Getting to Know the Biomedical Libraries’ Staff: An interview with Chris Curtis

Chris taking a selfie at the top of a mountain before skiing down.1. What is your job and how long have you worked for the Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries?

I am a Document Delivery Assistant for the Biomedical libraries and have been so for 15 years.

2. What is your favorite part about your job?

I think what I like best is the face to face interaction that I get from time to time with patrons when they are asking for help. It happens more often now because of my migration from off-campus to on [Chris was based at the Dartmouth Library Depository, an off-campus storage facility. He is now based at the Matthews-Fuller Library at DHMC]. Before that, I was always hidden in the background and all my work was viewed electronically in e-mails or a web presence.

Chris and his family at the grand canyon.3. What is your least favorite part about your job?

I really am having a hard time trying to think of something that I don’t like about my job. I wish it paid more but you can say that about any job!

4. How are you spending your isolation?

My isolation is being spent in one of two ways. Either at my new desk which is the kitchen table or ANYTHING that I can do outdoors. My hobbies include hiking and biking and playing music. I am a self-taught musician and enjoy playing out at open mics, (at least I did before the pandemic).

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

We have no pets, just children and they are our pets! We had a good taste of being empty nesters until the pandemic, then my youngest had to move home from the University of Vermont where he is a second-year student. He’s a good co-worker for us and it’s nice to know he’s home and safe.

6. What pantry meal are you proudest of?

Probably my version of a dish called “Gorgonzola Steak”. It’s a dish I once had in a restaurant. I wanted to be able to make it at home so I gave it a try. Now I think my version is better than the one I had at the restaurant.

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

Great question!!! While home I am watching an old favorite classic, The Waltons. It’s on at noon so if I were not working from home I wouldn’t be able to see it. You will not get a hold of me any day from noon to 1! I’m really really enjoying it. It’s on MeTV, which has a lot of old-fashioned black and white movies and old cowboy shows.

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

If I could only choose one hobby I would have to say playing my custom made ukulele. People don’t realize it, but there are lots of different sizes of ukuleles. The first ukulele I got is a tenor. I currently play a baritone, it has a bigger, fuller, richer sound.

Music brings me so much peace and joy. Sorry if I come off sounding kind of cheesy but it is a passion for me. I have a pretty eclectic mix of songs I like to play. Understandably a large portion is what I grew up with. I tend to navigate back to 70’s love songs; I enjoy that genre, I’m sappy and an old softy!

Oh, I can’t believe I didn’t mention that I’m a ski bum! It’s what I live for! My season was cut short this year which was disappointing. I told my family: If I should die, don’t waste your money on a gravestone. Take my ashes to the top of any mountain, and poof! I never want to leave the mountains. My top two ski mountain recommendations are Ascutney, where I learned how to ski and grew up, and Killington. They are the two places I ski the most.

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

I traveled extensively as a sailor in the US Navy for 4 years and visited many countries. I’m glad I ended up in the military, it taught me to behave; I can’t imagine how life would have gone otherwise. I got to see a lot of things that many people will never see. We started in San Diego and went to the far East. Hawaii, Guam, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, and many more. I couldn’t really choose which is my favorite, they are all pretty unique.

These days I don’t travel much at all. I don’t care for all the things that it takes to board an airplane. I did travel to the west coast last year and visited the Grand Canyon. A similar trip to another west coast national park would probably be my next endeavor.

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

Dining out at a restaurant, hugging friends, open mics, and in-person water cooler chats.


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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