After 37 years with the Health Sciences Library, Roy Robinson retired at the end of March.
A Colorado native, Roy graduated from Metro State College with a degree in Biology and a minor in Philosophy. He served on active duty with the U.S. Navy. After graduating from college he sought civilian employment and ended up working as a lab assistant for the Colorado State Health Department, located quite close to the old Dennison building – he was able to watch the building additions going up during his lunch-breaks. However, the hard work – coupled with low pay and close encounters with a few too many dangerous viral and bacterial cultures – caused him to seek employment elsewhere. He started taking business classes, then came across a posting for a State job here at the library in March of 1977. It was better paying than the Health Department – as well as less biohazard-ly dangerous! – So he accepted the Circulation position. His background in Biology served him well in the medical field.
Over his 37 years here, Roy has worked in every department of the library under five different directors, and has seen some pretty dramatic changes along the way. At one time, there was only one computer in the library, and patrons relied exclusively on card catalogs and the knowledge of the librarians. Internal reorganizations transferred him department to department, but his skills and adaptability helped to ensure his value wherever he ended up. At one point, he worked in three different departments at the same time.
In 1972, he transferred from the Navy Reserve to the Colorado Army National Guard. During the Gulf War, he was activated to duty with the 147th Combat Support Hospital, but he was not stationed overseas. While on duty he earned his LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) license, continuing to pursue his interest in medical assistance during emergency situations. In 1991, at the end of the war, he returned to the Circulation Department of the library. He was placed in charge of all of the building’s photocopiers – which, in the days before email and electronic journal access, were just as essential as the books themselves! (Incidentally, they also brought in a considerable amount of revenue: enough to pay his full wages and then some.) As the internet rose in prevalence, Roy was at last phased into Administration, where he handled supplies.
Roy’s passion for emergency medical assistance will continue into his retirement: he is becoming more active as a volunteer in Cultural & Historic Resources Emergency Management. With them, he will ensure that historical communities are protected in cases of emergencies, such as the unprecedented flooding of last autumn. He will also become more involved in the local DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team). When not volunteering for emergency management organizations, he will be assisting his brother in the care of his elderly aunt.
Thank you, Roy, for 37 years of dedication and service, and a friendly smile in the library!