NOTE: Washington Square Branch Library will be CLOSED June 21-24 for repair. Normal open hours at all other locations.

Richard Joyce

  • Friends Board President
  • 269-553-7821 | Email

Richard  Joyce

I grew up in Kalamazoo and graduated from Kalamazoo Central High and from Western Michigan University. One of my memories of childhood is searching the shelves in the Kalamazoo library's children's room, looking for kid's mysteries I hadn't yet read. These days when reading to my grandchildren from books from the children's room (much bigger and more attractive than it was then) and from the Friends' bookstore I feel like I am enjoying my childhood reading experiences all over again.

I've retired now, after teaching at Western for 35 years, specializing in intercultural communication and in sociology of the mass media. Part of the pleasure of retirement is having time to pick up and read whatever sort of book strikes my fancy, often books about history, nature, Asia, travel, and of course mysteries. And another joy of retirement is volunteering for the Friends of the Library and, with others, sorting incoming donations in the library garage. It's great fun to see the variety of wonderful (and occasionally awful!) books that people have read or studied or treasured, and that they have donated to the Friends so others can own them. Looking at the donations provides an interesting profile of the interests and concerns of the Kalamazoo community.

Serving on the Board of the Friends isn't as much fun as sorting the books that are donated (and certainly not as much fun as playing tennis or bird watching or doing things with grandchildren), but I do get a lot of satisfaction from helping with a group that both contributes to Kalamazoo's wonderful library and that, through the Friends' store and sales, helps so many good books find new owners and readers.