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60th IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 21-27, 1994

Reading and video in libraries of Israel 1970 1990

Irene and Shmuel Sever
Haifa University Library Studies


There was a marked decrease in active reading of books in Israel during these decades. From 50% active readers in 1970, it decreased to 40%, while video watching increased to 57%. Reading of newspapers or of one book a year did not decrease. It seems that video, along with a growth in professional reading, and historical events that increased alertness to news, are in part responsible for the decrease in active reading for pleasure.


Two Decades of Reading and Library Development 1970 1990. Progress or Regression?

Reading as a cultural phenomenon is difficult to evaluate because of the complexity of factors affecting it. In this case study of reading in Israel several outstanding factors will have to be taken into account, but the selection of the most prominent ones out of the numerous social, political and economic forces that act upon reading is necessarily a matter of value judgment. Thus, the factors selected in this instance reflect what this author considers to be of prime importance, but his choice may not necessarily coincide with that of others involved in problems of reading.

Factors affecting data on reading

Three upheavals on the electronic media scene rocked the fragile fabric of reading habits in Israel: the advent of television in 1968 after some experimental broadcasts through Educational Television opened a new era: henceforth reading would have to contend with the small screen in the living room. In 1985 video would arrive and affect patterns of TV viewing, and by extension, reading habits, wh ile 1990 would feel the onslaught of Cable TV, the consequences of which cannot be evaluated at this point except to note its popularity in its initial stages. In order to weigh the effects of a combination of TV and video on reading more time and perspective will be needed.

An analysis of reading in Israel must take into consideration historical events which tend to make short term changes in habitual behavior: thus reading may be affected directly and indirectly by political and historical events. The Yom Kippur War of 1973 and its aftermath as well as the 1982 Lebanon Campaign caused longer periods of military service for the male population, and greater anxiety a nd economic burden on the women. The effect of subsequent political upheavals again must somehow be estimated, a difficult if not impossible task.

The concept of reading itself must be examined, and this is where the real difficulty of evaluation begins: the statistical sources1 available offer three different "interpretations" of reading: 1) reading a book per month, 2) reading a newspaper at least once weekly and 3) registration in a public library. The data are usually subdivided into reading by 14 year old and over2 and the younger age groups. The source of information of the formal data of the Israel Bureau of Statistics come from the Department for Public Libraries within the Ministry of Education, but these data are admittedly collected by questionnaire sent out to the public libraries and schools in the country, and their reliability is wholly dependent on the skill of the Librarians in charge to report accurately or to re port at all. Moreover, registration in a public library or a school library is not in itself an indication of reading, and the concepts of active readership and registration in the library become blurred. Thus even the official data must be considered with caution.

There is another catch: according to these same data, the most active readers (around 60 70% according to the different sources) and library users (according to reports by public librarians) are in the group of 14 to 18 years old3. In the age group of the 18 to 21 years old there may be some decrease in reading, due to military service for most of the Jewish men and women of this age group. For the rest of population, it seems according to these figures that barely 30% cover all the other agegroups in the population of public library users.

The problem of "registered in a public library" is an exceptionally thorny one: 1) according to the Israel Statistical Abstract this figure is supposed to include school libraries. It is true that in some smaller localities only one library fills the two functions, but this happens only in a small minority of cases. In most instances, middle and highschools (agegroups 12 15 and 16 18 have small l ibraries, mainly of reference and school material and sometimes a small lending collection in order to take advantage of the presence of the young adults in the library for study purposes. These services can scarcely qualify as public library services, even though they sometimes are the only source of reading material for this age group. In any case, the school library collections are only create d with young adults in mind, and do not serve the general public at all. However, in some cases, the statistics reported include the entire school population as registered in the public library, and therefore appear as part of the readership of the local public library, whether the children in actual fact use the public library or not. This also does not mean that all these youngsters will eventu ally become readers in general or active readers in particular. Thus the number of people registered in a particular library does not coincide with the definition of reading in other parts of the statistical tables.

