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June 12, 2007 > Bruce Daniel Vogel, 1934 - 2007

Bruce Daniel Vogel, 1934 - 2007

Submitted By Esther Cummins Vogel

Bruce Daniel Vogel died peacefully April 26 in the presence of his wife, Esther Cummins Vogel, and his son, Eric Bruce Vogel, in Hayward, California. Bruce was born in Long Beach, California, and grew up in Bakersfield, where he graduated from high school in 1952. A resident of Alameda County for forty years, Bruce served as Coordinator of Children's Services for the Alameda County Library System for twenty-five years. He received his master's degree in Library and Information Service at U.C.L.A. in 1967.

Before becoming a librarian Vogel earned his master's degree in the School of Theater Arts at U.C.L.A. He starred in Gilbert and Sullivan musicals and performed in Shakespeare plays during and after his college career. As a member of the Actors' Guild in New York he directed and performed in theater off Broadway during the early 1960s. He performed in summer stock at Laguna Beach, California and was the director of the Bakersfield Arts Theater Society.

During his library career Bruce was well known throughout California libraries for his storytelling and for the elaborately staged plays he wrote and produced in his puppet theater. Over the years thousands of children flocked to the libraries to see his productions.

During the 1970s Vogel headed a committee to revise the standards of service to children in California's public libraries. He taught courses in children's literature and storytelling in a number of colleges, including Calstate University San Jose and Brigham Young University. He conceived and designed The Bookleggers, a program which recruited, trained and supervised outstanding volunteers to visit elementary school classrooms and inspire large numbers of children to become enthusiastic and independent readers. The program was responsible for a marked increase in book circulation among children and has grown in scope over the past twenty years. It has won national awards for excellence.

During his library career, Vogel, wrote for professional journals and contributed to a collection of scholarly essays, Webs and Wardrobes. In his retirement years he wrote three works of fiction under the pen name Daniel Bruce. These published works include The Life and Times of Buck Hooey, the Mote in Saturn's Eye, and the Maestro Letters.

A memorial celebration of the life and work of Bruce Vogel will be held June 18, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Fukaya Room of Fremont Main Library, 2450 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alameda County Library Foundation, 2450 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538 for the Bruce Vogel Memorial Book Fund. These funds will be used to purchase children's books for the Alameda County Library branches.

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