The Library’s Helpful Sage of the Stacks

Article in the New York Times.

Most writers remember exactly how they met David Smith.

“I first heard about him a few years ago from a friend, also a writer, who whispered his name as if it were some sort of Masonic secret passed on down the ages,” Alexander Rose recalled.

Daniel Okrent heard about him from David Margolick. Jeremy Schaap learned of Mr. Smith from Joe Goldstein, the legendary sports publicist, who was helping Mr. Schaap with research and for whom Mr. Smith unearthed an elusive biography of the boxer James J. Braddock. Roy Blount Jr., who says he always tries to be inconspicuous at the New York Public Library because he worries that he “could be expelled for not being up to the books,” was browsing in the main reading room one day when “David approached me, and I thought: Uh-oh, here it comes. I’m unconsciously humming or something.

Article continued here.