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In Memory of Chris Olson (updated 10/2/14)



It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Chris Olson who passed away on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The funeral will be held on October 4 (see obituary for details). 

There will be a Celebration of Life for Chris on Thursday, October 30, from 5:30 – 8:00 at Rauenhorst Hall (ballroom) in the Coeur de Catherine building of St. Catherine’s University. Sponsored by MELSA, Ronald L. Erickson, and the MLIS program at St. Catherine’s.

Chris Olson was the Executive Director of CLIC from October 16, 1995 to September 30, 2005.  When he left CLIC to head up MELSA, the CLIC Board of Directors presented him with a plaque reading:
With thanks and appreciation for your dedicated service to CLIC. Over the period of ten years of service to the Cooperating Libraries in Consortium, Chris has worked to provide improved and more comprehensive library resources and services to library users through the enhanced sharing of materials, operate and manage an integrated, automated library system, develop entrepreneurial initiatives in order to deliver new/expanding content and services, and provide opportunities for staff collegiality, leadership and training.
Chris served on the board of the MN Association of Library Friends for 15 years. He was a former President of the MN Library Association as well as a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the St. Catherine University School of Library and Information Science.
Chris was the recipient of many awards in recognition of his work and charitable efforts with Minnesota Libraries:
2013 Library Friend of the Year – In appreciation of a lifetime of work as a friend of Minnesota Libraries (from MN Association of Library Friends)
2007 President’s Award – In recognition of his significant contributions to the Minnesota library community (from Minnesota Library Association)
2007 SSPiN Advocate Award – In recognition of his outstanding advocacy for and support of paraprofessional library staff (from Minnesota Library Association)
2004 President’s Award – In recognition of your significant and major contributions on behalf of the Minnesota Library Association (from Minnesota Library Association)
1994 Minnesota Library Association Certificate of Merit in recognition of his personal commitment to the Association and his work in the areas of Intellectual Freedom, Public Relations and Youth Services.
Arts Advocate – Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

Chris was an avid pottery collector and book enthusiast. He also enjoyed traveling and the theatre. He was a kind, thoughtful person who cherished the many close friends that he had. He is survived by one sister, Doreen Tollefson, of Detroit Lakes, MN; three brothers, Larry Olson, of St. Louis, MO; Russell (Bonnie) Olson, of Dilworth, MN; and Bruce (Michelle) Olson, of Detroit Lakes, MN; his partner, Ronald Erickson; six nieces; four great nieces; two great nephews; Aunt and Uncle, Jeanine and William Kivi; and numerous longtime friends.

Memorials can be sent to the Moorhead Public Library at 118 5th St S, Moorhead, MN 56560.        

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