Lake Country Faces: Lifetime librarian is now in charge in Pequot Lakes

Linda Olson returns to where her dad grew up and becomes library's first paid coordinator

Linda Olson, Pequot Lakes Library coordinator, Feb. 16, 2023.jpg
Linda Olson, Pequot Lakes Library coordinator since October 2022, stands in the library's children's room Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

PEQUOT LAKES — Pequot Lakes’ first paid library coordinator spent her working years at a public library in Wisconsin, but she’s no stranger to Pequot Lakes - or its library.

Linda Olson grew up visiting her grandparents and other relatives on Olson Road in Pequot Lakes. Her father grew up there, and she now lives with her parents - Allan and Donna Olson - in their Olson Road home.

Donna Olson helped get the Pequot Lakes Library off the ground and volunteered there. And years ago, Linda Olson helped pack books and materials when the library, which opened in June 2004 at Pequot Lakes City Hall, moved to its own building on Rasmussen Road.

But she didn’t move here until retiring after a more than 35-year career at a Superior, Wisconsin, public library.

Then I decided I needed to get something more, so I decided to go for my master’s in library science.
Linda Olson

Olson was born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where her mom grew up. Her dad was in the Army at that time.


“I actually didn’t get to meet him until I was 15 months old - the day President Kennedy was assassinated,” she said. “It’s the first time I met my dad.”

Her family moved to Wauconda, Illinois, a small town outside of Chicago, where Olson grew up and graduated from high school. She obtained her two-year associate’s degree in library science from a junior college in Grayslake, Illinois.

“Then I decided I needed to get something more, so I decided to go for my master’s in library science,” she said.

She finished her bachelor’s degree in history and then obtained her master’s degree at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas.

I just feel that libraries are a really nice space for people to hang out.
Linda Olson

Library science is the study of libraries, including how to manage the collection, how to select materials, how to catalog and how to interact with patrons.

Olson’s interest in a library career came from her mom.

“She worked in my hometown library while we were in school for a number of years,” she said.

Olson also has a love of reading


“The whole family does. It was something that both my parents instilled in all of us,” Olson said of herself and her two younger brothers. “And it’s continuing on with their children.”

Olson’s entire career was at the public library in Superior, where she worked from 1986 until retiring in August 2022.

She worked as the children’s manager in charge of children’s programming and purchasing materials until 2002, when she became manager of technical services in charge of cataloging all the materials.

We never really considered Illinois our home base. It was always Minnesota.
Linda Olson

Full-time retirement didn’t last long as Olson was hired to work part time as the Pequot Lakes Library coordinator. She started in that capacity Oct. 3.

In addition to her duties at the library, she hopes to develop programs, such as a winter reading program or something for adults. She also plans to do an inventory of library materials.

A visioning committee just met and brainstormed ideas that include a larger meeting space, larger children’s area, more parking and an outdoor space with benches or gazebos.

The Friends of the Pequot Lakes Library recently bought a vacant lot behind the library for outdoor endeavors.

Olson considers libraries important for a community.


“I think it’s a safe place for people to come, obviously to read and stuff like that, but also to do work, do homework,” she said. “It’s a community space for the community. And it’s a free space. And there’s not a lot of free spaces that people can go into and be comfortable and do whatever on their laptops or iPods.

“I just feel that libraries are a really nice space for people to hang out,” she said.

And Olson enjoys living in the community.

“We never really considered Illinois our home base. It was always Minnesota,” she said.

Her parents retired in 1998 in Pequot Lakes after buying a piece of land from Olson’s grandmother. It’s part of the farmland where her dad grew up.

“It’s really a beautiful small town,” she said of Pequot Lakes. “I do not miss the cold by the lake. I’m really, really looking forward to spring because that’s one thing Superior and Duluth don’t have is spring.

“It’s just a matter of getting to know people and getting out in the community,” Olson said.

Besides reading, Olson enjoys knitting and walking on the Paul Bunyan Trail.


Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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