On Sunday, Nov. 20,
community members, Westchester Public Library staff, library board members,
and friends and family of former Library Director Phil Baugher gathered at
the Library Service Center to honor Baugher and officially dedicate the
center as the Baugher Center.
Baugher became the
Library Director of the WPL system in 1979 and held that position for over
36 years, until his retirement in 2015. Through those years Baugher saw many
changes in the library world and did an excellent job of building and
modernizing the library.
It was the idea of
the WPL library board members, the board attorney, and current Library
Director Leea Yelich, to rename the Library Service Center to honor
Baugher’s decades of service to the library and to the community.
"Phil was an
integral part of the community for many years and his positive impact will
be felt for many more to come. Although he is quite humble and didn't serve
the community in order to receive accolades, being able to honor him by
renaming the 'Library Service Center' the 'Baugher Center' seems like a
great way of showing our appreciation for his efforts and that he'll always
be an integral part of Westchester Public Library," Yelich said.
Many of the guests
donned in tie-dye and Hawaiian shirts to pay tribute to Baugher’s style and
love of the Grateful Dead, enjoyed cake and light refreshments as they
congratulated Baugher and shared memories of his tenure at WPL.
Baugher has enjoyed spending time with family, especially with his first
granddaughter, and spent the summer sailing on Lake Michigan.