Sandy Berman 2007 - still unretired
Steve Fesenmaier writes "Sanford Berman 2007 revised
Sandy Berman was forced to retired in March 1999. He resigned from the ALA Council the next June after just getting elected to it by a large number of votes. Lots of people kept the great injustice of his forced retirement in the library press for a year or two afterwards, but few know that Sandy has been as active retired as he ever was working full-time at Hennepin County.
Just in the last month he gave presentations at the UCLA Dept. of Information Studies and the College of St. Catherine's Progressive Librarian Guild student chapter in St. Paul, Minnesota. On a weekly basis he sends out at least 100 pieces of mail to friends, politicians, and interested groups, making him the most active librarian in the world.
He also writes a regular column for Mitch Freedman's Unabashed Librarian, assists editors at Counterpoise magazine, and helps numerous other publications and writers around the country and world including myself.
Ever since 1999, Berman has regularly sent the Library of Congress information supporting the creation of new subject headings. I have worked with him on several related to West Virginia where I live: West Virginia Mine Wars, 1897-1921 ; Blair Mountain, Battle of, 1921, and most important, Mountaintop Removal Mining. Recently thanks to his efforts LC finally changed Vietnam Conflict to Vietnam War. Just a few of the other subjects headings he has helped create: Plutocracy, American Dream, Anti-racism, Conflict Diamonds, Moral Panics, Sex Toys, Wicca, and Zines.Headings he is still trying to get established: GI Movement, Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923 (replacing Armenian Massacres,1915-1923), Anti-Arabism, Anarcho-Primitivism, Culture Wars, Erotophobia, Native American Holocaust, Lesbian Bikers.
Sandy has been able to get some exercise by picketing with striking bus drivers, nurses, hospital workers, aircraft mechanics, and hotel employees and against the war in Iraq. He is a member of the local Green Party and actively helps candidates with neighborhood campaigning, yard signs and letters to the editor.
He is also a board member of the Tretter Collection at The University of Minnesota Libraries, attending monthly meetings. Last summer the Tretter Collection hosted the first world-wide conference on GLBT archives and libraries. He is assisting them in seeking changes at LC in the area of subject headings, arguing for use of standard terms such as transgenderism, intersexuality, erotic graphic novels.
Berman is also very active still in many other areas of library reform including advising John Gehner, the current chairman of the ALA SRRT Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force, and promoting awareness of ALA's failed promise to help libraries help the poor. He has also been active in fighting for the release of imprisoned Cuban librarians and for greater librarian attention to the Darfur genocide.
Like the best people in every field, Sandy is one of the friendliest, kindest, most giving individuals I have ever known, even providing free water daily to neighborhood animals. He has a real sense of kindness for all people and all living creatures. He responds to every phone call, every mailing, and always gives people his contact info whenever he can. (He doesn't use e-mail because of eye and shoulder problems caused by his lifetime of cataloging and writing/editing.) Hopefully he will be like Bertrand Russell and live another 30 years--the world needs him.
Please contact him if you wish
4400 Morningside Road
Edina MN 55416-5043
Sanford Berman websites
Sanford Berman library catalog posted to the web
Comic strip partially based on Sandy Berman Gondwanaland
2006 Global Conference on GBLT Archives
ALA SRRT Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force
Book on Sandy Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sandy Berman but Were Afraid to Ask. McFarland, 1995. Edited by Chris Dodge and Jan DeSirey."