Getting to Know the Biomedical Libraries’ Staff: An interview with Heather Blunt

1. What is your job and how long have you worked for the Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries?

These days I prefer to not say how long I’ve been at Dartmouth. I’ve been here for a long time. I started out here years ago as a circulation assistant at the art library and now I’m a Research & Education Librarian.

2. What is your favorite part about your job?

I think the thing I like doing most at work is helping to work on someone’s research project. I like watching overtime where you get to see the process from beyond just delivering the search results.

3. What is your least favorite part about your job?

I have a little tiny corkboard and everyone else has huge bulletin boards. What’s going on with that?!

4. How are you spending your isolation?

It feels pretty normal. Don is here, and we’ve both established our separate office spaces. Being at home a little more I get to see my garden and lawn so during the day I’ve gotten much more in touch with the wildlife at my house. I’m seeing a lot more animals. Tons of birds! I swear I’ve seen 3 different kinds of woodpeckers.

5. If you have any pets or kids, describe them as your co-worker and tell us what they are doing right now.

I don’t have any kids so I feel like I’ve got it easy there, but I do have a cat. I have an elderly kitty, Nupur, she was named after one of the kids in the documentary Spellbound. It follows kids who are on the national spelling bee. One of the kids was named Nupur. Nupur is a really fantastic officemate. She’s older so she sleeps a lot and she can’t jump up on the table. She sleeps on the couch in my area half the day and then goes to sleep on the couch in Don’s office later, she’s very diplomatic that way. Nupur and I are both having trouble with too many snacks being at home. We are trying to work on that.

6. What pantry meal are you proudest of?

This question is assuming I cook, which I don’t. I asked Don and he said to say farro salad. Which is one of my favorite pantry meals to eat. But on the rare occasions where I do have to feed myself, I do make a really good grilled cheese.

7. What are you reading/watching during your isolation?

Last night I started watching Schitt’s Creek. I had been hearing about it for a long time and never gotten around to starting it. It really is the perfect show to watch during a stressful time. I’m still in the first season and I feel like it’s going to keep me entertained for a while. For reading, I had just happened to go to the public library a few days before quarantine started and I got two books out–I usually limit myself to one book from the public library so I don’t get any fines, I must have had a premonition. One is Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens). It’s fantastic. It reminds me a bit of Barbara Kingsolver. And the other book is totally different, nonfiction, Will my Cat Eat my Eyeballs? (Caitlin Doughty) It’s written by a mortician and is really funny. The answer is yes, your cat probably will eat your eyeballs at some point. I would be happy to let Nupur eat whatever she wanted of me.

8. What is your hobby? Name your top 5 (hobby-related) recommendations and why.

I’m not really a hobby person. I dabble! Birding is my newest hobby, I don’t know if it will stick but I’ve learned a few birds. I’m using the standard eastern Birds of North America. I love the app iNaturalist; you take pictures of plants, bugs, birds, etc. and the app will identify it for you. You can also submit your photos to a database that allows scientists to see where the plant/animal was. Elaina recommends Merlin from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. That’s not 5, but 3 is pretty good right?

9. Where’s a favorite place you have traveled and where would you most like to travel to next?

My favorite place is always the last place I’ve been, so I was recently in Ecuador, which was awesome. That’s my current favorite. It has really beautiful mountains, we were mostly in the mountains of the Amazon and I felt like I was on a river for the first time in my life – I’ve never seen or imagined a river that big. I love everywhere I go. I went to Shanghai a few years ago and I’d never been to Asia before so it was fun to see a new culture. I love Ireland. It’s hard to think about where I want to go next right now. Maybe Vermont! That would be nice! I’m definitely not making any travel plans right now.

10. What frivolous things do you miss about being out in the normal world?

Don says shopping. I love going to the grocery store and being able to browse in a leisurely way. I also miss being able to pop in and see my parents or friends without having to worry about what you’re bringing with you.


This post was written by the Water Cooler Committee, Samara Cary, Paige Scudder, Elaina Vitale, and Samantha Wiebkin, for the Biomedical Libraries.

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