Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Richrad* (for Richard*)

Richard S. Halsey, lately of Dallas, Texas, passed away on March 28, 2010. Known by a great many people for a great many things, Dick Halsey was once the heart and soul of SUNY Albany's library school. He was highly esteemed but not stuffy; in fact, I'd venture to say that most of his students and colleagues regarded him as totally "rad." Impatient to begin my master's degree in the fall of 1985, I had signed up for a short seminar in censorship over the summer and was instantly smitten by the twinkly-eyed teacher and dean. After spiritedly holding forth for a few hours on the subject of "intellectual freedom," he quietly stated that the class would have to be canceled since only three of us had shown up. But it hardly mattered by then. He had set me firmly on a course that would inform my schoolwork and career, as well as my overall thinking, for many years to come. Halsey was sui generis—gifted, worldly, urbane, and hilarious—and he was utterly committed to libraries. We are all a bit richer for having had Richard among us, and quite a bit poorer now that he's gone. There are six cases of Richrad* in OhioLINK, which makes it a "low probability" typo on the Ballard list, but one I humbly offer up here in memory of our brilliant and beloved library friend. Rest in peace, dear old Dean.

(Obituary for Richard Halsey in the Dallas Morning News.)

Carol Reid

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