A doctor with the heart of an adventurer

Dr. John Levinson’s study in Rockland is stuffed with mementos of his life: carvings and decorations from his time volunteering in Vietnam; ivory from his adventures to the poles; paintings depicting one of the most remote places on earth, the south Atlantic Ocean’s Bouvet Island — the one place he says he has never been.

The 81-year-old Atlantic City native said that when he was in high school during World War II, he wanted to be a sailor.

“Like most every kid I knew at that age, we all wanted to join the service,” he said. But at 16 his parents thought he was too young, and so he spent a year at Lafayette College. Just before his eighteenth birthday, he joined the Navy and became a pharmacist’s mate.

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Libraries aim for more diverse staff

Tom Weaver began visiting his local library before he could read.

“I grew up in a small town, and the library was within walking distance — and if my sister went to the library to get books, I had to get books,” said Weaver, director of the Brandywine Hundred public library.

So, it was no surprise to find him on a recent afternoon in the children’s section. What may be a surprise in a Delaware library, however, is finding someone who looks like Weaver, a black man, working there.

As Weaver well knows, his profession has little diversity. According to a 2007 report from the American Library Association, of the nation’s almost 110,000 credentialed librarians — that is, librarians with master’s degrees — 19 percent are men, 4.5 percent are black, and 0.5 percent are black men. The number of Latino men is just slightly higher — 25 more nationwide.

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