Another facet of the same problem is that there does not seem to be any standard procedure for discarding reader records of inactive readers. Some librarians report that they do this routinely every few years, others that this is carried out on a yearly basis. In any case, the readership reported by the libraries, upon which official data of the Israel Statistical Abstract rely, cannot be evaluat ed properly. Two other sources, both based on a sample report for 1990 widely different figures: one quotes 12.3% of the over 14 years old Jewish population4 and the other5 around 15%. These numbers, based on two different sampling methods (the first on a sample of population and the other on a sample of libraries) also contain inner contradictions and their validity is to be approached with caut ion. However, accoriing to interviews with some prominent library directors, the figures of Adoni and Weiss are closer to reality, and the question must be asked, why the number reported by the Department for Public Libraries seems inflated in comparison and whether the two inspectors of school libraries, who constitute half the staff of the Department for Public Libraries are capable of assessin g the figures, considering that their duties include the supervision of all the school libraries of Israel. Thus the wholesale enrollement of school populations mentioned above complicate and almost makes impossible any adequate evaluation of the real number of readers registered in public libraries.

The next difficulty comes from the formulation of some questionnaires, which emphasise reading for leisure as against reading of professional literature. A large segment of the next agegroups is composed of university students, (68.000 students in 1991 and in 1993 nearing 100.000) whose reading is almost totally "professional" and therefore is not consistently reported as reading at all. In truth , the problem of disentangling "professional" from leisure reading in the humanities and social sciences for example is an almost impossible task: does reading Joseph Conrad or Isaac Asimov for a literature class or Toffler for a sociology class qualify as "professional reading"?

What the official data do not specifically refer to is reading for religious purposes: is it "professional reading" or "leisure reading". Does the Bible qualify as "book" or "more than one Book". A growing number of Israel's Jewish population is ultra religious and the men spend most waking hours studying and praying, both through reading. Small, unofficial surveys conducted by various students and researchers among the general population of Israel found that a considerable number of non students used university and special libraries for their reading needs, as well as libraries in work places for ex.,6 thereby by passing the public libraries. Of course these readers do not appear among those "registered in a public library", as th at question does not include other sources of reading material. Hana Adoni is probably right to claim that the as the eduational level of the people rose from a mean of 8 years of schooling in 1970 to 11 years in 1990 a rise in active readership could have been expected. However, the opposite seems to be true and the decrease in active readership could probably be partly explained by the custom t hat Israelis have of buying books in relatively large numbers, of borrowing them from and lending them to friends, giving each other books as presents etc. Also, the decrease can be caused by more professional and religious reading as well by the higher rates of video and TV viewing. Probably the difference between the number of readers as against that of library users can also be explained in th ese terms. Bookpublishers tend to complain about the low rate of copies per edition that they can put out, but do not mention that in 1986/87 5.300 titles of books were published (the last figures available from the Bureau of Statistics in 1993) not including school textbooks including a fair number of best sellers that sold over 50.000 copies, an achievement in a country of a Jewish population o f nearly 4 million, of which reportedly only two thirds or somewhat more read Hebrew.7

In Israeli circumstances, a problem of language begins to make itself felt in the agegroups of 45 and over. While using Hebrew only for reading is reported by approx. 70% of the population in 1990, the remaining 30% read Hebrew and another language, or another language only. As these data are not subdivided by age groups, this latter group is composed of relatively veteran and new immigrants of a ll ages and by the older age groups where there has been reported a marked return to mothertongues in reading with rising age. This can be seen also in the continuing existence of daily and weekly newspapers and periodicals in a variety of languages which make up 42.7% of all newspapers and periodicals published.8

Therefore, at least in Israel, book reading cannot be taken as the sole criterion of reading as newspapers are read at least once a week by over 80% of the population in 1991 (official data not available for 1990 or for 1970).) Men read newspapers more avidly than women (85.2% as against 77.7% for women in 1991)9 and the reading rate of newspapers is intensified during the numerous stressful per iods from a historical and political point of view, as well as during such major sports events as the Olympic games or major soccer and baseball tournaments.

