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Public Library

Posted on: October 1, 2021

In Memoriam-Muriel Desloovere


Muriel Desloovere, president of the Friends of the Library the past 12 years, passed away suddenly September 25. This bio was published in 2012 by Phyllis Ruscella, the previous Library Administrator. It has been updated to this year.

Muriel Desloovere is in her 12th year as the President of the Friends of the St. Pete Beach Library organization. Her leadership skills have contributed to the success of the membership, the fundraising efforts, and the positive impact the group has on the Library programs and services.

Muriel was born in Brussels and grew up in Concord, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Barnard College and Fordham University Law School. She met her husband while both were working for the Associated Press and for many years practiced corporate law in New York City and Tampa.  

With the help of the hard-working members of the Friends’ Board, the St. Pete Beach Library has made some great strides during Muriel’s tenure as President of the Friends. Revenues from the bookstore managed by the Friends steadily increased, the holiday silent auction of baskets of books is very popular, and other initiatives were undertaken. In addition, Muriel is a key member of the Book Discussion group, a member of the library’s team of volunteers, and an avid reader.  

The Friends can be counted on to support Library programming with funding, planning, and with their attendance. Muriel is an outstanding team leader who understands the value of public libraries and the patrons who are served. Her contributions to the Friends group, the St. Pete Beach Library, and its staff have set a standard that can be an inspiration for others.

Thanking all the Friends for their condolences, Muriel’s brother Philip added, “Thank you all for your condolences. My sister often spoke about the library, and I know that it gave her great pleasure to work with you all and be a part of a community of like-minded readers. She was always an avid lover of the arts and was never happier than when she was at the opera, the ballet or the library-except maybe when she was engaged in supporting those things. 

“I hope that you will all continue in keeping the library flourishing in her name as I know that she would very much want you to carry on maintaining this rich source for the community.”

The Friends hope to help organize a possible Celebration of Life for Muriel in mid-November when Philip and other family members will be in town, with details on this Website.

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