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Published: Thursday, 5/1/2008

Ex-UT librarian was detail-driven

Mary Hartsfield, 90, who for about 30 years was head of cataloging for University of Toledo libraries, died Tuesday in Hillspring Health Care Center, Springboro, Ohio, where she lived four years.

Formerly of South Toledo, she was in declining health after breaking a hip in February, her son, Marvin, said.

She retired from UT in 1981. She made sure each incoming book had an appropriate number for the catalog and a proper place on the shelf, said Leslie Sheridan, who retired in 2000 as UT dean of libraries. Later in her career, that meant coordinating the workings of UT with that of the Ohio College Library Center.

"What made her so very good was that she knew her responsibilities very well," Mr. Sheridan said. "She brought a dedication to making sure that the catalog accurately represented what was in the library so the users could find with ease what they were looking for."

UT pioneered computer cataloging in the early 1970s, and "she was able to adapt very well," said Alan Hogan, retired director of library systems and processing. "She was a great person, easy to work with."

The work "fit her disposition," her son said. "She was a detailed person. She had quite a determination about her, but it was the kind of determination [in which] she made sure it got done herself, rather than expecting someone to do it."

She was born in the Panama Canal Zone. She was 7 when her mother died and was sent to live with family in Toledo. She was a graduate of St. Ursula Academy, the former Mary Manse College, and Rosary College in River Forest, Ill.

She and Marvin "Jack" Hartsfield married in July, 1948, and they moved to Washington state, Nebraska, and Tennessee for his work. He died in January, 1953, and she and their son moved to Toledo. For many years, her brother, Charles Wright, lived with them.

She was a volunteer at the thrift shop at the former St. Anthony Villa.

Surviving are her son and three grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Historic Church of St. Patrick. Arrangements are by the Blanchard-Strabler Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Church, where she was a member, or the Ursuline Sisters in Toledo.



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