Librarian’s 50 Plus Year Celebrated

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 ( has information on how to register for a card and access all of the library’s services.


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  1. Miss Daisy says

    Bob’s role in Michigan and far beyond is legendary. His endless supply of enthusiasm is the hallmark of all his endeavors. Equally as important, one could not ask for a more devoted friend. Congratulations, Bob!

  2. Bobby, All these years I thought you only sat at a desk telling people Shhhhhhhhh this is a Library. Congratulations !!!! Wonderful article you should be very proud.

  3. Ruth Ann Reinert says

    Bob, you are amazing. Great job and you should be very proud. I think of you often.

  4. Friend of Miss Daisy says

    Well done! I hope there are inspired young people out there to take up your work.

    • A small and well-trained army will be needed to show the selfless dedication Robert did. I truly hope all who are reading this string will step forward in some way to tell RHPL and the Literacy Council to ‘count me in!

  5. Corinne Schwartz says

    I am so proud of you and all of your many achievements. I have enjoyed your friendship, warmth and unfailing enthusiasm toward life, love and learning. I count myself fortunate for having had your friendship all these many years and look forward to many more years.

  6. Please relay this note to Robert Gaylor. It is from an old friend of Carlton who visited him at his home years ago and now lives in Berne, Switzerland. The writer is coauthor of a new e-book and would like Robert’s advice on approaching the Rochester library to discuss its relevance for the library’s virtual bookshelves. Thanks in advance for forwarding this method to him.

    Lyn Shepard

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