Lois Coutant and Florence Grueser both started at OHIO Libraries in the early 1970s, and they have stayed here for over four decades, witnessing change at both the Libraries and the University. They were recently honored with Classified Service Awards from the University.
Coutant, library support senior specialist in metadata services, started in August of 1971. Her first position was as secretary to Mildred Dugas, head of the technical services division, then moved to the catalog department. Coutant started at OHIO five days before the Libraries created the first online cataloging record for OCLC. The catalog department is now known as metadata services and deals with materials in several forms, not just print.
Coutant said she has enjoyed her 45 years at the Library, especially her interactions with the community.
“My most amazing thought is that 45 years could pass so quickly and I’ve always appreciated the opportunity to serve our staff and students,” she said.
Grueser, library support specialist in acquisitions and collections services, began at OHIO Libraries in October of 1970. She worked for 16 years, left when her twins were born, then returned to the Libraries. She also saw the beginning of OCLC cataloging and has been a part of the Libraries as they have changed over the past 45 years.
“When I first started here [at Alden Library], we were pulling cards [from the card catalog] for corrections. We would have to get the electric eraser, we put them back in the typewriter, lined it up, and typed the corrections on them,” Grueser said. “We don’t have that now.”
She said she has made valuable friendships at the Libraries and has fond memories of spending time with other librarians.
While Coutant and Grueser have been a part of many changes at OHIO Libraries, the goals of the Libraries in providing the research materials the community needs has stayed the same, thanks to the dedication of librarians like them.