The Edyth Geiger English Library
Our Beloved Library
The English Library in Safed is staffed by a dedicated team of around 36 volunteers. It was under the watchful eye of the indomitable Edyth Geiger, without whom there would be no library.
Edyth ran the library for 20 years from her own living room until there were so many books it became impossible to move. Edyth was able to get funds to move the library to a space dedicated to this purpose. Since then the library has flourished even more and operates as a meeting place and notice board for the English speaking community of Safed. Edyth passed away in June, 2013 at the age of 94. She will be missed by many people around the world.
It is a positive treasure trove of all things literary. With over 15,000 books crammed into a small space, books can be two, or in the most popular sections, three deep on the shelves. Books are shelved according to the library's own categories so whether you are looking for a specific book in the hi-brow section, love a good crime novel, want to catch up on the classics or have a preference for science fiction, you are almost sure to find it on the shelves, but you may have to dig for it. If you don't find what you are looking for, you can check the catalogue and, as a last resort, ask Edyth who has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything in the library.
The library doesn't neglect the lovers of historical fiction or romance either and there is always the highly recommended shelf if you are stuck for a good read. The latest best sellers are only allowed out for 2 weeks at a time and woe to you if you are late with your returns! The red teapot rests on the library desk for your fines and donations.
Other Library Offerings
In recent years Edyth built up an impressive selection of audio books for people who just don't have time to sit and read or want something to listen to in the car. There are also lots of videos to take out and the library's DVD collection is gradually growing as well.
If all these books inspire you to write yourself, there is a section dedicated to learning the art of writing. Those who are into self-help can either take out one of the many books available or turn to the magazine section which takes up one whole wall and has everything from Scientific American to the latest Oprah magazine.
For those of us who can't quite manage the Hebrew, we can read well known Israeli authors in translation or learn about Israeli history.
Teens, Tens and Tots
Teens are also catered for, and for those who don't read English as well as they speak it, there are age appropriate readers with accompanying tapes. For the under 10's to the babes in arms,
there is a whole room dedicated to children's books in the Children's Library.
Permanent residents of Safed can join the library for free, while those who are here for short periods studying pay a deposit of 50 shekels.
The library normally lends books out for one month at a time, except for ‘2 weekers' and magazines which are also only allowed out for 2 weeks.
Late returns are fined at the rate of 1 shk per day per book.
Sunday 9.00 -11.30 am, Monday 7-9pm, Tuesday 2- 4.30pm, Friday 9-11.30am
Stamp Club - in the library every other Friday from 12.30pm - 2pm
Midrahov 38, which is just a few steps down from the building opposite the Central Hotel (Melon Mercazi).
Tel no (04) 682 0968