Two political events in particular must be kept in mind, as they affect directly government policies. In 1977, the socialist parties which had governed the country since the beginning of statehood were voted out of office and replaced by a rightwing Likud coalition, which preferred activities other than the development of cultural activities. Thus the support of libraries and other cultural spher es diminished, while considerations inside the political coalition dictated the constantly growing support of religious and rabbinical cultural activities, including new libraries and synagogues among the Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The tides began to change with the return to power of the Labour party in coalition with the leftwing Meretz Party, who received the portfolio of the Ministry o f Education and Culture. During her short tenure of eight months as Minister of Education, Mrs. Shulamit Aloni of the Meretz Party reversed the policies of the previous government and initiated an increase in budget for computerising libraries, promotion of reading, and library development in the Arab sector of 3.8 million ISH, a considerable sum if compared to previous budgetary allocations, of some 7 million ISH for the previous year, even though modest compared to the needs which developed during the previous fifteen years of Likud government.

For considerations of coalition, the cultural function of the Ministry of Education and Culture was detached from the Ministry of Education, and in this somewhat truncated form became an adjunct to Mrs. Aloni's new portfolio as Minister of Culture Affairs and Communications, while another member of her party received the newly redesigned Ministry of Education. In this change, libraries remained u nder the complete jurisdiction of both the Ministry of Culture, under Mrs. Aloni, and the new Minister of Education, Dr. Amnon Rubinstein who continued the trend of his predecessor in office by allocating an increase of 40% to the budget devoted to library activities, boosting the budget to 11 million ISH in 1994.

An important progress was made during the eighties in the Arab sector, especially in the creation of libraries which had remained largely dormant since the establishment of the State. Arab local councils, administering largely rural settlements according to the political interplay of extended families within the villages were late in recognising the need for libraries and the lack of trained lib rarians from the Arab sector made it quasi impossible to create any sort of library services beyond those sometimes provided by religious organisations which served only a very small part of the population. However, by the early eighties, the younger generation, educated in Israel and especially the increasing numbers of Arab speaking students in the universities began to affect the cultural tre nds within the Arab sector. Library studies became an accepted profession for men and women, and these came to the colleges in charge of non academic training programs. Some came to the graduate Library Studies in the various universities, and slowly a trend of library development in schools and public libraries began to make itself felt. This trend is gathering momentum and hopefully will progre ss even further so that every Arab settlement will have public and school libraries. The main problems is to train a sufficient number of professional librarians capable of carrying out such a rapid increase in activities and capable of taking into consideration the cultural needs of the Arabic speaking population, and at the same time to permit the cultural forces inside the Arab sector to promo te the creation of a local literature of interest to the existing and potential readership. However, the beginnings already visible in the Arab sector encourage other villages and townships to enter the field of library development, and the prospects look very promising.

The role of the government

During the two decades under discussion, the role of the Government in general and the Ministry of Education and Culture, through its Department for Public Libraries in particular are directly responsible for many aspects of reading. The role of the latter must be emphasised. In its policies or lack of them, as the case may be, the question of progress versus regression comes to the fore.

The Department consists of a Director, his assistant, a secretary and two inspectors of school libraries, one responsible for those in primary schools and the other for secondary (middle and highschools) school libraries. This small administrative body carries the responsibility for all that the Ministry is supposed to do in connection with public and lately also school libraries, definitely not an easy task. In the early days, until 1975, the Department had a well defined and comprehensively formulated policy of concentrating on active support to the libraries in new settlements, and letting the older, established'areas of the country to fend for themselves. The rationale for this, was based on the correct assumption that given the financial difficulties of the period, it was impossible to help everybody and therefore a decision was made to help the weakest part of the population. This policy was also a logical continuation of the overall educational policy embraced by the State of "positive discrimination" of immigrant and socio economically weak populations in view of reducing the economic and cultural differences between the haves and have nots. In educational terms this att itude brought differential rates for schooling, dispensation of most or all school fees for families with many children and other similar measures. The so called Reform in Education aimed at integrating the different socio economic strata of the population. In perspective, these policies, which derived from a socialist ideology of impartiality by the State and social equality, failed to a great e xtent to achieve their goals, however laudable. The principle of applying similar practices to library development was sound, even though it ultimately proved to be flawed as far as the older established towns were concerned. Still, here was a clearcut policy line, that could be approved of or disagreed with, but which at least was explicitly delineated.

