One would be hard-pressed to remember meeting either Joe Hrubik or Robert Taylor when they didn’t have a smile on their faces, or a ready pun on their tongues. These qualities will be remembered alongside their legacy of “Good Help” in the annals of the Braille Circulating Library.
In addition to circulating braille resources, the library has a long history of providing audio resources to its members. Joe and Robert’s faithfulness in the creation and circulation of these materials spanned several decades.
When Robert retired from his career with Henrico County, a friend was responsible for the circulation of the library’s audio resources but needed to step down. That friend recruited and trained Robert to take over for him. At that time, the library’s audio division dealt mainly with cassette tapes.
From February of 2006 through December of 2019, Robert faithfully managed the circulation of taped books, music, sermons, etc. Over the years he also took on the replacement and repair of damaged cassettes so that they were maintained at good quality.
Eleven years prior to Robert’s arrival, Joe began his 24-year stint of volunteer service in the library’s audio division. He began recording the cassettes that Robert would eventually circulate to members. At first, he recorded books, thereby building the audio library, primarily the fiction section.
In 1999, Joe moved from recording books to recording the Our Daily Bread publication for circulation. Between them, these two men were responsible for providing well over 100 standing-order members with this publication and other library resources on a monthly basis.
Although their work on behalf of the visually impaired was different from that of their careers, each saw similarities that made them feel “at home” with it.
Robert was used to desk work and fit nicely behind our desks. Joe was formerly a lay leader so slipped easily into speaking to an audience again.
Both Joe and Robert retired from our volunteer staff at the end of 2019.
While both men contributed to the enrichment of the lives of the blind and visually impaired, they also benefitted by their experiences. Robert enjoyed the satisfaction of providing a service upon which others could depend. Joe, a former non-reader, is thankful for the motivation to read.
Thank you, Joe and Robert, for your Good Help and cheerful dedication. You have enabled the Braille Circulating Library to expand its ministry of Strengthening Hearts and Lives through Braille to include audio and digital platforms.