IT Coordinator & Webmaster
Host of Monday Night Walk-In Technology Help Sessions
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Take a break and enjoy live music at the Royal Oak Public Library! Join us in the Friends Auditorium on select Saturdays at 3:00 pm throughout the year for these free performances. This series is sponsored by Friends of the Royal Oak Public Library.
Join pianist Martin Mandelbaum and Friends for a revue of classic Broadway Songs.
Prior to becoming incorporated as a city on November 8, 1921, Royal Oak was first established as a township on January 23, 1819, and then a village on March 18, 1891. The city’s first mayor was George A. Dondero, who later went on to become a Michigan representative to the U.S. House.
Though Royal Oak’s first library appeared in 1852 as a reading room in the Township doctor’s home, it was not until almost the mid-twentieth century before the city’s librarians started collecting information about the city and documenting its history. The local history collection contains:
- Yearbooks for Dondero, Kimball, and Royal Oak High Schools starting in 1928
- Polk City Directories for Royal Oak from 1922 to 1960
- Bresser’s Criss Cross Index for the Royal Oak area covering 1952 to present
- Historic atlases of Oakland County
- A series of lectures by Father Charles Coughlin in addition to his paper “Social Justice” from 1938-1941
- Old City Ordinances
- Royal Oak City Budgets back to the 1940s
- Various City Planning Studies
- Royal Oak and Oakland County history books
- An extensive newspaper clipping file of Royal Oak newspapers
- Microfilm of the Daily Tribune back to the early 1900s
In addition to these resources, microfilm reels of Oakland County census records and mortality schedules are available as well as a local history image gallery on our website that features images of Royal Oak’s World War II service men and women.
The bulk of the materials in the local history collection focus on Royal Oak. There is a separate filing cabinet that contains news clippings related only to Oakland County history.
- Collection Finding Aid: listing important items and subjects in this collection. Compiled by Monica Brady, ROPL Library Science Intern Project, 2011.
- World War II Scrapbooks: This World War II Soldier's Archive was digitally reproduced through funds provided by the Grant Howell Memorial Fund, 2006. Grant Howell worked for the Daily Tribune from 1937 to 1979 including 25 years as managing editor. He is a member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.
- Oakland County Historical Resources a 501(c)3 consortium of libraries, genealogical and historical societies, seeks historical materials pertaining to the Oakland County, Michigan area to make them searchable and accessible to the public. They digitize local history materials and make them available to the world through our website.
- Obituaries published in The Daily Tribune are posted monthly with the assistance of Ranger Data, Inc., a Royal Oak-based technology company. Online obituaries are available for Jan. 2010 – present. Earlier obituaries are available at the library.
- Royal Oak Cemetery List (requires a PDF reader) A listing of names and burial locations in Royal Oak (up through 2012, incomplete)
Need to learn a new language? Want to refresh the language skills you already have? The library has just what you’re looking for! We are pleased to announce the launching of Pronunciator on September 26. With 4000 courses available, Pronunciator gives Royal Oak patrons access to 80 languages. The languages range from Afrikaans to Mongolian to Xhosa (and more in between). The language courses are available in English as well as many other languages. In addition, Pronunciator also provides ESL courses in 50 different languages to help learn and improve English language skills.
All you need to access Pronunciator is a computer with internet access and a Royal Oak Library card. Cards are available to all Royal Oak residents in person at the check out desk.
Please call the library, 248-246-3727, with any questions. Happy Language Learning!
The Royal Oak Public Library has developed a strategic plan for 2009-2013 based on community needs and values and informed by progressive library practices across the nation.
New venue this year! Arts Du Jour, the Charity Preview Party for Ford Arts, Beats and Eats will be held at the Royal Oak Public Library and the Barbara Hallman Memorial Plaza (the green space south of the Library) on Thursday, August 22 from 6:30 – 10:00 pm. The Library benefits from general admission tickets purchased at the library for this event. Tickets are on sale at the Library’s circulation desk for $65 (credit cards are accepted). Ticket holders are entitled to a sampling of food from over 50 restaurants, musical entertainment at two stages, and three cocktail vouchers. Doors open at 6:30 pm. The Library receives 100% of the ticket price as a charitable contribution for tickets purchased at the Library. The Library will be closed at 4:30 pm. Contact Mary Karshner, Library Director, at 248-246-3710, if you have questions. Hope to see you at Arts Du Jour!
Royal Oak Public Library's teens are collecting items to be sent to overseas military service people through the Desert Angel Miracle Box Program. Bring items (or monetary donations to help with the postage) to the library between June 8 and July 18. Join us for a "packing party" at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 18.