KELSEY DICKEY/THE EAGLE
When University Librarian Bill Mayer reads his daughter bedtime stories, she doesn’t tell him she wants to follow in his footsteps.
Instead, 8-year-old Colby wants to be an AU cheerleader.
“That means listening to Miley Cyrus and listening to Taylor Swift,” Mayer laughed.
When he’s not singing along to Cyrus and Swift, Mayer serves as the University Librarian, a job he defines as full of meetings, phone calls, fundraising and relationship building.
Since his 2007 arrival at AU, Mayer has led several changes and projects. Recent renovations to the library include the completion of the first floor construction, with new Reference and Circulation desks.
Other programs include the culture and community series with the College of Arts and Sciences’ Jewish studies program and “Literary Lunchtimes” with the Master of Fine Arts program. Mayer has also instituted half-price double-sided printing that just took effect, where one double-sided sheet will cost 15 cents.
Also, as a crime deterrent, security cameras were installed over winter break in areas of high traffic. A crime wave in fall 2008, when 14 laptops were stolen, prompted the camera installation, according to Mayer.
New audio/video equipment was recently installed in the Mudbox for movie and gaming nights, he said.
Mayer’s own audio preferences, however, include the Grateful Dead. The California native owns a recording of every concert the band ever played.
“They are a major part of the fabric of my life,” he said. “I enjoyed their music, and I enjoyed the travels that I would go out on while following them around. I saw more parts of the country thanks to them than I would have otherwise.”
Travel is a large part of Mayer’s life — he previously lived in California, upstate New York, Seattle, D.C., Colorado, parts of Europe and the Boston area.
It was in Boston that Mayer found his love for libraries, as he, like his daughter, did not have library aspirations as a child.
“I got into libraries honestly because I’d moved to Boston to be with my wife and I needed a job,” Mayer said.
He previously worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology library. It was there he discovered an “incredible feeling of value that would occur when I would connect people who needed information with what they needed.”
Mayer received his Master of Library Science from Boston’s Simmons College.
This love for libraries brought him to AU in 2007, and to his favorite Bender Library haunt: the lobby’s information desk.
“That’s where you get to see everybody coming and going,” he said. “There are times where I like to just stand out there and see what’s happening.”
Watching students, faculty and community members enter the building leads Mayer to compare the library to a university kitchen, as “everybody ends up here eventually.”
But Mayer always ends his days with his daughter. Colby’s current favorite book is “The Cricket in Times Square” by George Selden.