If anyone embodies all the ideals and scope of achievement that entitles one to be enshrined in the USAO Alumni Hall of Fame, it is Dr. Patterson." - JJ Francais, (2010 graduate)
She is described as a dedicated scholar, a committed educator, the expert on Native American libraries and a pioneer and innovator in library science.
Patterson is the founder of the American Indian Library Association. She has written many articles on collection development, tribal libraries and Native American Librarianship.
The list of her accumulated publications exceeds a dozen pages and includes books and contributions to books, articles, proceedings, reports, professional publications, conference presentations, research papers, consultations and expert witness testimony five times before U.S. Congressional Committees.
She was raised on a Native American land allotment near Apache. She credits her experience growing up there and later as a teacher in a nearby rural school with developing her passion for libraries and library services in Indian country.
Through her association with the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), she helped secure some permanent federal funding for tribal libraries. Most of Oklahoma’s 39 Indian tribes have benefitted from this source of revenue which helps them provide basic library services to their communities.
Patterson is a member of the Comanche Nation.
Patterson is a 1959 graduate of the Oklahoma College for Women. She earned her master of library science and doctorate degree in educational technology from the University of Oklahoma. She is a professor emeritus of library and information studies at OU – having taught at the University for 17 years.
Before teaching at OU, she was a teacher at Boone Elementary School in Apache, Oklahoma; a teacher/librarian at Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma and a library coordinator for Norman Public Schools.
She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums; was named an Oklahoma Library Legend by the Oklahoma Library Association; received an Honorary Membership from the American Library Association and received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Indian Library Association.
Patterson also received the Founders Award from the Native American Libraries Special Interest Group, New Mexico Libraries Association; the Beta Phi Mu Award from the American Library Association; the Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Library Association; the Silver Award from the United States National Commission on Libraries and Information Science; the Equality Award from the American Library Association; the Award of Appreciation from the National Congress of American Indians and the Leadership Award from the American Indian Library Association.
She has served on several national advisory committees and boards including boards and committees with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies, the Libri Foundation, the Native American Library and Museum Project, The Library of Congress -- National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium, the Brodart Foundation, the Native North American Reference Library, the National Center of Adult Literacy, Compton’s Encyclopedia: A Division of Encyclopedia Britannica and the Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation.