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In Memoriam: Lyn Olsson

The longtime librarian died Feb. 24.
Lyn Olsson
Lyn Olsson

Dear friend and colleague, Lyn Olsson, died Feb. 24.

She is survived by her husband, Ola, son, Nils, and the other members of her family. 

Information about a memorial service will be available on the SDSU Library website.

Long illness

Lyn had been seriously ill, off and on, for many years.

As she began to understand that her time was limited, she set a goal for herself of living to see Nils graduate from Patrick Henry High School. 

Nils graduated in June 2010.  Lyn attended the ceremony, which, with her typical frankness, she described as being “too long.”

Lovely librarian

Lyn’s time in the library extended from 1980 through 2006, and following her retirement, she continued to contribute to the library’s development activities on a part-time basis until December 2009. 

Her first job in the library was as a clerical assistant in the San Diego History Research Center and University Archives, where she assisted patrons in finding materials, and processed new archival collections.

When the history center left the library, Lyn was reassigned to University Archives. 

Gradually, Lyn broadened her responsibilities into Special Collections, as well as University Archives, working closely with Ruth Leerhoff, Bill Payne and Martha McPhail.

In the 1990s, Lyn was among the first San Diegans to enroll in the newly organized satellite program in librarianship from San Jose State, receiving her MLIS in 1997. 

That same year, Lyn became acting head of Special Collections and University Archives, serving more than four years in that capacity.

Director of development

In late 2001, Lyn became interim director of development for the library.  This role allowed her to build on the connections she had made with the Friends of the Library and others during her time in Special Collections. 

At the beginning of 2003, Lyn moved into a new role supporting special projects and external affairs for Dean Connie Vinita Dowell.  Lyn planned exquisite donor events, served as liaison with the Friends of the Library, and evaluated many gifts to the library.

Interests and hobbies

Lyn was not just about the library, though.  Her many interests ranged from hiking and camping to art and xeriscape gardening.  She loved nature and her work as a guide at Mission Trails Park.

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