• Ben Gur-Arie

Judy Fales, Olivet College Librarian, Retires This Spring


Judy Fales, a longtime member of the Olivet College Community, is retiring. She came to Olivet College in 1992. Fales is currently the director of the library, and has been since 2014.


“I mailed in my resume, and they(the college) needed a secretary. It was during the tenure of the first woman president of Olivet College, Gretchen Kreuter,” said Fales. Before coming to Olivet College, Fales was a secretary for Matt Ingly, United States Senator from Georgia.


“I was a journalism major at the University of Georgia, with more of an advertising and public relations concentration. I was interested in working in the library, and for the accreditation, they needed someone with a master’s degree in library science, which I obtained from North Carolina Central,” said Fales.


Joanne Williams, a friend of Fales and a faculty member at Olivet College met Judy Fales 20 years ago, when Williams first moved here.


“I can’t imagine life at Olivet College without Judy Fales, everybody knows her, especially the students,” said Williams.


And Fales’ favorite part of Olivet College was the students; she went to a big school for college, where she didn’t know the dean of students and such.


Audrey Helfrich, a senior at Olivet College, worked with Fales at the Burrage library for two years.


“She absolutely had an impact on the Olivet College community, she just made the college a happier place, it was infectious. Anyone who walked into the library would just hear her say, ‘hey bud, how are you,’” Helfrich said.


Fales said that if you’re thinking of grad school, schools in the south are less expensive. “It was all online, and I went(for her master’s in library science) part-time, because I had a child at home,” she said.


Fales is also looking forward to retirement. She said she hasn’t played golf since she had twins. She’s planning to sell her house on Yale St, and move to Port Austin, but she may still volunteer at public libraries near Port Austin.


Photos by Ben Gur-Arie.