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Professor Margaret “Mimi” Keefe (1941 – 2015)


Professor Margaret “Mimi” Keefe (1941 – 2015)

It is with a heavy heart that I would like to inform the University Community that Professor Margaret “Mimi” Keefe died on June 3, 2015 after a long courageous battle with cancer. She served for over 50 years as a faculty Librarian in the University and was promoted to Full Professor in 2007. We extend our sincere and heartfelt sympathy to her husband, Professor Tom Keefe, and their children and grandchildren. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge a stunning career of dedicated service to the University Libraries and the University Community.

Professor Keefe served in many roles and responsibilities in the library including reference librarian, Head of Reference, Head of Instruction from 1969-1982, Chair of Public Services, and Special Assistant to the Dean and Special Assistant to the Provost. She has been cited for her excellent URI Faculty Publication bibliographies published annually and in book form. Her publications have been online since 1997 to the present. When she died, she was working on the 2014 URI Faculty Publication bibliography. In her role as Head of Reference, she published the URI Serials List as well as selected new reference resources. Her bibliographies are legion. She co-authored a book chapter in Writing Across the Curriculum and the Academic Library (1995). She has also published articles in the Rhode Island Library Association newsletter. She has served as editor for over 16 library and association publications and has produced numerous reference subject guides. She has presented her work on library administration, reference, and instruction at library conferences locally, regionally, and nationally. She was a force in the library public services world and recognized nationally for her work. Her service to the profession and to the university encompasses collaborative work state-wide as well as leadership on campus by serving on many committees and also as a faculty senator.

Mimi has mentored and taught graduate students reference services and thousands of undergraduate students information literacy instruction.

On a personal note, forty-four years ago, “Mimi” was my 1st Professor in GSLIS and she taught not only reference but also how to be a professional librarian. She was a role model and an enthusiastic teacher who instilled professionalism in all that she did. She embodied 4 P’s that she taught her students as lessons for life:

  • Be Passionate: Love what you do, and do what you love.
  • Be Professional: Treat others fairly and follow the American Library Associations Code of Ethics.
  • Be Prepared: As knowledge workers, know your sources, people, and the questions to ask and answer. Seek the truth and teach others how to find it.
  • Be Perfect: She strived for perfection in creating annual URI Faculty Publications with lists and exhibits for the URI Archives and URI Digital Commons.

Her Department Chair, Professor Deborah Mongeau stated, “She is larger than life and will be missed greatly.”

Sincerely yours,

Cheryl A. McCarthy

Interim Dean,
University Libraries

Link to Mimi’s obituary, with information regarding the wake and funeral.
Her funeral will be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at 9 AM from the Avery-Storti Funeral Home, 88 Columbia St., Wakefield, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM in Christ the King Church, 180 Old North Rd., Kingston. Burial will be private. Visiting hours Tuesday 4-7 PM. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Religious Education Program at Christ the King Church, 180 Old North Rd., Kingston, RI 02881.

Public Services Department, University Libraries, 2008

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