Meet the Man Behind the Books in East Haddam: Michael Gilroy

Gilroy is not only serving as the director of both town libraries, but is an active community member as well.


Michael Gilroy is the current Library Director of the East Haddam Free Public Library in Moodus and the Interim Director of the Rathbun Free Memorial Library in East Haddam. Gilroy grew up on Long Island, attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and recieved his Master's of Library Science degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

When he's not hanging out in the stacks, Gilroy enjoys hiking and volunteering in our community. About East Haddam, Gilroy says "It’s the ideal small New England town."

Patch spoke with Gilroy to learn more about "the man behind the books." This is what we found out:

Patch: What made you move to East Haddam for this job? 

Gilroy: Places like East Haddam are one in a million. I grew up on Long Island in a suburb of New York City. There were cars and people everywhere, nobody knew each other’s name – there was no sense of community.

When I came to East Haddam, I was immediately overwhelmed by how tight-knit it was.

Everyone is so nice and neighborly. People say "hi" to you when you see them, it’s a great feeling. It’s the ideal small New England town. It felt like home from the instant I started work and I knew that I wanted to live here and be a part of this amazing community. 

Patch: What do you like best about East Haddam? 

Gilroy: The people. Without a doubt, the amazing mix of personalities and hard workers that get involved and care about their hometown. There’s such an overwhelming sense of pride in who they are and where they live, it’s great to be a part of that.

Patch: What would you like people to know about the libraries in town? 

Gilroy: The libraries are for everyone, they belong to the community. There’s something for everyone. Whether you like art shows, video games, writing, watching movies, reading books, or just relaxing with friends – the libraries have something to offer you.

In my mind, the libraries are the heart and soul of East Haddam. They provide a common ground for all interests. Modern libraries are becoming more and more like community centers – and that’s my goal, to make the libraries the center of the East Haddam Community. 

This town has given me so much to be proud of; I want to add to that by making the libraries a paramount source of town pride.

Patch: What is your favorite book, author and quote?  

Gilroy: JRR Tolkien is probably my favorite author. Tolkien took these fantasy tropes that many people thought of as trite or silly and managed to make an epic out of them that has become a classic.

The themes in his novels of friendship and overcoming impossible odds resonate very strongly with so many people.

My favorite Tolkien quote is “It’s the job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish” which is such an amazing way of telling people to “get it done”, do what you need to do and do it now.

If I had to pick a favorite quote from his written work I would go with “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” 

Patch: What  do you do when you're not at the library?

Gilroy: I guess reading would be too obvious of an answer? I like hiking, which is another reason I love our town so much. Of course, I like to take a book with me when I hike. I’m the secretary of the Lions Club, an adviser to the Leo Club, and Sector Leader on the Local Prevention Council.

These things are all fun for me. It’s a great feeling to be involved in the community and help out (and even greater when you have fun doing it). I guess if it helps people and starts with the letter “L”, I’d like to be involved.  

I like staying positive. I think that’s very important. Be positive, be involved, and do all the good you can.  It’s that philosophy, along with the support of my friends, family, and fiancée that get me through everything.  

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The Stats: Michael Gilroy, MLS

  • Library DirectorEast Haddam Free Public Library
  • Interim Director, Rathbun Free Memorial Library
  • Secretary, East Haddam Lions Club
  • Advisor, East Haddam Leo Club
  • Civic Sector Leader, East Haddam Local Prevention Council (LPC)
  • Event Organizer, Family Night on Moodus Green (Annual Christmas Tree Lighting)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY (studied History & Education)
  • Master of Science, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA (Majored in Library Science)
Money Man October 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM
If you tried for a thousand years you could not find a better man for the job.
Observor October 25, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Money Man is right. And maybe this is the long-awaited opportunity to lay to rest the Moodus-East Haddam rivalry that nobody cares about anymore and fully merge the two libraries' operations (while maintaining the two buildings) in order to stop duplicating efforts.
MSB July 25, 2013 at 09:48 AM
Wow. Just wow. I went to college with him. He never hiked at all. He just sat in his dorm room watching Buffy and playing video games with us. He created a lot of drama back then too. I'm suing him for slander and defamation. Ask him who Shannon was in college. Who Fawn and Diana were. Ask him if he vandalized and left harassing messages on Kevin's door each month and took a picture each time. Granted, Kevin was a pompous child, but Gilroy is by far more of a child than I assumed back then. Gilroy isn't too bright for posting those pictures on Facebook and online back then. I now have digital and printed copies of them, just in case he decides to start something again. My first mistake was getting involved with him. He's your problem now. Not mine anymore. Good riddance. He's a coward, a snitch, and a cheat... and he's all yours. He definitely did something really messed up in his past, even before I met him, and he's been running from it since. Freshman year, he would only sit at a seat with a wall behind him every time we went to a restaurant, as if he was concerned he would get back stab like he did to the people in his past. Guilty conscience, I suppose.
MSB July 25, 2013 at 09:54 AM
Does he still insist on people referring to or calling him Lord Mike the Almighty, or O-Mike-sama, or Buck Champion? Huge ego/ fragile psyche.
MSB August 06, 2013 at 07:33 AM
"... do all the good you can." You can start by apologizing to Shannon for running like a coward back home to Long Island every time she came to visit us in college, and dragging Fawn along with you instead of dealing with the situation you created like a man. Of course, knowing you, you'll find some way to hurt that poor girl again. I don't know her, but I feel sorry for your fiancee. She'll figure it out someday, but unfortunately, it'll be too late for her.
MSB August 18, 2013 at 05:59 PM
We all have thought you would man up someday, but you never will, so let me: By Mike Gilroy: "Shannon, I'm sorry for avoiding you and telling people who didn't know you that you were crazy. I didn't want them speaking to you because I'm afraid of them finding out that you were a decent person and how I treated you. I put you and my girlfriend at the time, Fawn, in a very uncomfortable position. To Fawn, I'm sorry for what I did to you as well. I was too weak to break up with you and allow you to go on with your life without me. I wanted to date other people, but wanted you to want me as well. Yes, during graduation night at Manhattanville, I blamed Shannon for being on campus because you were crying, but it was my own fault for not handling the situation properly. I was the one the cheated on you. And that night, I was upset with myself. You had no right to trust me, and for good reason. As I blamed Shannon for you crying, I was speaking with Diana behind your back. I've wronged you and hurt you so many times. To Mike, that voicemail you left me inviting me to a shooting range with your family, I used that information to make people spaz out to get you in trouble, so I could be accepted by others. I'm also the one that vandalized and threw white paint on your car. And to my family, I need help. I never had a father figure in my life to straighten me out and treat women well. I hide my cowardice and insecurity through my ego. I've wronged people in my life because they started to see that. To my friends who have dealt with my crap over the years, I'm sorry. Thank you." See. How hard was that?
MSB November 20, 2013 at 04:07 AM
This is the same guy who I watched for 4+ years run away from a girl he hurt because he didn't want to face what he had done? Who blamed others for the drama he created instead of himself? Who hid in his dorm room like a frustrated child during graduation night? Yeah, he's all yours. He went out of his way to avoid a girl he hurt. Why should I, or anyone else for that matter, expect anything different from him?


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