Tampa, Florida

Guest Book

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As a student I worked in the USF library in the late 60's. I always appreciated the efficient operation. I know it was a big job. Thank you Mary Lou.
Reverend Linda Stafford, Dunkirk, Ohio

I met Mary Lou when I applied for a job at the USF 'Library' in 1960. At the time the catalog dept was in a little house on Fletcher (a 2 lane rd) Mary Lou was a wonderful boss encouraged a person to always try harder & do better - I worked for her for 3 years and even though I married & moved out of state we always kept in touch. (still have the Joy of Cooking she gave as a wedding present) She was an inspiring person and someone who will be missed by everyone who knew her.

Mary Lou was the consummate librarian, an intrepid traveler and true friend. I'll miss her energy and winning smile

Mary Lou was one of our first friends when we came to USF in 1994. She introduced us to USF family members who became some of our fastest friends. I also enjoyed working with her in the USF Women's Club as well as in other organizations of which she was a member. What a well-lived life she had!
Quinn and Bruce Bursack

I met Mary Lou almost as soon as I started working at USF in August 1960. In those days there was a shortage of office space, classrooms, etc. My office was temporarily located in the library and I got to know her as a bridge player at lunch-time in the old (then new) 5th floor lounge where we all brown-bagged our lunches. I met my wife-to-be Bernice (perhaps the 10th employee of USF) at those early get-togethers. She worked in the catalog dept. and we were married on Mary Lou's birthday in...

I'll always remember Mary Lou's charming smile and friendly ways. I had the pleasure of working with her at USF Library from 2001-2011, during which time she was on the Library Advancement Board, or in later years, would come to the Special Collections Reading Room to do research. Her daughters stood in for her in January, 2011, when we had an event recognizing the Library's Deans. You are loved & missed, Mary Lou.

I will always be grateful to Mary Lou for hiring me as a cataloger in 1965, in spite of the fact that I did not know how to play bridge. She soon taught me, and we became good friends. And I am especially thankful that she interrupted a vacation golf game to interview and hire Jim Vastine by telephone in 1970. Nepotism rules at USF were very strict then and when I asked her if it would cause any problem if we got married, she responded by sighing and asking if we couldn't just live together...

I came to USF in 1975 as a library employee and graduate student. Mary Lou always took an interest and encouraged me in my studies. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.

I came to USF as a library student and graduate assistant in 1990 and Mary Lou was gracious and giving. I hold very good memories of her as the library director. She will be greatly missed.
Karen Roth, MLS 1991


Mary's Obituary

HARKNESS, Mary Lou 88, passed away on May 13, 2014 in Tampa. She was born Mary Lou Barker in Denby, SD, where her father ran the general store on the Oglala Sioux Indian Reservation. Mary Lou and her brothers walked or rode horseback to the rural two-room school, but by her senior year she moved...

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