Longtime USF Libraries ‘family member’ and former president of the USF Women’s Club Sue Vastine has made a significant bequest to the USF Tampa Library. Her generous gift will benefit the USF Women’s Club/Grace Allen Library Endowment.
Sue, as well as her husband Jim, worked for the USF Tampa Library for many years, beginning when the library was housed in what is now the Student Services building (SVC). Sue began in cataloging and later moved to serials. She tried to stop working when their son was born, but as she said, “You can’t keep a good librarian down” and was pressed into service during the great card catalog conversion to digital, as she had the rare ability to read and catalog Russian. Sue has also been involved with the USF Women’s Club since 1965, and recalls when the Women’s Club began raising enough money to go from providing textbook funds for one or two students to contributing on a larger scale, by providing collections for all Library patrons to use.
Sue’s late and widely-revered husband Jim Vastine was a charter student at USF beginning in 1960 , beginning his long career in the USF Tampa Library in a Federal Work-Study position while he was an undergraduate student. Listen to Jim’s oral history.
After graduation, Jim went to graduate school at FSU and was later drafted into military service. When home on leave, he would visit his parents in Bartow and then come visit the USF Tampa Library. The Library management would ask him each time if he was out of the Navy and would like to return to work at the Library. “Hiring was very different back then,” says Sue. “Mary Lou Harkness, the library director at the time, was on vacation and on the golf course. They called her and said, ‘Jim Vastine is here and he is out of the Navy. He would like to come work here’ …and she said ‘Fine!’ and he was hired.” Jim took an available cataloging position and then was able to move into his desired role as a reference librarian a year later. He later served, for a time, as assistant director for public services under Sam Fustukjian, even though reference and instruction were his true loves.
Sue and Jim Vastine spent much of their adult lives helping the USF Tampa Library grow and serve the USF community. She chose to give to the Library because of the important work that goes on here, and because it is “near and dear” to the Vastine family. To make your own contribution, contact the USF Libraries Development office here or by calling (813) 974-4433 .