Thursday, May 8, 2008
With great regret I announce the passing of one of the giants of our profession, Professor Roy M. Mersky, who died on Tuesday, May 6, at the age of 82. Professor Mersky had served since 1965 as professor of law and director of the University of Texas Tarlton Law Library and Jamail Center for Legal Research.
Under Mersky's direction, the University of Texas Law Library attained recognition as one of the premier law libraries in the country. However, he is perhaps best known among law librarians as the author of one of the classic legal research texts, Fundamentals of Legal Research, first published in 1975 (with J. Myron Jacobstein), and as mentor to a host of law school directors throughout the country. University of Texas Law School Dean Larry Sager said of Mersky, "He was fiercely determined to staff the nation's law schools with skilled law librarians schooled by their service at UT." His numerous protégé throughout the country are witness to his success in that endeavor.
Professor Mersky received the Marian Gould Gallagher Award for Distinguished Service in 2005 for his numerous contributions to law librarianship. He also received a Presidential Certificate of Merit in 2006. He served AALL in numerous capacities, including chairing four committees: National Legal Resources Committee (1986-1988), Special Committee to Study the Need for a National Law Library (1982-1985), Index to Legal Periodicals Committee (1977-1978), and Joseph Andrews Bibliographic Award Committee (1972-1973). He was also active in the American Bar Association, the Association of American Law Schools, Scribes, The American Society of Legal Writers, and many other legal and library organizations. In addition, he was a prolific author and presenter.
A funeral service for family and close friends will be held Sunday, May 11, in Austin. The University of Texas Law School is planning a memorial service in September. Memorial gifts may be made to:
AALL Centennial Fund
The Roy M. Mersky Memorial Fund
University of Texas Law School Foundation
727 E. Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
Additional information and tributes to Professor Mersky currently appear at:
University of Texas School of Law
Roy Mersky Remembered
Law Librarian Blog
Brian Leiter's Law School Reports
Ann T. Fessenden