Wertsman, Vladimir 1929–

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Wertsman, Vladimir 1929–

(Vladimir F. Wertsman)

PERSONAL: Born April 6, 1929, in Secureni, Romania; immigrated to the United States, 1967; naturalized U.S. citizen, 1972; son of Filip and Anna Wertsman. Ethnicity: "Romanian." Education: University of A.I. Cuza, LL.M. (summa cum laude), 1953; Columbia University, M.L.S., 1969. Hobbies and other interests: Chess, stamp collecting, music, dancing, travel (including Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and Central America).

ADDRESSES: Office—65-41 Booth St., Apt. 2L, Rego Park, NY 11374. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Worked as a lawyer and judge for lower and regional courts in Romania, 1953–67; First National City Bank, New York, NY, stock certificates examiner, 1967–68; Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY, reference librarian in Science and Industry Division, 1969–74, assistant branch librarian at Canarsie Branch, 1974–77, and at Greenpoint Branch, 1977–80, branch librarian at Leonard Branch, 1980–82; New York Public Library, New York, NY, senior librarian and Slavic and Romanian languages specialist at Foreign Language Library, Donnell Library Center, 1982–86, senior librarian at Learner's Advisory Service and Job Information Center, Mid-Manhattan Library, 1987–92. American Biographical Institute, member of board of advisors, 2000–.

MEMBER: American Library Association, Public Library Association (chair of multilingual materials and library service committee, 1985–87, and Leonard Wertheimer multilingual award committee, 1988–90), Ethnic Materials Information Exchange Round Table (chair of publishing and multicultural materials committees, 1988–), American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, American Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Society of Writers, Independent Press Association, Slavic American Cultural Association (member of board of directors), Delta Tau Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Distinguished Literary Achievement Award, American Society of Writers, 1977, for article "Dracula's Revenge: 500 Years of Facts, Fiction, and Mystery"; certificate of merit, Yeshiva University, 1981; Special Merit Award, Public Library Association, 1988; David Cohen/Emiert Multicultural Award, Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, American Library Association, 2003; Nicolae Titulescu honorary diploma, Association of International Law and International Relations (Bucharest, Romania), 2005.


The Romanians in America, 1748–1974: A Chronology and Fact Book, Oceana (Dobbs Ferry, NY), 1975.

The Ukrainians in America, 1608–1975: A Chronology and Fact Book, Oceana (Dobbs Ferry, NY), 1976.

The Russians in America, 1727–1970: A Chronology and Fact Book, Oceana (Dobbs Ferry, NY), 1977.

The Armenians in America, 1618–1976: A Chronology and Fact Book, Oceana (Dobbs Ferry, NY), 1978.

The Romanians in America: A Guide to Information Sources, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1980.

(With Alexander Sokolyszyn) The Ukrainians in Canada and the United States: A Guide to Information Sources, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1981.

(With Bosiljka Stevanovic) Free Voices in Russian Literature, 1950s–1980s: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide, Russica (New York, NY), 1986.

The Librarian's Companion: A Handbook of Thousands of Facts and Figures on Libraries/Librarians, Book/Newspapers, Publishers/Booksellers, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1987, expanded 2nd edition, 1996.

Career Opportunities for Bilinguals and Multilinguals: A Directory of Resources in Education, Employment, and Business, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1990, enlarged 2nd edition, 1994.

(Compiler) Directory of Ethnic and Multicultural Publishers, Distributors, and Resource Organizations, 3rd edition, Ethnic Materials Information Exchange Round Table (New York, NY), 1995, enlarged 5th edition, 2003.

(Compiler) What's Cooking in Multicultural America: An Annotated Bibliographic Guide to over 400 National/Ethnic Cuisines, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 1995.

(Compiler) New York: The City in More than 500 Memorable Quotations from More than 500 Authors (American and Foreign) and More than 500 Reference Sources, Scarecrow (Lanham, MD), 1997, published as New York: The City in More than 500 Memorable Quotations, 1999.

