It is with great sadness that we report the death of John Merriman.
Here is one reminiscence. We are happy to print others if you will send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
I started attending NASIG in 1988, which was their 3rd conference. I was thoroughly delighted by the mix of librarians, serial agents and publishers who were participating in this newly formed group. It was obvious during those early years that the British contingent had a hand in encouraging a level of revelry that was decidedly absent from certain other professional conferences. This atmosphere provided us a level of congeniality which in turn helped us actually solve problems rather than simply bicker about them.
I can’t help but think that John Merriman was properly named – as he was indeed a “merry man.” He was genuinely a gentleman, but he also had a knack for fun. And above all else, he was a very smart gentleman, and left quite a legacy of influence both with UKSG, NASIG and many other venues.
John’s energy was legendary. He has a little secret though – the afternoon nap. The reason that he could stay up until the wee hours of the morning was because he made sure to get some shut eye earlier in the day. And after staying up until the birds started to sing, he’d be right up with the rest of the crowd at breakfast looking just as chipper as if he had turned in at 10 pm!
I could tell some stories (and will in person, if you ask) about some of his antics, but suffice to say that he could out party anyone and everyone and do it with style. When the party was over, it was NOT over if John had his way, and would make us keep going…
Alas, those days are over and turning in at 10 pm is more the rule than the exception for many of us. But still, I count my memories of hoisting a glass and dancing the night away with the likes of Mr. Merriman and his band of merry fellows as some of my favorite. Oh yes, and talking about serial prices, which of course we are still doing…
By Eleanor I. Cook
(Assistant Director for Collections & Technical Services
Academic Library Services — Joyner Library
East Carolina University)
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