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Mayer Receives UW Milstead Distinguished Librarian Award

February 23, 2015
head portrait of woman
Jennifer Mayer was honored for her significant contributions to the University of Wyoming Libraries. (UW Photo)

Jennifer Mayer, associate librarian in research and instruction at University Libraries, is the recipient of the University of Wyoming’s 2015 Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarianship Award.

The late Agnes Milstead, a former professor of education and library science at UW, established the annual award in 1993 to recognize significant contributions to University Libraries in scholarship, program development, teaching, fundraising and professional achievements.

A librarian at UW since 1999, Mayer has strong working relationships with her UW liaison departments in visual and performing arts and gender studies. She teaches credit-bearing information literacy and research methods courses, individual classes and workshops, and provides research consultations for UW students and faculty.

UW Department of Music Professor Katrina Zook wrote in her nomination letter, “Jennifer and I have collaborated most recently on a graduate level course, ‘Music Research Methods.’ She brought thoughtful approaches, relevant and updated texts, diverse learning strategies and a caring enthusiasm to the course.”

Mayer recently completed a research sabbatical to help her better understand how to serve students in the visual and performing arts. She conducted focus groups with UW students and is now using that data to evolve her teaching methods.

“Jennifer’s engagement with the student population, specifically in the arts, has been a tremendous asset for those of us who teach,” says UW Art Professor Leah Hardy.

Mayer’s scholarship work has focused on related topics, including student learning and visual literacy. “Her scholarship in information literacy and assessment reflect her interest in engaging students in lifelong learning,” notes Associate Librarian Cheryl Goldenstein.

Mayer’s co-authored article, “Academic Librarians’ Attitudes about Advanced-Subject Degrees,” was published in the journal of College & Research Libraries, one of the most prestigious journals in the library field.

Mayer has been instrumental in growing the libraries’ collections in the arts. Artstor, AP Images and Naxos are heavily used resources that Mayer actively sought to add to the UW Libraries’ collections. And, through her efforts, UW Libraries has on display in Coe Library one of the most comprehensive collections on campus of student and community artwork. Her work with colleagues helped to develop an online resource that provides access to images of artwork in Coe Library.

Mayer has served in various leadership positions in both national library organizations, such as the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Women and Gender Studies Section (2012-13), and currently within UW Libraries as interim chair of research and instruction.

Mayer earned her M.L.I.S. (1996) at the University of Oklahoma, and her B.A. (1991) and M.A. (2005), both from UW.

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