Most libraries are places of quiet in order to foster concentration and contemplation. The OSU Institute of Technology Library is no different, except when technical assistant Laurel Behn was working.
“Her laugh, you could hear it across the library,” said Beth Kieffer, the reference and instruction librarian and archivist. “There was no quiet when she was around. She was like an anti-librarian.”
Behn died unexpectedly on Jan. 22. A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday Jan. 28 at 3 p.m., in the Chapel of Peace at Keith D. Biglow Funeral Directors Inc., 1601 N. Wood Dr., in Okmulgee.
Behn had been with the OSUIT Library for 10 years, often the first friendly face visitors saw when they entered the library.
“Laurel was the heartbeat of the library. She loved the students, she loved her job,” said Library Director Jenny Duncan. “She would go out of her way to help anyone who came through the door.”
Originally from Minnesota, Behn worked in library systems while living in California before she moved to Oklahoma.
When Behn wasn’t working, she was spending time with her many grandchildren, Kieffer said.
“Laurel just had this way with people and could make even the most introverted person, like me, open up and talk. She drew you out, she was always interested to hear your story,” she said. “I learned more about how to talk with people from her than anyone else.”
Kieffer and Duncan said Behn is irreplaceable and will be missed by her co-workers, faculty, staff and students.
“She was the face of the library,” Duncan said. “She loved to laugh and that laugh will be missed.”
Friends can stop at the library to share pictures, tokens and memories as well as write out their thoughts and condolences that will be given to her family.