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Office of the Provost | Communications


Office of the Provost
Fax: 202-885-2173
Leonard, Room Lower Level

Bass, Scott A.

Office of the Provost
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8061

May 7, 2012

 TO:  American University Community
 FROM:  Scott A. Bass, Provost
 SUBJECT:  University Librarian


After successfully leading the AU University Library for five years, University Librarian Bill Mayer informed me that he has accepted a leadership position with the National Archives and Records Administration.

Bill Mayer was appointed AU University Librarian in 2007 following library appointments at George Washington University, Catholic University, Harvard University Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Washington Research Library Consortium. During his time at AU, Mayer led according to a simple philosophy, “We enable success.” This philosophy ultimately served as a framework for many of the initiatives he established.

Mayer transformed the physical space of the library when he led the transfer of collections to the Washington Research Library Consortium and boldly reinforced the library’s role as a place for study, research, and scholarly exchange. The move resulted in increased numbers of individual computer workstations and quick print stations; the addition of four technology-equipped group study rooms; development of four media production studios; creation of a new training/ events room for instruction, events and open study space; and allocation of newly constructed space dedicated to graduate and commuter students.

He also redesigned the organizational structure of the library to better meet customer needs. For example, he successfully embedded several librarians within the colleges and schools and established the Graduate Research Center in collaboration with the School of International Service. Undergraduate and graduate student satisfaction with library services, materials, facilities, and online research tools increased under Mayer’s tenure.

While universities across the nation were scaling back in resources, Mayer grew the library’s print, electronic collections and databases to better support students and faculty. Mayer attracted significant collections to AU including the William Causey Modern Literature Collection and the recently acquired Richard Stites Collection supporting AU’s Initiative for Russian Culture.

Mayer has served as an invaluable member of the Academic Affairs leadership team and member of the President’s Council. In many ways, he has been the point person on strategic academic technology and information matters within Academic Affairs and at the university level. He has served as chair of the Academic Technology Steering Committee, as a member of the university’s Research & Grants Infrastructure Task Force, and as chair of library directors on the Washington Research Library Consortium. He successfully integrated the key academic technology units—the audio visual group, academic multimedia services, Blackboard support, and new media center—into the library.

Bill Mayer’s last day at AU will be June 8th. Information regarding the library’s interim leadership will be shared in the future. Please join me in wishing Bill Mayer much success in his new position.