Passionate about both books and people, Lois C. Olsrud always felt at home in the library. She liked digging up answers and growing her knowledge, and felt driven to help others. Ms. Olsrud felt the best way to combine the two was by becoming a librarian and working in schools. Once she earned a Master of Arts in library science from Indiana University in 1966, she joined the University of Arizona as a humanities librarian and the rest was history. Ms. Olsrud really enjoyed her work, so much so that she remained with the institution until her retirement in 1996. Some of the other capacities she served in there were central reference librarian and fine arts librarian.
One of the highlights of Ms. Olsrud’s career was the fact that an endowment was started in her name at the University of Arizona. The head librarian started the fund when she retired, and when the amount reached more than $100,000, deserving librarians could apply. The process involves obtaining recommendation letters showing their outstanding work and getting evaluated by an appointed committee. Another highlight was Ms. Olsrud’s time with her church choir. They had a wonderful directory that made several trips to Europe, and even sang in Germany before the Berlin Wall came down and in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Outside of her work, Ms. Olsrud was very active in her community. She served on the Library Services to the Aging Population Committee of the American Library Association from 1990 to 1995, and on the Chapter Executive Board of the American Association of University Professors from 1987 to 1988. She was also the secretary and the Upsilon Chapter president of Delta Kappa Gamma, a volunteer with the Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, and a member of the Association for Women Faculty, the Arizona Library Association, the Arizona Online Users Group, Phi Lambda Theta, and Beta Phi Mu.