New chapter: Library commissioner retires after 53 years

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

MELVINDALE – One of the city’s longest-tenured public servants is calling it quits.

City Council members recently recognized Clare Pavluk’s retirement after 53 years as a member of the Library Commission.

An English major with a business minor at Caldwell College in New Jersey, Pavluk, said she answered then-Mayor William Radak’s call to join the commission in February 1957, when the library was situated in a storefront on Oakwood. She later help set up the rules and policies for the current library building at 18650 Allen Road.

Many of those established the foundation for how the library would be run and still are in place today, including rules for its study rooms.

Pavluk students still use those rooms to study, despite technological advances that bring more people to the library to take advantage of computerized research resources. She said the type of library patrons has not changed, but their technological needs have changed.

Several generations of readers have benefited from the library during her time as commissioner, Pavluk said.

Councilwoman Sue Herman and Mayor Valerie Cadez read a proclamation and prepared remarks honoring the outgoing commissioner at the April 21 council meeting. City Clerk Kelly Spence, City Administrator Paul LaManes and City Attorney Joseph Couvreur recognized Pavluk’s service as well.

Pavluk smiled at the attention and a gift from city officials.

Even as she finishes up one chapter of her life, she plans to volunteer in a less demanding way to help others benefit from books. She hopes to continue helping out with used book sales as well as participating with her book club.

Pavluk enjoys historical books, spy novels and biographies and currently reading Irving Stone’s American historical novel, “Those Who Love,” based on the lives of John and Abigail Adams. She also collects bookmarks and hopes electronic books never replace bound editions.
“On a rainy day, I just love to lose myself in a book,” she said.

Pavluk, a widow, was married for 57 years. She has a son in British Columbia and a daughter in Canton Township, as well as several grandchildren.

Pavluk worked for 15 years in the mortgage department of Michigan National Bank. She also has volunteered with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Although her health is creating a need for her to slow down, she doesn’t want to lose touch with her family, friends and interests.

“I hope the day never comes when I can’t keep busy,” Pavluk said.

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