Julia Claire Blixrud was born on December 7, 1954, in Mahnomen, Minnesota to Alden and Eileen Blixrud. She died October 29, 2014, in Lawrence, Kansas. She is survived by her husband, Keith Russell, her mother, Eileen Blixrud, brother, Craig (Susan) Blixrud, sister Wendy (Ellworth) Beckmann, sister-in-law, Julie (Terry) Spangler, nephews and nieces, cousins and many friends and colleagues throughout the world. Her father, Alden Blixrud, preceded her in death. Services will be held on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence, Kansas at 2:00 p.m. with visitation starting at 1:30 p.m. Burial will take place Monday, November 3 at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.
She was very active at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence. She was often assistant minister, reader, cantor, and choir member at most every church that she joined throughout her life.
Julia received an M.A. degree in Library Science in 1979 from the University of Minnesota. She held a B.A. in Scandinavian Studies and Library Science from Augsburg College, Minneapolis. She graduated from high school in Stewart, Minnesota.
She was the Assistant Executive Director, Scholarly Communication, for the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in Washington, D.C., a position she assumed in 2009. During earlier years at ARL (since 1996), she also worked with other programs, such as Statistics and Measurement; Research, Teaching, and Learning; Leadership Development; the Office of Leadership and Management Services (OLMS); and the Visiting Program Officers program. For several of her years at ARL she was also heavily involved in SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
Julia started her library career at Minitex, an information and resource sharing program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries. In 1983, she moved to Washington D.C., were she became Project Manager of the CONSER A&I Coverage Project for theAssociation of Research Libraries. Then she headed up the National Serials Data Program at the Library of Congress, followed by a Program Officer position for the Council on Library and Information Resources. She then became the Director of Training and Education for the CAPCON Library Network (also in D.C.), before moving to ARL.
Julia’s achievements over her thirty-five year career leave a strong legacy in academic and research librarianship, a field in which she was well known, much loved, and greatly admired. She was especially known by all (colleagues, family and friends) for her optimism, openness, and welcoming smile.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Trinity Lutheran Church or Lawrence Memorial Hospital – Oncology Center and may be sent in care of the mortuary.