Farmington Community Library staff and community were saddened to hear of Beverly Papai’s passing on February 17, 2024. Bev spent 31 years serving the community at FCL and led the organization as Director from 1985 until her retirement in 2004. 

Bev brought a unique combination of compassion, professional excellence and unparalleled creativity to her leadership of the Library. A brief highlight of the projects accomplished under her guidance include: 

  • The first of many strategic planning initiatives that gathered extensive feedback and guidance directly from the community 

  • Establishing the Metro Net Library Consortium, of which FCL was a founding member 

  • Hosting a Gopher server used by the Consortium (a precursor to the World Wide Web!) 

  • Becoming one of the first libraries to have it’s own website 

  • Offering free dial-up internet access to Library resources through the Consortium 

  • A renovation and rededication of the Farmington location in November of 1999 

  • Passing an overwhelmingly supported 15-year millage that funded the expansion of the Farmington Hills location, almost doubling the size of the building and its capacity to serve the community 

FCL’s continued impact in the community is evidence of Bev’s strong leadership. Between 1972 to 2008, the number of Library cardholders increased 157% and the circulation of items increased 134%. 

Over the last ten years, the Library has continued to hold public service as it’s principal responsibility. Over half of the households in the community have FCL Cards. Over the last ten years FCL has averaged over half a million (515,272) in-person Library visits each year and an average circulation of over one million (1,032,378) items each year, excluding only 2020-2021 when Library services were severely limited due to Covid restrictions. 

We are grateful to the individuals like Bev who fiercely led the Library to become a community hub and invaluable public resource. We know that Bev’s life will continue to impact the community through the lasting influence her leadership provided. 

Bev's obituary is available to read through McCabe Funeral Home at the link below. 


Beverly Papai Obituary


“The Main Library stands as a living testament to Bev's wonderful vision and leadership during her tenure as Director from 1985-2004. Her fierce commitment to public service and Library staff was the stuff of legend.  Each of us can well remember her kindness, her sense of humor, and her vision which ushered the Library safely into the Digital Age.” 

~ Geri Furi, FCL Assistant Director 1985-2011

“I am saddened to hear about the passing of Bev Papai, a true inspiration, mentor, and icon. I first met her when I applied for a library page position at FCL in 1981. I didn't realize then how much of an impact she would have on my future and dedication to FCL. 

Despite her busy schedule, Bev always had time to offer guidance and support. I am grateful for her kindness and generosity. She was a true leader and her legacy will continue to inspire generations of librarians."

~ Sherri Vaughn, FCL Business & Nonprofit Outreach Coordinator 

Photos of Bev Papai Throughout Her Time at the Farmington Community Library