Li­brar­ian served city with skills

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Robert ‘‘Bob’’ Duthie, OBE, a for­mer Auck­land City li­brar­ian, died on March 24 at age 97.

He was one of Auck­land’s long­est-serv­ing li­brar­i­ans, end­ing his 35 years of ser­vice with the then Auck­land City Coun­cil in June 1982.

He re­ceived an OBE for li­brary ser­vices in 1979, and was a Fel­low of the New Zealand Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tion.

He was born in the Shet­land Is­lands and moved to Auck­land with his par­ents, aged 10. He grad­u­ated in phi­los­o­phy and Latin from the Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land in 1939.

Af­ter serv­ing with the Royal Aus­tralian Navy dur­ing World War II he en­rolled in the in­au­gu­ral di­ploma course at the New Zealand Li­brary School, and com­menced work as a ref­er­ence li­brar­ian at Auck­land City Li­braries on Jan­uary 6, 1947. He be­came as­sis­tant chief li­brar­ian to John Barr in 1951, and was ap­pointed chief li­brar­ian in 1953.

Robert Duthie lived in Birken­head and was the city li­brar­ian dur­ing the de­sign and move to the new Cen­tral City Li­brary.

He was heav­ily in­volved in the de­sign of the new li­brary meet­ing mod­ern stan­dards, and se­cur­ing fund­ing for the project.

Other no­table achieve­ments dur­ing his ca­reer in­cluded the ex­pan­sion of ser­vices to in­dus­try through a spe­cialised in­for­ma­tion ser­vice, the ex­ten­sion of mo­bile li­brary ser­vices, the com­ple­tion of four new sub­ur­ban li­brary build­ings and the re­fur­bish­ment of most of the other sub­ur­ban li­braries.

He was highly re­garded as a fine manager and leader of peo­ple – quiet, in­no­va­tive and shrewd.

Robert Duthie, OBE.

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