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A Tribute to Sam Halperin


I believe libraries are living things, and that when Sam died the GW Libraries let out a great sigh of sadness. They had lost a friend, as we all had, even as his many gifts remained on their shelves and in our hearts.

Sam was a collector, a keeper of neglected things, and in his bibliographic mind there were whole nations, forgotten languages, and maps to lost treasures. Yet he was a private man with a public mind, and fortunately he shared with us all that he knew.

There were many Sams and we each had our own, for he was several and singular. Those of us on the council knew him in his winter, and perhaps for that we got his best. He sat in our meetings like a small sun, with his wise asides and polite skepticisms, and he pushed us to exceed ourselves, to reach the larger questions.

So like the GW Libraries, we sigh,but we celebrate him best by celebrating the libraries he loved so much.

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