2. WOJCIECH ZALEWSKI ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT
Retirements at Stanford can bring both good news and bad news: good news because they reveal that there is life after Stanford, but bad news because we lose individuals, as in the case of Wojciech Zalewski, who have invested so heavily in the success of Stanford's academic programs as to themselves become distinguished members of our academic community.
Wojciech Zalewski, Stanford's Curator for Slavic and East European Collections since 1972, has announced that he will retire effective March 31, 1999.
Michael Keller comments, "Wojciech represents the best of a long tradition of scholar librarians -- teacher, author, student advisor and mentor, bibliographic pathfinder and sleuth, colleague at Stanford and between Stanford and other universities, builder of collections and access to them, and the very human connection between faculty and their students and the libraries in his special area of expertise." The Stanford University Libraries wish Wojciech all the best in his retirement years and recognize the difficulty in finding a suitable successor.
Wojciech has served in his curatorial capacity for 27 years. He was a successful multilingual diplomat and negotiator in command economy booktrades that resisted rationalization during the Bloc days. In the aftermath of the Bloc's demise, he has demonstrated great skill in solving the riddles of unstable quasi-market-driven publishing environments. Wojciech's career has embodied what we mean when we use the phrase "specialized generalist" to depict the area studies curator's unique set of multicultural responsibilities (i.e., to track the formal and informal sectors of literary and cultural output in difficult publishing environments across several languages, several cultures and trades, and several political and economic settings).
Wojciech was born and educated in Poland. After studies at the Catholic University in Lublin and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, he received a doctorate in theology from the Gregorianum University in Rome in 1968. Wojciech began his career with the Stanford Libraries as a library specialist and later became the acting curator. He subsequently earned his Master's Degree in Library Science at San Jose State University and was named Curator in 1972. Wojciech has also been a lecturer in Stanford's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures since 1975.
Wojciech has compiled an impressive record of curatorial achievement during his more than a quarter-century at Stanford. He has published or edited a dozen books in his curatorial field, bibliography, and librarianship. His "Collectors and Collections of Slavica at Stanford University: A Contribution to the History of American Academic Libraries" (Stanford, 1985), for example, carefully documents an interesting chapter in the history of our own institution. Wojciech's work at Stanford has earned him great stature within the American community of Slavic curators and among Eastern European libraries, publishers, and academic institutions; he is perhaps without peers. Additionally, Wojciech is a published poet, having completed four books of Polish verse since 1990.
Wojciech has been a wonderful colleague and friend to more than one generation of Stanford librarians. We will miss Wojciech's particular way of understanding matters and negotiating life in both the research library and outside. He has always added a philosophical cast to prosaic matters, but has been practical when mind sets hardened, an art to which most of us aspire, but rarely achieve.
Though Wojciech is retiring from his curatorial role, I am very pleased to announce that he has agreed to maintain a presence, both intellectual and physical, within the Libraries by serving as the Bibliographer for Religious Studies. We can only be happy that Wojciech will be spending some time working with us.