New University Librarian William Mayer said he plans to improve the appearance of the library and gain feedback from students and faculty to make further improvements.
Mayer said he wants to change the library’s reputation by focusing on the student experience and giving support to on-campus education.
AU’s library was ranked 13th out of 20 schools on the Princeton Review’s “This is a Library?” list this year, according to the company’s Web site.
Data from the university’s 2007 Campus Climate Survey showed the library’s services and online resources were rated highly, while the facilities were not rated nearly as well. The Campus Climate Survey, conducted by AU’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, is given every year to students and measures student satisfaction with various aspects of life at the university, The Eagle previously reported.
Haesun Jang, a freshman in the School of International Service, said he believes the facilities in the library need to be improved.
“The chairs are old and there are never enough tables, especially on the second floor,” he said.
Mayer officially became university librarian on Aug. 1 after a selection committee chose him to succeed Acting University Librarian Diana Vogelsong in late May, The Eagle previously reported.
Mayer said he has enjoyed coming to work at the university every day.
“I have never felt more welcomed in any position,” Mayer said. “The staff is amazingly positive and happy to see me.”
Mayer said he is excited to make changes to AU’s library and is especially looking forward to establishing and supporting new collaboration models between faculty, students and staff. One of the more recent changes seen in the library is the 24-hour schedule.
Mayer was originally drawn to AU because of timing. This academic year brought a new president and a new chief information officer. He said he also felt that he had come to a standstill at his previous position at George Washington University, and was ready to move on.
Mayer’s typical day at work is a “carousel ride of meetings, planning and a lot of talking.” Mayer likes to learn from everyone he talks to in the office and also enjoys hearing feedback from students. He even considers setting up office hours where he will be willing to “bounce around ideas” with anyone who would like to talk.
Caitlin Hillyard, a freshman in the School of Communication, responded positively to Mayer’s idea of librarian office hours.
“I definitely think it is a good idea, especially if I was doing a research project,” she said.
Hillyard said she also believed that students may take advantage of Mayer for this purpose.
Outside of work, Mayer has many other interests.
“I am head over heels about my 6-year-old girl,” he said.
Mayer also enjoys music, especially the Grateful Dead, traditional Hawaiian music and folk. He also cooks with his wife and travels, he said.
Mayer said if he could give AU students advice, he would say the library staff is there for them, whether it’s providing space, resources, guidance or even friendship. Mayer said he has a strong desire to help and interact with people in order to make AU’s library the best it can be.