I was saddened to read of the death of Dr. William Brace of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University. [Obituaries, Oct. 15]
Dr. Brace was one of four excellent teacher/mentors I had as a graduate student at the library school 20 years ago. As a middle-age person returning to school, I was determined to do well and make a good impression. Dr. Brace startled me at the new student reception by pronouncing that, because I didn’t drink coffee, I wouldn’t make a good librarian! In his introductory reference class, I was intimidated and anxiety ridden lest I improperly format a bibliography by a space or a line or incorrectly cite a reference source-and rightly so. There are no shades of gray in presenting information.
After surviving the first semester and earning Dr. Brace’s approval, I spent the next year and a half appreciating the man’s sharp intelligence, dedication to the profession, eyebrow-raising declarations, intensely held positions and perspectives, dignity, unique and minefield humor, and his collegial support.
Without him, throughout my career, I could never have practiced the vital, but endangered art of the Reference Interview. Our profession has lost a shaping influence and good friend.
Elaine D. Johnson