Donor gift directed at strengthening the Miami University Libraries system

Mansfield’s lifelong love of libraries inspires major gift
Class of 1968 alumna spent entire career at Library of Congress

By Vince Frieden, strategic communications coordinator, Miami University Libraries

In the case of Judy Goacher Mansfield ’68, mother really did know best.

With her Deerfield Beach, Florida, community setting up its first public library in the 1950s, Mansfield’s mother recognized an opportunity for her daughter to learn a valuable lesson about serving her community. She volunteered young Judy to unpack, sort and shelve books.

Little did mother know that she had inspired a future librarian.

Mansfield, a longtime advocate of the Miami University Libraries who served a decorated 41-year career in the Library of Congress, recently announced a major cash and planned estate gift in support of the Libraries. The flexible fund will provide support for staff, collections and facilities toward the ultimate goal of strengthening the overall Libraries’ system.

“The University Libraries are fortunate to have an alumna and friend as knowledgeable and passionate about our field and as dedicated in her service as Judy Mansfield,” Dean and University Librarian Jerome Conley said. “Her volunteer leadership has been invaluable to the University Libraries over the years, and the generous support given by Judy and her husband, Vincent Treacy, positions us to take important next steps at a time when our Libraries are envisioning the future.”

The daughter of two Miamians, Mansfield spent her early years in Oxford and attended kindergarten at the McGuffey School. Her family moved to Florida during her first grade year, but never lost their Oxford connection, making occasional trips back and welcoming visits from vacationing Oxford friends.

Mansfield was the only of her siblings to choose Miami for college and found herself immediately at home. She still recalls, with fondness, passing through Upham Arch on her way to class each morning during her freshman year. In Kappa Kappa Gamma she found friendships that endure to this day with annual get-togethers.

Upon earning her degree in the classical humanities, Mansfield, who had wanted to be a librarian since the age of 13, went on to earn a master’s in library science from Case Western Reserve University. She received job offers from Columbia University, the New York Public Libraries and the Library of Congress. Mansfield laughs now that her decision probably had most to do with not wanting to follow her sister, to whom she had been compared much of her life, to New York.

It was also the right choice.

Mansfield spent 41 years at the Library of Congress, rising from special recruit intern to chief, U.S./Anglo Division by the time of her 2010 retirement. Highly regarded in the library community, she wrote and spoke widely on the topics of cataloging and acquisitions on behalf of the Library of Congress and received numerous awards for her work. She also was active in the American Library Association (ALA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), serving both in elected and appointed positions.

Most valuable from her experience was the education she received from her coworkers. Through a network of foreign offices and by other means, the Library of Congress acquires foreign publications in some 470 languages for its collections, as well as for other research libraries.  Cataloging and servicing these collections requires a highly diverse staff.

“I came from a small, segregated community in Florida and suddenly had this opportunity to work with Indonesians, Iraqis, Japanese, Eastern Europeans and so many others,” Mansfield said. “It changed my life forever, and the people there really created my joy. I just loved my career.”

Mansfield still views libraries as a presence that can draw people together. She previously served on the Libraries Campaign Steering Committee during the Miami University Campaign For Love and Honor and now serves on the Libraries Alumni Advisory Board.

Her gift demonstrates her commitment to an important goal.

“I want Miami’s libraries to have the same prominence in the library world as Miami University has in the academic world,” Mansfield said. “The quality of a university’s library system is part of a university’s accreditation process, and I want to do what I can to make sure Miami’s libraries are valued on the same level as other areas of campus.

“The Libraries have already done a lot to get there, and they are in capable hands under Dean Conley’s leadership. I’m excited to support the drive, energy and imagination that I see shaping the future of the Miami University Libraries.”