The public library system of Israel has been expanding, very slowly and graclually during the past two decades. During the early years one of the remarkable activities of the Department for Public Libraries was the attempt to pass a Public Library Law, which among other features would conform to the criteria of the Unesco Manifesto on Public Libraries, would have the power to force local authorit ies to finance libraries within their jurisdiction and would protect the right of access to all. The law went through a great number of changes even before reaching the hearing stage in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, and because of internal problems between religious and socialist party coalition the Law was eventually approved in a much watered down edition in 1975. The main weakness of th e law as finally inacted was its almost total lack of powers of enforcement leaving it with a somewhat vague mandate to the Minister in charge to "advise and counsel". This undoubtedly retarded the whole process considerably and in 1991 was severely criticised by the State Comptroller10.

The second measure taken, very successfully, by the then Director of the Department for Public Libraries was to aid differentially, but without political or personal favoritism, directly out of funds of the Ministry, of libraries created in the weaker areas of the country: the new settlements, where immigrants were the majority of the population, where a tradition of library use had to be created and where the local goverment, beset by social and economic problems could not be otherwise induced to invest in what seemed a matter of secondary interest. By a combination of personal persuasion and the promise of matching any funds provided by the local authorities by funds from the Ministry which increased with every successful venture, public libraries sprung up in the most unlikely places. It is true that this policy discriminated against old established settlements that could be expected, in theory but not in fact, to create their public libraries through their own resources, and the result was that the library of major cities lagged badly behind those provided by new towns. Even today, twenty years after, the public library services provided by Dimona, Arad or Upper Nazareth are superior per capita than those provided by Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa, the three major metropolitan centers of the country where a third of Israel's population resides11.

This policy was largely discontinued after the death of K. Golan, the dedicated creator of Department for Public Libraries and of its policies as well as of the formulations of the Public Library Law. Unfortunately, the lack of sanctions in the Law, lack of policy and vision in the subsequent authorities responsible for public library development prevented this trend from continuing from lack of funding and guidance from the Department of Libraries, and the whole process of Public Library development became erratic. The practice of using experienced librarians as supervisors and advisors to the new libraries was discontinued, leaving their barely adequate personnel to deal alone with their endless problems. Funding declined, not only in absolute terms from approx. 7.6% of the budget for culture in 1968 to less than 4% of the same budget in 1993. The budgets of libraries receiving matching funds from the Ministry of Education declined from around 50% of the budget of each library in the early seventies to 11% or less in the early nineties, thus not only obliterating the possible influence of policymaking by the Ministry, even if there were such a thing, but also proportionately, as the number of libraries grew from 70 administrative units to about 170 administrative units in the early nineties. Administrative units in this case refer to a public library and all its branches as one.

However, as the financial restrictions in the local government compounded by a steadily diminishing aid from the Ministry made itself increasingly felt, by adding to the burden of local authorities all the while diminishing the influence of the Ministry in the new libraries, these found themselves from their very inception in financial straits. The inability to pay for academically trained librar ians to direct the new libraries and the state of library education12 during these years made development difficult. The libraries were serviced by people with relatively low educational level and often inadequate preparation in professional aspects of librarianship who were only rarely innovative by intuition and personal talent. Others were content with continuing a trend began in the sixties a nd did not take into account, for example, the invasion of the public scene by electronic media. Thus most libraries created during the seventies ignored the electronic media completely, becoming depositories of books rather than libraries in an era of television, video and other mass media. Even periodicals were sometimes introduced and then discontinued for budgetary considerations, without any kind of acquisition policy, either local or suggested by the Ministry to guide the librarians in their collection building.

