Published: July 19, 2020

The University Libraries remember Venita Kruse, a dedicated University Libraries volunteer for 39 years.


(Irina Iriser/Unsplash)


Kruse grew up in Texas and received her BS in Education at Southeast Missouri State University in 1950. She moved to Boulder in 1963 with her husband Gene and their two young daughters. Gene Kruse worked for CU Boulder’s Extension Division, later Continuing Education, until his early death from cancer in 1979. The Kruse daughters graduated from Boulder High School in the early 1970s and reside in Idaho. 

Venita Kruse began volunteering in Norlin Library’s College Library in 1974, under the direction of long-standing libraries employee Ruth Carol Cushman. She remembers Kruse as "an ideal volunteer: dependable, cheerful and always helpful! I also liked the fact that she loved books and for many years carried on a business selling used books by mail—long before Amazon. She was a delightful person to be around. I especially remember how much she liked jazz. Her whole body seemed to respond to the rhythm. I bet she was a great dancer when she was young!" 

The College Library was a smaller venue and supported students in their transition from local and school libraries to the large Norlin Library. Kruse became a book finder in the Norlin Library stacks when the College Library closed and enjoyed this work helping students navigate Norlin Library’s extensive book stacks. In an April 5, 1984 article from the Silver & Gold Record, she reflected “I like libraries, I like books, and I like to keep things in an orderly fashion.”

Kruse strode across campus weekly for her volunteer work over the decades, navigating students, bikes, skateboards and all kinds of weather until she retired from volunteering in 2013, at age 86. In a letter of thanks to Kruse when she retired, a colleague spoke of her “strong and steady presence at a time when the library was enduring constant change” and her “lasting impact throughout the libraries”. 

In addition to her service in the University Libraries, Kruse was a member of the University Women's Club for more than fifty years and especially active in the club’s book discussion groups.

The University Libraries are grateful to Venita Kruse for her decades of service to our libraries community.