Remembering Jacqueline Mirabile, Former Reference Librarian and Team Leader for Information and Research Assistance
“She was unflappable, kind, and had a wonderful dry humor. Above all she was kind, always kind.” —Jutta Seibert, Librarian for History, Art History and Global Interdisciplinary Studies
The campus community and Falvey Memorial Library are saddened to hear the news of the passing of former library staff member Jacqueline (Jackie) Mirabile. Born and raised in Vermont, Mirabile, a devoted Catholic, played the piano and organ at local parishes to help fund her education. She was Valedictorian of her class at Mount Saint Mary Academy, graduated Trinity College with a major in history, and earned a master’s degree in library science from Simmons College.
Before joining the Falvey Library staff, Mirabile worked at the Free Library of Philadelphia and a regional patent company. She was the second full-time reference librarian hired at Falvey Library by then head of reference Louise Green in 1982. “For nearly thirty years, Jackie provided dedicated, exemplary professionalism as a reference librarian (and team leader for information and research assistance) at Falvey Library until retirement in 2011.” She taught numerous research sessions as the liaison librarian to the psychology and education & human resource departments. “Mirabile also served on Falvey’s Management Policy Group (MPG), communication team, and the University-wide Villanova Quality Improvement (VQI).”
Mirabile was dedicated to providing exceptional service to the Villanova community. As former co-worker Barbara Quintiliano wrote, “The real effort to provide service is the one thing that has remained constant throughout the evolution of her profession, and her favorite aspect of the job was ‘finding what the patron wants’—something all librarians know well as the love of the hunt.” She was a great resource for Villanova University students, faculty, staff, and her Falvey co-workers. As Seibert reflected, “I was lucky enough to work with Jackie for more than 10 years. She never tired of mentoring new staff members and her extensive knowledge of Catholic reference sources, Villanova history, and census data were often a lifeline for me. After she retired we bought season tickets for the Villanova Theatre as a way to stay in touch and we had a great time going to the shows together.”
Her colleague Laura Hutelmyer, former Acquisitions & Electronic Resources Coordinator, expressed her gratitude in working alongside Mirabile. “Jackie was always such a great resource for so many things, but what I appreciated the most were her book recommendations. While we worked together it was easy to find Jackie, discuss our favorite books and get ideas for new reads. When she retired I really missed her and our discussions. Fortunately, one spring I was invited as a guest to the Retiree Luncheon, and there was Jackie! I made a bee line for my book buddy and we picked up right where we left off. When I think of Jackie I will always remember her calm demeanor, her smile, and the friendship we developed over the love of books.”
When she wasn’t reading (or sharing recommendations), Mirabile enjoyed gardening and puzzles—specifically Scrabble. Demian Katz, Director of Library Technology, credits Mirabile with helping to start the first Falvey Library “game lunch,” a tradition that continues with library staff. “I very much enjoyed working with her,” said Katz. “The first iteration of ‘game lunch’ was a small group of us, including Jackie, playing Scrabble on a regular basis. Jackie always won—she was an astonishing Scrabble player—but it was fun regardless of its inevitable end.” Luisa Cywinski, Director of Access Services, often referred to Mirabile as “The Queen of Scrabble.”
Mirabile passed away on Dec. 31, 2021, in Haddonfield, NJ. She was 84. View her full obituary here. For more on Mirabile’s work at Falvey Library, view her retirement announcement. Jackie will be greatly missed at the Library and throughout the community.
Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.