Library Users Advocacy Committee

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary has formed the Library Users Advocacy Committee (LUAC) to represent the interests of library users and provide library staff with regular feedback concerning library services. With more up-to-date feedback from the users' perspective, The Library hopes to be able to address problems and concerns more expeditiously and provide the best possible service.

LUAC welcomes suggestions, questions, clarifications, and any feedback regarding how well The Library is meeting your needs. The following people (representing JTS faculty, students, and The Library staff) are on the committee: Rena Borow, Judy Craig, David Kraemer, David Marcus, Amy Reich, Naomi Steinberger, Ilana Sassoon, and Ute Steyer. Feel free to contact any of us personally, or email LUAC at:

We are particularly interested in knowing if there are additional ways The Library can better serve its users.

Please look to this space for periodic announcements regarding improved library services.

Recent improvements in The Library's procedures and services, instituted as a product of LUAC's deliberations, include:

  • Forty-eight-hour response time on missing books—including an initial search by circulation staff and email notification if book is found or recalled; if not, follow-up email by reference staff to recommend options (e.g., other accessible locations, Interlibrary Loan, or referral to acquisitions librarian).
  • New signage at the circulation desk and public computer terminals urging users to "Say something if you don't see something"—to report problems to The Library staff rather than walk away unsatisfied; added directional signs throughout The Library.
  • "End of Lo as We Know It" project to trace, retrieve, and relabel books housed in librarians' offices and create proxy accounts to which books are charged and through which access is provided.
  • Shifting of Hebrew Periodicals and condensing of the Reference section to facilitate browsing, searching, and re-shelving in progress.
  • ALEPH-generated return slips recording the date and time a book is received will be issued at the circulation desk upon request.
  • GMG room on the second floor designated "Quiet Area"—signs posted.
  • Additional remote access and improved on-site Internet access—within limits imposed by JTS systems.
  • New policy regarding borrowing privileges for JTS Alumni: $50 annual Alumni User Fee for the first five years after graduation and $100 subsequent annual fee entitles alumni to borrow up to four books for four weeks, subject to current renewal and overdue regulations. The fees will help offset administrative and replacement costs while providing an important service to the JTS community.
  • Above and beyond the specific issues addressed, what is gratifying, as Judy Craig has noted, is the overall positive tone of our exchanges with users who look to LUAC as a vehicle to voice concerns and be heard.

During this academic year, we plan to address projects already underway, as well as challenges relating to re-shelving, difficulties finding books, the need to update public computer terminals and software, and difficulties with our duplicating equipment and service.

We appreciate any feedback or suggestions you might share with us.

Rena Borow
Administrative Librarian for Public Services
The Jewish Theological Seminary 
New York, NY  10027