Public Services Librarian and Associate Professor William L. Smith II devoted over 28 years to the Wilmington University Library. He began his career in March of 1994 as a temporary librarian charged with cataloging a collection of books purchased by the University from the closed Cushing College in Massachusetts. This work eventually resulted in Smith’s recognition as Librarian of the Year by the Delaware Library Association.
As a public services librarian, Smith embodied the culture of Wilmington University regarding student services, so he always put students first. His relationship with them was that of mentor, cheerleader, teacher and dedicated listener. His name is mentioned in many dissertations for his assistance to doctoral students. In a library newsletter article from the Fall of 2008, when Smith was asked what he liked best about working in the library, he listed his relationships with students, faculty and staff.
Smith was also a loyal fan of the Wilmington University men’s and women’s basketball teams. He was often seen cheering on the sidelines. As a colleague, he took the time to connect with everyone, whether it be about shared favorite music (especially ABBA), musicals (Mamma Mia), TV shows (Star Trek), or sports teams (Women’s UConn basketball), and his compassion for animals. His loss is felt throughout the Wilmington University community. So many students and colleagues sought out his friendly face, wise advice, and quick wit. Smith passed away on Nov. 24, 2022. He was 73.
The Bill Smith Library Research & Writing Award builds on this colleague’s dedication and hard work. It will seek to cultivate information literacy by connecting the library research experience with the reading and writing experience at Wilmington University.
If you’d like to honor Bill Smith, please consider making a memorial gift at wilmu.edu/give/library.