Where do writers get all their facts?

The New York Times has a nice article about David Smith. His official job is “officially a supervising librarian in the Allen Room and the Wertheim Study at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street” but friends and others call him Librarian to the Stars.

Some authors refer their friends to Mr. Smith, but David Nasaw, a biographer of Andrew Carnegie and William Randolph Hearst and a history professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, said they met entirely by chance.

“He was standing behind the main reference counter fielding questions from the masses,” Mr. Nasaw said. “I had difficulty understanding an entry in one of the big catalog books, so I waited on line until my turn came. He answered my question and then told me that he knew and admired my work, and that if I ever needed help to contact him directly.” Mr. Nasaw did.