After 1975 and the death of its first Director, and even more so since the nineteen eighties tnings became more complex: the growth in population, in the number of settlements and the number of libraries urgently required a decisively formulated policy statement. However, at this stage , the policies of the Department became increasingly imprecise. Even though there was no formulated policy state ment, the Department undertook, for example, on its own authority to act in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank in addition to its usual role within Israel. Also, the Department neutralised since the nineteen eighties the work of the Public Council for Libraries established by law in 1975. This Council, composed of experienced library directors and public figures with interest in library deve lopment and cultural dissemination of ideas were meant to design policy and to create guidelines through its sub committees. The Director of the Department of Libraries insisted on acting as the de facto Director over this body of people selected from outside the Ministry of Education, but by recommendation of the Director. By omitting to convene the Council simply emptied it of any policymaking or other powers. In a similar manner, the sub committees nominally in charge of various aspects of public librarianship were prevented from acting, and the public libraries, and by extension the school libraries were left without a policy making body. On the other hand, the budgetary restrictions imposed by the Likud government together with the greatly increased scope of activities and the growi ng number of libraries made it expedient for the Department to solve problems on a crisis point basis and avoiding the need for an overall plan of action. This would prove inefficient and unfortunate. By trying to stretch an ever shrinking budget over increasing numbers of libraries, the part of each became less and less, until finally after the Yom Kippur War the contribution of the Ministry of Education in the acquisition budgets of the libraries dwindled and became insignificant. On the other hand, the addition of school libraries to the care of the Department caused in some cases caused friction and rivalry between school librarians and public librarians for the reduced financial ability of the Department, each claiming that the other was getting preferential treatment. In truth the Department could help neither with the resources at hand and even now, that the new Ministers are willing to invest considerable funds in the development of libraries, it is doubtful, on the basis of past experience, that these newly available funds will be distributed in the most efficient way, if this is left to the Department.

Another unfortunate omission was the Department's insistence that video technology had no place in the public library as late as 1990. While 49% of the population was using video by 1986/87 and the number of households with video had grown to 57% in l991(FN) the Department paid what could be characterised as lip service only to the introduction of video in libraries. While it was claimed that som e libraries owned videos, in fact most of them did not or made no competent or meaningful activities with it. While schools have TV sets as a matter of routine, they are not located in the library and in a few of the best public libraries only devices for listening to records have been introduced in any significant measure. All systems of viewing were not encouraged or promoted by the Department and therefore the librarians interested in improving reading through audio visual means encountered unnecessary difficulties. At the same time, the Ministry of Education through other departments was voicing its concern over the low level of understanding written text by school children and pouring considerable resources in money and curricula to overcome it. The idea that understanding text is d erived from reading and all other kinds of recorded knowledge was not advocated by the Department nor actively supported by it.

Thus, while the appointed task of the Department of Public Libraries had been to carry out the policy making efforts of a Public Council for Libraries in the public library field, and to make funding available for these activities, its failures and omissions are particularly to be deplored. While public libraries have largely had to fight alone and have developed through the activities of individ ual talented and dedicated librarians in the field, their development could have been much more spectacular and efficient, if the Department had carried out its own role in the process. By acting as it has acted in the past, it has proved to be an agent of regression rather than of progress.

The developments on the public and school library scene are visible throughout this period, but whether this affects reading in general and how is difficult to analyse. Concomitantly with this, the population grew through successive immigration waves. Each brought in its wake problems of language, collection building, acquisition policies and sources of acquisitions as well as the need to integrate the newcomers into Israel's cultural scene. This was a task beyond the ability of the libraries' collections and staffs. Only by the mid eighties the library authorit ies recommended that public librarians ought to get their library education in officially recognised colleges, of which one in the north of the country had already began a program in 197813. On the basis of this experience two more colleges one, in the center of the country and one in the south were designated as seats for library education on a non academic level, but giving a more or less soli d professional background to its gradutes in an intensive two year training course. Librarians with the old kind of training were invited to upgrade their education. The process of upgrading is slow, but continues inspite of difficulties, which is a positive sign, but library education on every level requires constant upgrading, and in the absence of planning by the Public Council for Libraries,o r much of the library education field is left to the universities and the colleges. With some exception little has been done to date of comprehensive interest in the field of continuing education for working librarians except occasional conferences and workshops for a small number of people on special topics, and these puny efforts are vastly inefficient in helping practicing librarians to cope w ith their everyday problems.

