Librarian served city with skills
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.