Margaret M. Guccione, Goucher IT librarian, dies

Margaret M. Guccione, a retired Goucher College information technology librarian and volunteer who helped place stray animals, died Oct. 8 of colon cancer at her Butchers Hill home.

She was 67.

Margaret McFarlane, the daughter of a physician and a nurse, was born and raised in Alton, Ill.

After graduating in 1961 from Marquette High School in Alton, Ms. Guccione earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1965 from St. Louis University.

She taught English in St. Louis until moving to Germany in the late 1960s with her first husband, David Guccione, whom she later divorced.

After returning to the United States, she worked as a librarian in her children's elementary schools in Carbondale, Ill., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Florissant, Mo., before moving to Canton, N.Y., when she took a job at St. Lawrence University.

Ms. Guccione earned a master's degree in library science from the State University of New York at Albany, and a second master's degree in English from the State University of New York at Potsdam.

During her years at St. Lawrence University, where she was a reference librarian, Ms. Guccione helped pioneer, implement and manage a network-based access information and technology system.

As a Fulbright scholar from 1993 to 1994, Ms. Guccione taught online search techniques to librarians in Bucharest, Romania, and later was acting university librarian at the John Cabot School in Rome.

Ms. Guccione joined Goucher College in 1994 as a teacher in library research instruction and manager of library technology.

For many years, she chaired the annual Julia Rogers Research Prize jury, organized National Library Week celebrations and was discussion leader for the new-student summer reading groups.

She joined with colleagues in the college's English department and student writer groups to organize numerous poetry readings and other literary events.

She also established Mid-Atlantic Innovative Users Group, a support and networking group for online researchers, that grew in membership and holds an annual conference.

In 2008, Ms. Guccione co-led a three-week tour with Goucher, Pennsylvania State University and Dickinson College students to Vietnam, where they studied the history and culture of the Southeast Asian county.

Ms. Guccione later co-wrote an article with two other authors about their experiences in Vietnam that was published in the Journal of Library Administration.

"Margaret and I were very close friends. She was very unassuming but highly intelligent and quick-witted," said Susan D. Ezell, an access services librarian at Goucher. "She was always so kind and tolerant."

She said it was Ms. Guccione's responsibility to teach faculty, staff and students how to use various computer systems.

"I must say, she was very tolerant of us, very patient and kind, even though she hated that word," Ms. Ezell said laughing. "She was very true to her pupils and humanistic. How tolerant she was of our ignorance."

Ms. Ezell said that Ms. Guccione was a popular campus figure.

"The students would see her out and she worked very closely with the English Department faculty, where she was a team teacher. She taught critical thinking and how to access information," she said.

Mrs. Ezell described her colleague as a "small person who always moved very fast."

"She was always running through the building because she had a purpose in mind. And she never minded being interrupted, which some days seemed like a million times. She'd drop everything and do what she could to help," she said.

Ms. Guccione, an animal lover, decorated her Goucher office with pictures of dogs and a quilt she had made.

Ms. Guccione retired earlier this year.

A Butchers Hill resident since 1996, Ms. Guccione was a longtime volunteer with the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, where she also loved to train and help find homes for rescued cats and dogs.

She was also a familiar figure to other dog walkers in Patterson Park, where she enjoyed walking with her "beloved dog Cooper," family members said.

In 1994, she married Jon W. Gibbons, an architect who works in the facilities department of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

The couple enjoyed spending time at a second home in Neptune, N.J., where they liked working in their gardens. They also enjoyed watching baseball and traveling and were supporters of the Concert Artists of Baltimore.

A memorial service will be held 4 p.m. Thursday on the lawn of the Julia Rogers Library at Goucher, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a son, David Guccione of Tauranga, New Zealand; two daughters, Lisa P. Guccione of Neptune, N.J., and Mara R. Guccione of Berkeley, Calif.; a stepson, Elliot Gibbons of Wilmington, N.C.; a stepdaughter, Laura Chaplin of Caxton, England; her mother, Bertha McFarlane of Godfrey, Ill.; eight brothers, John McFarlane, Paul McFarlane, James McFarlane and Joseph McFarlane, all of Alton, Peter McFarlane of Kalamazoo, Mich., Thomas McFarlane of Kalispell, Mont., Andrew McFarlane of Atlanta and Robert McFarlane of London; two sisters, Anne Mangus of Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Mary Vaughn of Alton; and four grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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