Books have been a part of Bart Lemahieu’s life since his childhood in Bruges, Belgium, when he would escape to the local library when school was out on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays.
“I have always been a collector of music and literature,” he said. “As an immigrant, you don’t always find your niche right away. I feel like I’ve come home, which is good. I have long-term ambitions for UGA; I want to grow in the library environment.”
While studying computer information systems at Athens Technical College, Bart worked in acquisitions for the college library.
“This job rekindled an interest for libraries I had since childhood and gave me the necessary experience to grow into a position at UGA,” he said. “I find great personal fulfillment in working at UGA; its rich surroundings and eclectic academic environment remind me of the culture and beauty of my native town. You are surrounded by centuries old materials and buildings that have been preserved.”
His extensive command of languages, including English, French, German and Dutch, has already come in handy working in serials.
Bart was introduced to the study of Eastern religions through the leaders of a youth organization. “It was fashionable at the time and it carried through in the way they dealt with children,” he said. “Later on when I was a teenager, it became a point of interest for me at the library and now I’ve developed a small library of my own. It has become my path.”
Bart enjoys restoring vinyl records, jackets and turntables. “I like to clean them up and preserve them for the future. The same thing we do here in binding.”
Describing himself as “eclectic” in listening and reading habits, “the things I will turn down right off are ‘entertainment.’ I love international music past and present, pure folk music from all over the world, classical Baroque, religious choral music,” he said. “I tend to delve into philosophy and spiritual books because they keep you busy for along time.”
Also keeping him busy is a five-year-old son, Atticus. “He's a bright, sensitive boy from whom I
learn again what I forgot growing up.”