No Topic Too Small or Too Esoteric for Kurt Meyer
Kurt Meyer loves the thrill of the hunt.
“One of my friends has a terrier,” he says. “You hide something under the couch cushion, she has to go get it. That’s how I am with research. It’s just something about the way my brain is wired.”
Meyer is the new research librarian at the Chastek Library in the Gonzaga University School of Law. He comes to the position after four years in a similar role at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
“I didn’t know anything about Spokane,” he says of his initial decision to apply. “I just started – in my librarian way – researching the town. I took numerous drives through the city on Google Street View. And I started researching the university and the people who work here.”
“I loved the University of Maryland, but I wanted more.”
Ask and ye shall receive. Just a few weeks into his new job, Meyer has already found himself entrusted with additional duties.
“Here, much like in Maryland, I divide my time between doing research for professors and teaching research to students,” says the University of Illinois alumnus.
“The nice thing about here, though, is that I get to supervise some of the students who work the desk, I get more opportunities to train faculty, and I have other administrative responsibilities.”
Faculty members have wasted no time in tasking Meyer with research assignments, either.
“Right when I got here, I was asked to research property registration requirements in Libya. I managed to find a book that answered all that professor’s questions.”
Libyan property registration requirements might seem like an esoteric subject, but Meyer has come to expect anything.
“I’ve done all sorts of crazy things, like English fishing rights cases from the 1800s. When I was in law school I had to do a complete legislative history for a section of the internal revenue code going all the way back to 1952. I like that stuff, which is why I’m in this game.”
He notes that he is equally available for students’ research needs.
“I’ll be going into the legal writing classes and doing some legal research presentations,” says Meyer. “I can make research interesting and funny. For example, when I teach the students administrative law, I show them part of The Simpsons movie.
“I like forging relationships with the students. To this day, I have students who have been out of law school for years, and they still will e-mail me with research questions.”
Meyer stresses that his open-door policy extends to anyone in need of information – no topic too small.