Meet A Member: Keith Weimer

What is your position in VLA?
VLA President

What do you hope to accomplish in your time as an elected member of the VLA Executive Committee?
We are well on our way to having a coordinated, streamlined plan for addressing challenges to intellectual freedom. I hope to see that documented and firmly established in practice while I'm on Exec.

Where do you work?
University of Virginia

What is your current position?
Research Librarian for History and Religious Studies

When did you first know that you wanted to be a librarian?
When I was 26 (fall of 1994). I was in a graduate program for History part-time and was working full-time at a hotel. I kept meeting people who had gone through an MLS program, and were working in libraries. The idea had been suggested to me before, but now it seemed more clearly like a way to combine my experience in research and working with the public.

What was your first library job?
I interned at the Hillman Library Reference Desk at the University of Pittsburgh. My first professional
job was at Virginia Union University in Richmond.

What is your favorite part of librarianship?
"The sheer range of information that's available to me and that I'm exposed to. I enjoy learning new things and learning by trying to help people find the information they need. (When I started library school, I was cautioned not to say that I liked books, but that I liked information. Answering this question has just made that idea concrete.)"

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you on the job?
"I was on the reference desk at Alderman Library (U.Va.) when I received a chat asking me 'What's the CEC designation for a bathroom?' I had to ask what the CEC was. The chatter explained that it was the Canadian Electrical Code. We didn't have the CEC and I couldn't find it online. So I asked the chatter if the questions were for a class. The chatter explained that (s)he was in Ottawa, Canada! I said, 'Well, maybe there's a public library or university library there that has a chat service that could help you.' The chatter explained that (s)he was holding the print version of the CEC and couldn't find the code."

If you could have anything in the universe installed in your office for your personal use, what would it be?
A truly universal full text search index.

What is something your colleagues would be surprised to know about you?
I have a really poor sense of smell.

Interviewed by Gregg Grunow

Want to be featured on Meet a Member? Email Gregg at [email protected].
Don't miss the other entries in our Meet A Member — Leadership Edition.