Library Trustee Receives National Recognition

The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association, honored Rochester Hills Public Library trustee Robert Bonam with the ALA Trustee Citation.  Established in 1941 to recognize public library trustees for distinguished service to library development, the Citation honors the best contributions and efforts of the estimated 60,000 American citizens who serve on library boards. 

“We were honored to nominate Bob for this award and were thrilled when notified that he had been selected”, said library director Christine Lind Hage.  Libraries around the country can nominate their outstanding trustees, but only one or two are selected each year.  This year in addition to honoring Bonam, ALTAFF honored a trustee from Illinois. 

Letters in support of Bonam’s nomination were also submitted by library board president Madge Lawson and trustee Doug Tull.  In her letter Lawson stated “Bob is a calming influence on our board.  He not only has been able to critically analyze issues, he brings a very human approach to our decision making.  When difficult situations have arisen, he is able to sooth the situation and bring the board to a negotiated resolution.”

            “During his tenure he has helped new trustees acclimate to their role on the Board.  While his institutional memory is important to explaining why things are done the way they are done, he is a creative thinker and willing to explore new ways of managing our money through an investment advisor, or in implementing new services such as our bookmobile service”, said library trustee Doug Tull.

Bonam has served continuously as a trustee of the Rochester Hills Public Library for 27 years, during which he has also been a member of ALA. Over the years Bonam has served as President and Treasurer of the library board several times. Bonam’s greatest involvement has been with the library’s finances. He helped negotiate a purchase agreement during the sale of the old library, negotiated contracts among three cooperating communities to provide a steady revenue stream for RHPL, while at the same time offering quality library service to the residents of all the communities. He has also been involved in the management and structure of library investments, which have earned the library outstanding returns, and the establishment of a library endowment that has grown from $30,000 to $150,000. Bonham owns and operates his own accounting firm, R. Bonam Accounting.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located at 500 Olde Towne Rd. in downtown Rochester.  The Library is open Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday, 9 am – 6 pm, and Sundays (during the school year) from 1 pm – 6 pm.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

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