Stillwater News Press

June 10, 2013

Charlie Lou Rouse

Stillwater NewsPress

— Charlie Lou Rouse of Stillwater passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Sunday, June 9, 2013. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Stillwater with burial at Rose Hill Cemetery in Oklahoma City.  Visitation and viewing will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Strode Funeral Home in Stillwater.   

The beloved wife, mother and retired librarian was born Sept. 9, 1924 in Boyton, the only child of Charles Richard and Bonnie Lou Miller. She attended public school in Bristow then graduated from Wewoka High School.  She earned a B.A. from East Central Oklahoma before she went on to earn a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Oklahoma and a library certification from O.S.U.   

Charlie Lou knew she wanted to be a librarian ever since the fourth grade when she was a library assistant.  Her long and distinguished career included working as an assistant reference librarian at O.U., as the library supervisor for Conally Consolidated School District in Waco, Texas, as reference and circulation librarian at Baylor University, and as the high school, then middle school, librarian for Stillwater Public Schools.  

During the 22 years she worked for Stillwater Public Schools, she served as president of the Stillwater Education Association and was named Teacher of the Year.  She was also recognized as an official Centennial Ambassador for Stillwater for having made significant contributions to the city.

Charlie Lou was an active member in the American Library Association, serving on the National Council, the National Nominating Committee and as a delegate for school libraries to the International Federation Library Association, in which capacity she attended meetings in Manila, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Munich and Moscow.  She also served as chairman of ALA’s Nominating Committee for U.S. delegates to IFLA.

She was also extremely active in the Oklahoma Library Association, serving on the awards committee, the constitution and bylaws committee, as co-chair of an Oklahoma Legislative Network and as chairman of the Oklahoma Association of School Library Media Specialists. In 2006, she was honored as a “Library Legend” at an Oklahoma Centennial Celebration sponsored by the Oklahoma Capitol Complex and Centennial Commemoration Commission.

Charlie Lou was an ardent advocate of libraries in public schools and testified before a joint legislative committee for funding libraries in elementary schools. She was a delegate to the Governor’s Conference on Library and Information Services, and was elected as Oklahoma’s school delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services, where she was one of only 50 delegates invited to participate in a symposium on “Reading and Successful Living:  The Family-School Partnership” sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.  

Charlie Lou also served four years as the only librarian among 12 members of the National Advisory Council for Scholastic Books. Each year she traveled to New York and presented a paper to the editorial board, offering recommendations for books and programs to help students, teachers, and librarians. At the end of her term, Scholastic Books presented her with an inscribed chair in gratitude for her service.

She was elected to the executive board of the American Association of School Librarians. She also served on the AASL Search Committee to find a new executive director, and presented a paper at the national conference entitled “New Technology — Effect on Facilities,” which was later published in the Indiana Media Journal.

Charlie Lou married Roscoe Rouse, Jr. in 1945 in Ada.  They were married nearly 68 years. He shared her love of libraries and retired as the Dean of Library Services at O.S.U. Together they traveled the world both for enjoyment and professional purposes. They have two children:  Charles Richard Rouse, an Oklahoma City attorney, and Robin Rouse Wells, a novelist in Louisiana. They also have two grandchildren, Taylor Katherine Wells and Arden Alana Wells.

Charlie Lou and her husband were active longterm members of the Stillwater First Baptist Church. While living in New York during the 1960s, they were one of five couples who started a mission that became Grace Baptist Church in Centereach, Long Island.  Charlie Lou and her husband supported many charities and were life-long supporters of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

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