CTR Wishes all the Best to Lavonne Fries

Written by Laurinda Weisse, University Archivist

Lavonne Johansen
Lavonne graduated from Kearney State College majoring in Family & Consumer Science (AKA Home Economics) in 1969. As a student, she was an R.A. in Martin Hall and worked in the Child Development Lab. LaVonne joined the Calvin T. Ryan staff on October 1, 1984. While she has worked in a number of departments over the years, her abiding passion is helping students. After 31 years, 1 month, and 4 days, Lavonne is retiring from UNK.

LaVonne was initially hired to work on retrospective conversion, gathering the information from the card catalogs and seeing what needed to be changed. The hours (12-9) didn’t fit her schedule well, so she transferred to the curriculum collection. Her time working in the curriculum collection was her favorite. As she told me during a recent interview, “We would help students find things…we could go and show them. A lot of students, including me when I was one, didn’t know what the curriculum department was, so I was learning right with everybody else.”

After curriculum, LaVonne moved to the serials department. Before the rise of databases and other online sources, print serials took a lot of time. Each month, LaVonne helped prepare all the recent serials for binding. Then, when the newly bound periodicals made their way back to the library, she checked the bindery’s work, because “sometimes they didn’t get glued as good as they should have or they got cut too close”.

Mostly recently, she has assisted in the Archives, sorting out a collection of photos and adding the names of the many people she recognizes.

LaVonne has weathered her share of library floods, changing work spaces, and drastically shifting technology, all with grace and humor. We will greatly miss her knowledge, but wish her a happy retirement!

1969 Blue & Gold Yearbook p.271
Lavonne Johansen

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