Bruce Broker To Retire

July 11, 2021

After over 30 years, Bruce Broker has announced his retirement from College Library. His colleagues are grateful for his devotion to public service, attention to detail, tenacity at solving problems, and commitment to patrons and student staff. It is no understatement to say that Bruce has been the equipment circulation service at College Library since its inception.

Bruce began working at College Library in September 1990 after a stint at the Monroe Street branch of Madison Public Library. His primary role was on the Student Assistant Team, which managed all student staff hiring and schedules at College Library. He also quickly acquired the role that defined most of his career – this intersection of technology support and librarianship.

One of his earliest unofficial responsibilities was being College Library’s first responder when there were problems with ProQuest. These were pre-internet, pre-cloud, stand-alone ProQuest machines. Users would need to find the right CD-ROM and load it in the computer. If there were technical problems, Bruce was the local expert called in to troubleshoot.

When the computer lab was introduced at College Library, Bruce was moved into that unit. At that time, it was mostly some desktop computers, media kits, VHS video tapes, slides and slide projectors, tape recorders, and cassette tapes. Bruce continued being a jack-of-all-trades, supporting both the student supervisor processes and the equipment circulation.

As the student demand for technology and AV equipment expanded, so did Bruce’s impact. The circulation of media transitioned to circulation of equipment, and Bruce developed our circulation policies, investigated methods for protecting the equipment from damage, trained the students, and handled any circulation questions, lost equipment, or fine disputes.

Throughout the years, Bruce has also staffed the Reference Desk at College Library, demonstrating his deep knowledge of our services and systems, as well as his ability to solve problems and his commitment to public service. A fellow desk staff commented to me recently how he was “in awe” at how well Bruce could work with an angry, frustrated patron, solving their library issue, and often even helping the patron walk away in a better – if not outright positive – mood. He also provided valuable technical support to the library’s Great Pumpkin Contest for many years – determining who came the closest to guessing the weight of our giant pumpkins!

Bruce’s last day on the clock is July 17, 2021. He is looking forward to spending more time with his family – especially fishing with his kids.

— Dave Luke