LINK Collection).
- Items in poor condition that cannot reasonably be lent out.
- Any items we see fit to pass on, at our discretion.
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE TEXTBOOKS, ENCYCLOPEDIAS, CALENDARS, PHONEBOOKS, MAGAZINES, OR ANY OTHER SIMILAR ITEMS.