Orlofsky receives Troy University’s Book Token Award

Dr. Chris Shaffer, Dean of Libraries, (right) presents Professor Michael Orlofsky with the 2021 Book Token Award.

Dr. Chris Shaffer, Dean of Libraries, (right) presents Professor Michael Orlofsky with the 2021 Book Token Award.

Michael Orlofsky, Professor of English and director of Troy University’s Creative Writing program, has been honored with the University’s Book Token Award for the support he has demonstrated for the TROY Libraries.

Presented during a presentation on Tuesday at the Troy Campus Library, the award recognizes faculty who provide service to and support of Troy University Libraries. The award has been presented periodically in the past but was reinstated as an annual award in 2018.

“We are very happy to give Professor Michael Orlofsky the Book Token Award. Professor Orlofsky has always been an active user of the library and he encourages his students to come to the library as often as possible,” said Dr. Chris Shaffer, Dean of the Libraries. “He brings his classes here, and he has been great about making recommendations to our liaisons about how to improve the collection.” 

Michael Orlofsky, 2021 Book Token Award recipient

Orlofsky joined the University’s faculty in 1988 and has served as the director of the University’s Creative Writing program since 2003. He received the University’s Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching in 2018 and was named TROY’s Faculty Member of the Year by the Sun Belt Conference in 2019. He is a past president of the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama.

“My first day on the campus was June 20, 1988,” Orlofsky said. “Three memorable things happened to me on that day. Number one, I interviewed for a job with our former chancellor, Dr. Ralph Adams, and the dean of Arts and Sciences at the time, the late Dr. Johnny Long. Number 2, I met the woman whom I would marry. And three, I set foot in this building.”

Orlofsky recalled that first visit as he climbed the wide stairs leading the “stacks” on the second floor. What he discovered at the time were shelves made of cinder blocks and pine boards. The library has changed greatly through the years, and Orlofsky praised Shaffer for the work that has been done to modernize the facilities and the collection, making it “extremely user-friendly for students.”

Orlofsky called the library the cornerstone of the University.

“Everyone knows where the library is,” he said. “It is the cornerstone of every university. Libraries are the repositories of the world’s knowledge, and I’m so proud of our librarians that they have built a platform here to investigate what the world is becoming. Sometimes you will come to the library and it will be jammed with students. The library is where students come to feel at home, safe and secure.”

Orlofsky holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Jacksonville State University, a master’s degree in English with an emphasis in writing from Penn State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Orlofsky’s wife, Dr. Diane Orlofsky, Professor of Music, also is a previous recipient of the award.