Romanians in the United States and Canada: A Reference Guide for Genealogists, Historians, and Ethnic Researchers, Heritage Quest (North Salt Lake, UT), 2001.

Contributor to books, including The Immigrant Labor Press in North America, 1840s–1970s: An Annotated Bibliography, Volume 2, edited by Dirk Hoerder, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1987; Through American Eyes (originally published in Moscow, Russia), Fund for Free Expression, 1990; Multicultural Acquisitions, Howarth, 1993; Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1995, 2nd edition, 2000; and The Encyclopedia of New York City, edited by Kenneth T. Jackson, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1995. Contributor of more than 200 articles, poems, and book reviews to periodicals in the United States and abroad, including American Libraries, Ethnic Forum, Law Books in Review, Multicultural America, Topical Time, Bulletin of Bibliography, Dahesh Review, Romanian Journal of International Affairs, Transylvanian Review, and What's New in Scholarly Books. Editor, EMIE Bulletin, 1982–86.

SIDELIGHTS: Vladimir Wertsman once told CA: "As a book lover since early school days, I view my professions—librarian and author—as twin brothers, two happy companions who inspire and supplement each other. Being an ethnic American and multilingual, I have devoted my writings to various ethnic American groups and languages. Multi-ethnicity (multiculture) is the spice of America, and American history is, in essence, multiethnic."

Wertsman, who is fluent in Russian, Romanian, Spanish, and Ukrainian, and has a working knowledge of all other Slavic and Romance languages, trained as a lawyer in his native Romania, where he worked as a judge in the lower and appellate courts before moving to the United States in 1967. Wertsman pursued graduate work in library science at Columbia University, obtaining an M.L.S. in 1969, after which he specialized in compiling reference materials related to American ethnic groups.

As a lawyer and judge in Romania, Wertsman wrote law articles. Most of his work since immigrating to the United States in 1967 is of special interest to library professionals. The Librarian's Companion: A Handbook of Thousands of Facts and Figures on Libraries/Librarians, Book/Newspapers, Publishers/Booksellers, for example, proved so useful that it was published in a greatly expanded second edition ten years after its initial publication. Its publisher, Greenwood Publishing Group, described the first edition as an "indispensable summary of librarianship and publishing around the world," and noted that the revised edition included a particularly useful alphabetical listing of countries worldwide, with data on political and economic conditions, literacy statistics, and library materials per capita. In addition, the book includes the "UNESCO Public Library Manifesto," as well as chapters on quotations, noted librarians, the library "bill of rights," and even library-themed philately, or stamp collecting. David Kaser, reviewing the second edition in Library Quarterly, commented on the book's extraordinary breadth and diversity that "defies simple classification, cataloging, or description that would facilitate coming across it through the application of any standard search strategy."

Wertsman told CA: "I write to share with readers my professional experiences before immigrating to America from Romania, and especially my experiences as a librarian and author in my adopted country. As a reference librarian serving various neighborhoods with various ethnic groups, I became involved in multiethnic/multicultural activities within the American Library Association. I started writing with book reviews, followed by books on Romanians, Russians, Ukrainians, and Armenians in response to the needs of patrons I served in public libraries. I extended my writings on ethnic people by contributions to encyclopedias dealing with ethnic subjects and also focused on foreign language needs and careers in the United States and abroad. My main sources of inspiration were (and remain) library patrons, suggestions from colleagues who are also readers, and the needs of librarians"



Daily News (New York, NY), July 23, 1999, Bill Bell, "Defending the Real Dracula" (interview), p. 29; January 23, 2006, "Librarian Wants a Stamp Set" (interview), p. 20.

Library Quarterly, October, 1997, David Kaser, review of The Librarian's Companion: A Handbook of Thousands of Facts and Figures on Libraries/Librarians, Book/Newspapers, Publishers/Booksellers, p. 402.

Lumina Lina/Gracious Light, April-June, 1999, Aurel Sasu, interview of Vladimir Wertsman at age seventy, pp. 63-66.


Greenwood Publishing Group Web site, http://www.greenwood.com (October 10, 2006).