Lotsee Patterson, an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, devoted her academic career to training American Indians pursuing library and information science careers and to the development of libraries on reservations and tribal jurisdictions. The education she received from OU, a master’s degree in library science ('69) and a doctorate in philosophy in educational technology ('79), provided the knowledge and skills that guided her career, which spanned over five decades. With the goal of educating and improving the lives of American Indian people and communities, she taught at Boone, a predominately American Indian school; Riverside Indian School, a boarding school; and the University of New Mexico, Texas Woman’s University and OU.
During her career, Patterson secured federal funds to establish Tribal libraries and helped to write federal legislation that sustained Tribal libraries. She has received numerous awards for her research and service by various national and state agencies, including being named one of 25 individuals who contributed to the strength of libraries and of noteworthy and sustained contributions by the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Sciences; an Honorary Membership from the American Library Association; a Library Legend of the Past 100 Years by the Oklahoma Library Association; and an Outstanding Alumna Award from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
Her work has also been recognized by the New Mexico Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the Association of Tribal Archives Libraries and Museums, and the National Congress of American Indians.
Patterson’s commitment to service extends beyond her home campus as a consultant to other universities, the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, and many Tribes. In addition, she presented her work and offered her expertise to universities and governments in Canada, Australia, Crimea and New Zealand.