Getting to Know the Biomedical Libraries’ Staff: An interview with Elaina Vitale

Elaina hiking at the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan

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

I’m a Research & Education Librarian, and I started in July of 2019. It’s been an interesting first year! 


2. What is your favorite part about your job?

My colleagues! Everyone is so fun to work with. I feel like we all complement one another well on projects, and everyone is interesting to talk to. 


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

The days that there are no baked goods are very hard for me. I often have to get an emergency chocolate chip cookie at KAF.


4. How are you spending your isolation?

I have an almost four-month old, so I am doing a lot of laundry, taking many walks/hikes, and reading. Minus the laundry these are the things I’d be doing anyway! I love early morning walks at this time of year because the birding is so good. This week I saw a northern flicker, a pileated woodpecker, lots of goldfinches, and have heard but not seen lots of warblers!


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

One requests infinite peanut butter Kongs every day, and the other is learning how to laugh and takes 3-4 naps a day (neither is a very hard worker). 


6. What pantry meal are you proudest of? 

As a rule, I try not to cook, but I love to eat and request meals of my personal home chef. We rely on New York Times Cooking, Milk Street, and the Smitten Kitchen. If forced to cook I usually make pasta with fried eggs or something with anchovies. 


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

The same old stuff! I read a lot but my squiggly infant means I do most of it on my Kindle these days; I love the Libby app to get e-books from my public library. Right now I’m reading Barbarian Days, which is a very fun and beautiful memoir about surfing. 


8. What is your hobby? Name your top 5 (hobby-related) recommendations and why. ie- Gardening, names 5 plants. 

Probably my life’s hobby is reading (boring!)–I particularly love reading science fiction and fantasy by women. My top five favorite science fiction/fantasy women are: NK Jemisin, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood, Becky Chambers (the Wayfarers series is SO fun!), and Katherine Arden


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

I love to travel. I went to the Republic of Georgia last year–I’d been dying to go there for years and it was amazing! I would love to return to Hong Kong, and will definitely be retiring to a shack somewhere in New Mexico (the best place on earth). Next on my travel list: the Faroe Islands, Wales, or maybe just to visit my niece in Connecticut!  


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




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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