Meet the Principal Consultant

Christine A. Olson, , M.L.S., M.A.S.


• Received graduate business degree (M.A.S.) from John’s Hopkins University in 1984
• Received Master’s in Library & Information Science in 1976 from the University of Maryland
• Received B.A. in Art History from Temple University in 1973

Biographical Highlights

As the principal consultant of Chris Olson & Associates, Chris Olson is the energetic spark and experienced knowledge asset at the center of the firm’s extensive capable marketing and information service resources. Before starting Chris Olson & Associates, Chris’ professional career included:

• establishing a library for a small electrical engineering firm
• supervising the development and distribution of information products through the library network& databases of NASA
• managing the information services and databases on a large DoD electrical and software engineering contract
• developing virtual information products for distribution to an international audience over the Arpanet (predecessor to the internet)
• evaluating and recommending library services for an airline industry company
• participating as a member of the team responsible for the design, development and implementation of PDQ, the cancer information and expert database of the National Cancer Institute

Since founding Chris Olson & Associates in 1984 Chris has been engaged by a wide range of clients to consult on a variety of marketing-related projects including: marketing plans, pricing strategies, packaging plans, logo designs, promotion pieces, training materials, personal sales programs, image assessments, advertising campaigns, direct mail efforts, conference exhibits, web sites/knowledge centers, product development and rollouts of reporting services and databases, public relations/outreach activities, online and paper-driven survey research, and library reinvention projects.

During her 18 years as a library marketing consultant Chris has actively introduced and adapted marketing management tools to special libraries. Her early consulting days included a seemingly endless tour of seminars and workshops devoted to instructing colleagues on marketing concepts and sharing ideas. Her teaching experience includes several years as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Maryland College of Library and Information Services where she taught graduate courses in marketing management to librarians.


Ms. Olson has given scores of presentations at conferences and has been the invited keynote speaker at international library and information service conferences. Chris is the author of numerous articles, the most recent being “What's In It For Them? Communicating the Value of Information Services” in the November 2002 issue of Information Outlook, the official journal of the Special Libraries Association.

When it became impractical to criss-cross the country with seminars, Chris put her ideas and insights to paper. In 1987 she began publishing her newsletter, Marketing Treasures, a bi-monthly publication devoted to providing its readers with tips and insights into library marketing. Today the Marketing Treasures editorial staff is on sabatical, in preparation for restructuring and reissuing the newsletter as a free e-letter. Back issues with our sage marketing advice are available as pdf files.

The early 1990s witnessed an explosion of promotion materials being produced by librarians, creating a need for unique library clip art. In 1992 Chris published her first in a series of library clip art collections. Olson’s Library Clip Art is now a collection of four volumes featuring 690 graphics available on CD.

In 2001 Chris launched, a database-driven web site offering single, full color images for online purchase. More than 3,500 libraries around the world use graphics from Chris’ clip art collections to illustrate their communications materials.

The offices of Chris Olson & Associates are based in the home of Chris and her husband Todd, located outside of Annapolis, Maryland, USA. This arrangement makes for a very short commute and encourages Chris to hope that video telephones never materialize. It also permits the resident cat, DaVinci, to contribute freely to critical decisions, such as when Chris should feed her. Chris and Todd enjoy traveling overseas and together they have travelled to colorful places in Asia and Europe. Chris also enjoys gardening and is an avid golfer.

A list of the major milestones Chris Olson & Associates has achieved over the years is available to peruse.

For additional background information about Chris Olson , you are invited to read a chapter she wrote for a book on alternative careers for librarians (132K pdf file).

Updated 11/25/02