The National Library of Israel has just launched a new website, and there's good news for English speakers, because there's a terrific English-language gateway on the site as well.
The site, which took two years to develop, brings to the public a huge array of materials, including books, periodicals, maps, photos and musical selections from the library collection.
But the library itself is worth visiting if you're in town, as one can see by clicking on the website.
The wireless network of the library is available, free, for all users within the building, enabling them to access the databases and e-journals to which the library is subscribed, as well as to use resources available on the Internet. No registration is required.
The National Library itself is considered the largest collection of publications within Israel, comprised of more than five million volumes of books, manuscripts, periodicals, archives, maps, photographs and audio recordings.
A sampling of what's available includes Judaica, Asia & Africa, Rare Books, Archives, Manuscripts & Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, The Bella and Harry Wexner Libraries of Sound and Song, National Sound Archives, Laor Cartographic Collection, and more.
There are reading rooms, a computer room, a cafeteria, reference and guidance services, archives, photocopying facilities and other services. However, check the website or call the library for information about specific hours for borrowing and reading accessibility.
The National Library is open to the public Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is free of charge.
It will be open on Chanukah, from December 21 through December 28, according to the calendar on the website.
The library is located at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the Edmond Safra campus, Givat Ram, and can be reached by local city bus lines # 9, 24 and 28. There is also a car park located near the main entrance to the campus.
For further information, call 02-658-5027.