Alumni Spotlight: Independent Scholar Who Strives to Be an Autodidact – David B. Levy, MLS ‘94


UMD iSchool News

David LevyWhen David, MLS ’94, was a student at the University of Maryland (UMD), he spent most of his free time in McKeldin Library where he had access to a tremendous collection of books on Jewish studies. He read and learned from every book on the shelves in biblical studies, Jewish law, Jewish philosophy, and Jewish history. David also enjoyed attending a number of lectures from Jewish studies professors at UMD including Charles Manekin, Bernard Cooperman, Adele Berlin, and others.

In essence, David's Master of Library Science (MLS) degree was kind of an autodidact double major in Jewish studies and library science. He incorporated his research findings from Jewish studies into his coursework for the MLS program at the College of Information Studies. David is very grateful for the program’s professors for the freedom and encouragement to write his papers in areas of Judaica Librarianship.

David’s robust education at the College of Information Studies laid the foundation for his career as a library leader. Today, David serves as Chief Librarian at Lander College for Women in New York City. He is also a prolific researcher and writer on the topic of Judaica Librarianship and Jewish studies. David continues to be driven by a passion for self-teaching and has dedicated his life to the search for wisdom, understanding, and knowledge in the quest for intellectual, moral, and spiritual virtue. He is inspired by the words of Confucius, “Should we all not strive for virtue of learning for its own sake, although no one takes note?"

During his time at UMD, David valued meeting students from different nationalities, many of whom he remains connected to today. He advises current students to embrace opportunities to meet people from different backgrounds and countries. As Confucius teaches, he encourages students to study, practice, and share what they have learned - particularly with friends from distant places.

Two new books published by David are: (i) Vol 1 The History of Judaica Libraries; and (ii) Vol 3 Topics in Judaica Librarianship. These are two volumes of a forthcoming ten volume set, dedicated to David’s beloved daughter, Ruth, as “a message in a bottle.” The titles of the set are listed below.

  1. Vol 1 The History of Judaica Libraries
  2. Vol 2 Ethical/Halakhic Perspectives in Judaica Librarianship
  3. Vol 3 Topics in Judaica Librarianship
  4. Vol 4 The Art of the Book Review: Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover, part 1
  5. Vol 5 The Art of the Book Review: The Companionship of Cherishing and Revering Books as Prelude to Interpreting, Cherishing, Revering, and Respecting Others, Part 2
  6. Vol 6 The Art of the Book Review: The Importance of Reading - "just as my feet allow me to walk in this world, my books allow me to walk in Higher worlds," Part 3
  7. The Art of the Book Review vol IV part a: "My pen is my harp נבלי וכנורי בפי עטי and my sefria is my garden גני ופרדס ספריה (rav Yehudah HaLevy).Lulu: NY (2021)
  8. The Art of the Book Review: Just as my feet allow me to walk in this world my books (Sefarim) allow me to walk in higher worlds still” (GRA),vol IV. part bLulu: NY (2021)
  9. The Companionship of Texts- Cherishing and Revering Books as a Prelude to interpreting, cherishing, revering, and respecting others. vol IV, Lulu: NY, (2021)
  10. Vol 7 Gluskin Family History: Methods and Strategies of Judaica Genealogical Research (draws on archival documents in Hebrew, Russian, Yiddish, and other languages)
  11. Vol 8 Thirty-six Essays in Philosophy and History of Science
  12. Vol 9 Essays in the Enigmatic, Esoteric, and Mystical Aspects of Judaism
  13. The Shoah as a Manifestation of Radical Evil: Catastrophe, Suffering, and Evil in Jewish History, The Ethical Implications of Rabbinic Theodicy
  14. 5 edited volumes in the History of medicine and allied sciences
    1. Music and Medicine
    2. Essays in the history of medicine
    3. Essays in the history of nephrology
    4. Essays in the history of the allied sciences
    5. Translation from the french and critical essays on 

Some of David's published articles can be found at:  

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