Putting Back Sfarim

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  • #2047241
    YWN Username
    Participant

    My shul has an immense library of sfarim. The shul itself is very, very large–there are at least 11 different minyanim on Shabbos, each in its own room, with at least 100 people in each minyan.
    One of my pet peeves is that the majority of people don’t put back their sfarim, or their siddurim for that matter. Not only does it leave an immense mess and leave the job of putting back the sfarim to some random goyim that work there, but it can also make finding a sefer impossible and incredibly frustrating. It’s mamash a nisayon when all I want to do is sit and learn for a half-hour or an hour and I spend 10 minutes looking for a Sefer because someone left it on a table in another room instead of putting it back on–or even near–the shelf they took it from.
    How can this be changed? Is there any way to get an enormous shul to work on this? Anyone know of any precedents?

    #2047271
    ujm
    Participant

    Hang signs all over the walls imploring people to return Seforim to their correct shelf, immediately after use.

    #2047278

    > How can this be changed?

    a Rav or an older respected person should mention this in his speech.
    Number bookshelves and attach notes to some seforim on which bookshelf they live.
    Also, if you are learning a specific sefer and it is regularly misplaced, put it somewhere hard to find 🙂 Either the other person does not need it much and will take another one, or will spend some time looking and hopefully will understand the problem.
    Not for shabbos – you can use RFID.

    #2047297
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    That’s part of the job of the Shammos. We pay him to put back sfarim left out by inconsiderate people as well as to go through the shelves in the course of the week and put things in order.
    Some day schools are now requiring X hours of community service, just as public schools do. Perfect assignment for adolescent boys to fulfil the requirements.

    #2047310
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Each sefer should have a label to make it easy to know where it belongs and thereby be able to place it back to the proper location.

    #2047313
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    In my shul we have someone that took it upon himself to put away the sefarim and he’s getting tremendous schar for it

    You can’t change other people

    #2047314
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Perhaps the people who run the place want it this way.

    If you have some clout in this shul, than here is what I would advise.

    Before Maariv at the end of Shabbos, take all the Seforim that are around – especially siddurim – that were not put back and stack them all in an out of the way corner. It will be frustrating for them, and an easier clean up for you.

    Keep it up for a month, if nothing changes switch to before Mincha and stack the Bimah to the ceiling.

    #2047416
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    You can force people to realize that they are not entitled to a shul being set up for them. They can bankroll the entire budget, and it still makes no difference. Our shuls are built on shared community. If the community has to present you with your desired shul experience, do Hashem a favor and stay home. Do not make Him feel disinvited from the one place on Earth He still desires to go.

    #2047436
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Some schools are now requiring X hours of community service, just as public schools do. Perfect assignment for adolescent boys to fulfil the requirements.

    Why an assignment for “adolescent boys”. After the Rav firmly makes the point several times about returning seforim to the bikhershanks rather than leaving then randomly on the shtenders and tables, the chronic offenders should be tasked with replacing the books for a week or two or invited to find a new shul to daven.

    #2047462
    ujm
    Participant

    Has anyone heard of a shul that banned a frum Yid from shul at all, let alone for such a petty infraction?!?

    #2047476
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Gadol,

    Okay. I just object to telling people they are not invited to a shul.

    #2047481
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Ujm,

    Yes. Sadly for even more petty infractions.

    #2047624
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Every Shul has this problem. Signs hardly help. Chinuch does.

    I’m my Shul, the Gabbay sometimes announces a request that everyone take a few minutes to pack away the Sefarim. And we all do.

    #2047675
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @gadolhardorah
    Why an assignment for adolescent boys. My comment was in reference to those required to perform x hours of community service by their schools, not adolescent boys in general.

    As for asking noncompliant sfarim users to daven elsewhere………………….
    I come from OOT. People pay membership dues to belong to their shuls, that why I mentioned it being part of what the shammos is paid to do. The OP wrote of a shul large enough to have 1100 men davening in Shabbos in 11 minyanim in separate rooms. This sounds like a large enough institution to have paid employees…..or is it 1100 men who enjoy the heat, lights, furniture sfarim paid for by others?

    #2047683

    On a bright side of this serious problem, there is something about serendipity of reading a sefer you find on the table! I sometimes leave seforim that are under-read by the tzibur (usually, mussar and all bein adam l’havero) and then count number of people who peruse the book that they will never open it otherwise. The book with the most catchy title that attracted a lot of random users both here and in my father’s O’H shul was a small pamphet called “Lying for Truth”. Seems like everyone was interested in what heterim are available, but ended reading it more learned but slightly disappointed (not too many are).

    #2047685
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    UJM: These are not “petty” infractions. Its starts with selfishly leaving seforim spread around the beis medrash, then the emboldened perp ignores the pleas of the Rav to do tshuvah and engage in a week or two of “community service” and soon escalates to challenging leadership of the kiddush club and openly schmoozing with a fellow disruptor during the d’rashah. You have to stop this madness in the beginning before it spirals out of control.

    #2047698
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @Gadol
    doesn’t sound like there is a drasha from the shul Rav when there are 11 separate minyanim in 11 separate rooms each with 100 participants

    #2047703
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    We need to put up flashy Kupat Ha’ir style signs about the great Segulah of putting away your Sefer.

    Hire undercover agents to make a big deal about having put away their Sefer.

    #2047719
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Alternatively, evolve into the shul of the future in a yiddeshe metaverse, get rid of the seforim (properly), install a high speed wireless connection with hot-spots in each of the 11 rooms and create a virtual library with all the most popular seforim available on the new “Shtenderextender.Com” App (download on Apple Store). For davening on shabbosim, they will have new Apple shabbosdik virtual reality eyeglass where in lieu of siddurim, the tfillos appear before your eyes and the text moves with your eye motions. (Note: Currently available only in nusach Sfard)

    #2047821
    YWN Username
    Participant

    Thanks for the ideas! Some are definitely creative lol.
    A lot of the more frequently used sfarim (art scroll/mesivta gemaras, regular gemaras) are labeled with numbers that correspond to shelves. More often than not, they’re put back in the in the right general area, though it’s almost always on the wrong shelf.
    One of the problems is the sheer size and diversity of the shul. Each minyan sort of has its own rav. There are people who only come on shabbos and people who only come during the week. There are high schoolers and college guys and yeshiva guys and bal habatim, all of whom come to learn. There’s no single way to get the message to everyone simultaneously.
    There are also the people that intentionally hide whatever Sefer they’re using. You can always tell which Sefer of Chumash that week’s parsha is in, just by looking at which artscroll Rashi is never on the shelf.
    I think the best idea is to just put signs up (with the permission of the relevant rebbeim/ppl) begging people to put their own sfarim back. And maybe mentioning that hiding sfarim is bordering on gezel.

    #2047882

    YWN, it is hard to change yourself, but it is almost impossible to change others. So, start with an “easier” task:
    – learn the next week parsha and the next masechet for daf yomi.
    – have an alternative sefer that you can learn when you can’t find the current one. Something that is not likely to attract attention: uktzin, halakhos emes vesheker, humros in bein Adam l’havero, yiddish edition of Artscroll.
    – bring your own sefer
    – learn mishnah by heart like in good old times
    – just actually daven.

    #2047947
    NyBochur
    Participant

    Hang up the letter from the steipler call it a maisah rishus to not put back Sefarim

    #2048218

    Have a check-out system like bottle deposits:
    you take a book, put a dollar. you return a book, take a dollar.
    if someone does not care and leaves a book, someone else can put it back and take a dollar.

    Use tokens on shabbos. Use same tokens for aliyot. You run out of tokens, no aliyot.

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