On the positive side, many of the new libraries, created since 1970 have began to computerise their services, which is both a blessing and a trial for the librarians. Several main computer programs are available, two specifically created for public library housekeeping and another with school libraries and public libraries in mind. These three are endorsed by the Department for Public Libraries, presumably in a spirit of giving even opportunity to all computer firms and giving librarians a free choice of program, according to their individual needs. This is noble, but inefficient, as the three programs have no interface and are unable to "talk to each other". Thus two libraries, a few miles apart, but serviced by two different programs cannot make any direct searches computer to computer , but have to make such bibliographic work librarian to librarian. The paucity of the individual collections compounds the problem while overworked and underpaid librarians barely able to cope with their daily routines are not always enthusiastic about making searches for their colleagues down the road. Thus, while computer services have streamlined the work of librarians and allowed a timid begi nning of networking, this process, so promising in a small country with limited resources is hampered.

The question of progress versus regression is a matter of seeing the glass half full or half empty. Two decades have more than doubled the number of public libraries in the country, and more people than ever before have access to their collections. That is of course an encouraging sign of progress and must be applauded. Still, that only a small fraction of the public uses the public libraries in a country where 40% of adults read at least 12 books a year and where this percentage is considered disastrous compared to 50% from the 1960ies to the eighties, is the empty half of the glass. Obviously, the libraries are doing only part of their responsibilities right. It seems to this author that the libraries, by being overly book oriented have been by passed by the electronic media instead of being part of the process of adapting to the new media,. and have thereby possibly lost touch with their potential readership. The success of two new libraries of compact disks prove that the readers will come to the library if they find there what they wish to obtain. Also, by concentrating on serving those who come to the library instead of reaching out to new population groups, the collection s of many libraries have become increasingly tailored to the tastes and inclinations of this modest clientele and become increasingly uninteresting to other clients. The proof is again in those few libraries which have taken on the challenge of electronic media and have found their clientele grow and read more inspite or perhaps because of the crosseffects of reading and electronic media. Few lib raries have rarely if ever made any attempts to gauge the needs and inclinations of their potential patrons and have continued to preach to the converted. With such tactics, such a drastic decrease in readership (from around 50% of the population to about 40%) is unfortunate but understandable. What could perhaps save the situation is an overall strategy for the remainder of the nineties so as to be ready to enter the twenty first century and face the challenges of the future instead of trying to solve the problems left from the past.

The question of progress versus regression must, consequently remain open and depend on he eye of the beholder. Librarians in the field have done much to initiate, improve and upgrade library services, in difficult conditions financially and otherwise. Much remains to be done before Israel can be said to have a library system worthy of the "People of Book". In order to reverse the downward trend of readinq in public libraries and to counteract whatever influence electronic media have to the detriment of reading, much remains to be done, not only in the day to day work of the libraries but on the level of policymaking and implementation. But even more so, libraries need creative and innovative changes in the vision of policymakers and individual librarians alike. Only when that has been accomplished will libraries in Israel be able to fully serve a democratic and informed citizenry.


1. Israel. Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstracts 1968 1993. Tables 26 in each volume, changing numbers of individual tables.1.

2. Israel. Central Bureau of Statistics. Israel Statistical Abstract. Tables 26. various numeration of individual tables from year to year. Jerusalem, 1968 1993

Israel, Ministry of Education and Culture, Culture Administration. Report on the Activities of Public Institutions of Performing Arts, Museums and Libraries in Israel for the Year 1989 1990 (In Hebrew). Public Council for Culture and Arts, April 1992. This report contains data on "children" and "adults" but does not report on age groups. The report is presented by Dr. Shosh Weitz and her collabor ators.

