On Saturday, January 14th the Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library celebrated the over 50 years of service Robert Gaylor has given libraries and literacy in Michigan. Mr. Gaylor was joined by 96 of his friends and colleagues at the surprise event held after hours at the Library.
Now a retired professor emeritus from the Kresge Library at Oakland University, Bob Gaylor began his career at OU in 1961 and remained a part of the faculty for 37 years. He served as Head of Reference, Associate Dean for Public Services and as the Special Collections and Archives Librarian before his retirement. Although his contributions OU’s Kresge Library were important, it was his volunteer commitment to many organizations that was celebrated on Saturday.
He had and still has leadership roles in many associations including: the Avon Township Library Board (8 years); Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library (past president); Friends of the Kresge Library, the Michigan Library Association (past president); the American Library Association; Junior Members Roundtable of the ALA Michigan Chapter(founder), the Oakland Literacy Council (founder); the Oakland County Bar Association Foundation (only non-attorney to become their president); the Oakland County Library Board (38 years); the Oakland County Public Library Trustees Association (founder); the Metro Detroit Book and Author Luncheons (co-founder), Southeast League of Libraries (founder), Rochester Historical Society, Oakland County Historical Society (past chair), and the Concourse d’Elegance (volunteer coordinator for 30 years).
“Although Bob is known for his life-long commitment to library and literacy organizations it is his wonderful mentoring of my own career that I most appreciate,” said Rochester Hills Public Library director, Christine Lind Hage. “Bob hired me at the OU Kresge Library over 44 years ago. He wrote one of my letters of recommendation to the University of Michigan Library School, was instrumental in helping me get my first public library job and has always been there for me.” Hage stated that Gaylor has served as a role model for many librarians over the year.
One of the volunteer projects that is closest to his heart is the Oakland Literacy Council. At Saturday night’s celebration Judy Lindstrom, President of the Council, talked about the crucial role that Mr. Gaylor continues to play in the Council’s work. “Whether as a volunteer tutor or Oakland Literacy Council Board member, Bob is fully committed to the fight against illiteracy,” said Lindstrom. Since the Oakland Literacy Council was formed in 1984, its volunteers have provided more than 527,000 hours of tutoring to more than 7,000 adult learners in Oakland County. However great that work has been, there is more to be done.
Bob Gaylor is known for giving his all. Whether making pie crust at OPC for the Art & Apples festival or battling against illiteracy Bob is willing to work hard for the causes that are important to him. His contributions to libraries and literacy are legendary and his friends look forward to many more years of leadership from Bob.
The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester off of University Drive and 3 blocks east of Main Street. The library is open from 9 – 9 Monday through Thursday, 9 – 6 on Fridays and Saturday and Sundays from 1 – 6. The library’s website (www.rhpl.org) has information on how to register for a card and access all of the library’s services.