Tess Mayer officially joined the Berkeley Public Library team as Library Director on September 24, 2020. For five years prior to moving to California, Tess served as the Director of Library Outreach, Programs, and Services for the King County Library System (KCLS) in Washington. Prior to KCLS, Tess spent ten years with the Seattle Public Library where she progressed from a Senior Librarian role to Downtown Regional Manager for the City’s Central Library. She holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and a bachelor's degree in American and Multi-Ethnic Studies from Bard College.
As a leader, Tess brings a commitment to community and staff engagement, open communication, and equity. Her passion for connecting people with information that can change lives led her to work in public libraries.
Tess was raised in Southern California before attending college in New York and then working and traveling in South America. She lived in Caracas, Venezuela, where she taught English to speakers of other languages. She later moved to Seattle, WA, where she worked for the Service Employees International Union and later attended graduate school.
A classically-trained flute player, Tess is currently playing the acoustic guitar. She’s having fun cooking with produce from Berkeley’s amazing farmer’s markets. She enjoys live music, museums, hiking, and beaches of all varieties. Tess loves talking about books and reading, and listening to cultural commentary, via podcasts.
Her sponsor is Kathy Huff.