Culture of Leisure in Israel. Changes in Patterns of Cultural Activities, 1970 1990. Financed by the Public Council for Culture and Arts, the Bi National Scientific Foundation USA-Israel and the Kahanof Fund. (In Hebrew) Jerusalem, The Louis Guttman Israel Institute of Applied Social Research, 1992. The chapter on public libraries, written by Hana Adoni.

The above publication is a follow up report to the 1973 study by Elihu Katz and Michael Gurewitch on the Culture of Leisure in Israel, Patterns of Spending Time and Consuming Culture. Tel Aviv, Am Oved, 1973.

3. Israel. Central Bureau of Statistics. Statistical Abstract Tables 26, various numerations of individual tables. Israel. Ministry of Education and Culture. The Public Council for Arts and Culture: Report of activities of Public institutions for culture and the arts in Israel for the year 1991. (In Hebrew) Edited by Dr. Shosh Weitz. The Public Council for Culture and the Arts, December 1992. p. 97.

Culture of Leisure in Israel. Changes in Patterns of Cultural Activities, 1970 1990. Financed by the Public Council for Culture and Arts, the Bi National Scientific Foundation USA-Israel and the Kahanof Fund. (In Hebrew) Jerusalem, The Louis Guttman Israel Institute of Applied Social Research, 1992. The chapter on public libraries, written by Hana Adoni.

The above publication is a follow up report to the 1973 study by Elihu Katz and Michael Gurewitch on the Culture of Leisure in Israel, Patterns of Spending Time and Consuming Culture. Tel Aviv, Am Oved, 1973.

4. ADONI, Hana op.cit.

5. WEITZ, Shosh op.cit.

6. SEVER Irene and SEVER, Shmuel: "Public Libraries from the Customer's point of view: expectations and reality". SCRIPTA HIEROSOLIMITANA, 29 (1987) : 175 187

7. Israel. Central Bureau of Statistics. Statistical Abstract No. 42, Table 26.5, 1991.

8. Israel. Central Bureau of Statistics. Statistical Abstract. Table 26.4 . No. 42, 1991.

9. Israel. Central Bureau of Statistics. Statistical Abstract No. 44. Table 26.9, 1991.

10. State Comptroller's Report 1991.

11. Israel. Central Bureau of Statistics. Statistical Abstract No. 44, 1993, Table 2.12.

12. Of the three Schools of Librarianship existing in Israel, The Graduate School of Librarianship of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem created a limited number of graduates per year that were willing or able to work outside of Jerusalem. Graduates of library Studies are predominantly women, and are restricted in their choices of workplace, because of the need to stay in proximity to the workpla ce of their husbands. Many graduates find immediate employment in the Jewish National and University Library itself, and in its many branch and faculty libraries, thus leaving relatively few for positions open in the immediate surroundings of Jerusalem and rarely opt for jobs further afield. The second School of Librarianship and Information Science at Bar Ilan University is situated in Tel Aviv area, and those of its graduates who do not find employment in Bar Ilan University's numerous faculty libraries mostly find positions in Metropolitan Tel Aviv. Library Studies at the University of Haifa trains students from the Northern part of Israel, and its graduates can be found between Metulla, the northernmost town of Israel and Hadera in the Sharon Plain. However, many of its graduates are acting librarians wishing to improve their education, and they return to their former work places in the libraries after completing their course of study. These include students from the Arab Sector who return to their communities. Thus there are relatively few graduates free to establish new libraries. Still, The present Director of the Center for Public Libraries, the Director in charge of the Libraries in the ORT School system (comprising some 160 schools all over Israel) and the Director of the Haifa Public Library System are all Graduates of Haifa Library Studies and commute to their duties all over Israel.

13. SEVER, Shmuel : "Library Education in a Pluralistic Society". Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, vol. 33 No. 1 (Winter) 1992, pp. 66 70.