Monday, October 31, 2016

Michael Masliah: R.I.P.

Many of you who have attended Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime will remember long time fan and librarian Michael Masliah. He attended most Bouchercons and LCC Conventions since the 80s, always with a program book in hand. He would have each program book signed by everyone in the book, and that included me. I was initially surprised when he asked me to sign, as I am not an author. But he always made me feel special. Michael was Fan Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime in Denver in 2008.

Several times over the years we talked about his unique family history, as well as his vocation and avocation as a Librarian, with a specialty in Judaica. He was a a mystery collector, Sherlockian, and list maker. He ran a Mystery Book Club at the Culver City Library in Los Angeles where he worked until his retirement in 2014.

Michael graduated from LAUSD in 1964 and entered UCLA in 1964 but dropped out in 1966. He worked in his family's business and as an independent book scout and started selling used books at local swap meets. He reentered UCLA in 1975 earning a BA in 1977 and an MLS in 1979. He started working for the County of Los Angeles Public Library system in January 1981. He developed a special Judaica collection for the County Library System that was housed at Culver City Library. He also created and was constantly adding to a list of Jewish Mysteries. He worked with several mystery historians on bibliographies. Michael was a member of several Sherlock Holmes scion societies and worked on Sherlockon II and Holmes West. He passed away on October 16.

I don't have much information about his death. If you have any information, I'd appreciate a note or a post. Thanks.

This was posted on the Culver City Julian Dixon Library Facebook page.

We are sorry to announce the passing of long time Culver City Julian Dixon Librarian Michael Masliah, who retired from the County in 2014. During his 18 year tenure at the Culver City Library, Masliah's career had many highlights, but his favorite responsibilities included his time as the facilitator of the library’s popular Mystery Book Club and his oversight of the library’s Judaica Resource Center during the 1990s and early 2000s. He served as Director of the Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California.


Priscilla said...

I am so sad to hear this! I will miss him. He made me feel so good when I was a first time author at LCC in Monterey, and he asked me to sign his program.

bette Golden Lamb said...

So, so sad. Michael was a favorite at conferences -- looked forward to seeing him. Have had so many long, interesting conversations. You couldn't help but admire a man with so much grit -- anyone could see his physical struggle to attend LCC and Bouchercon, but he would show up, program in hand to be signed.
We'll miss you, Michael.
Bette & J. J.

Naomi Hirahara said...

Michael! I will miss you! Thanks for your support. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see this. Regrettably I didn't know Michael but remember seeing him at many mystery conventions. May he Rest In Peace in a haven filled with books.

Chris Aldrich

Anonymous said...

I remember Mike as a brilliant student and baseball lover during his time in the Sylmar Public Schools. He was mistreated, pick on by some small minded kids and he did absolutely nothing to deserve this. Although I was not among his small minded, hard hearted abusers I apologize to Mike and his family for not being able to stand up for him and somehow protect him.