Meet our New Membership Coordinator, Natalie Whitaker
February 09, 2024
We are excited to introduce you to the new Membership Coordinator, Natalie Whitaker (she/her). As Atla’s membership coordinator, Natalie facilitates the member journey with Atla. She is often the first contact point for members and prospective members, helping connect them to the answers, staff, or resources needed to resolve questions and find solutions. She also facilitates membership and consortium renewals.
Please share some of your work history.
My work history is intimately tied to my academic career, so I’ll start with that!
I earned my BA in History with minors in Latin, German, and Anthropology and an MA in Literature from Missouri State University. Because of my language skills, during this time, I was provided the opportunity to work in the library’s special collections department, where I translated Ancient Greek, Latin, and German bibliographic information to help catalogs create finding aids for Neoplatonist and religious books printed from the 15th – 19th century. This prompted me to pursue a degree in Library Science from the University of Missouri. I have also worked on developing digitization projects and university library exhibits and finding aids for various collections at Washington University and Saint Louis University’s special collections (primarily the Vatican Film Library).
I also spent ten years teaching various college composition, literature, and information literacy classes. Before coming to Atla, I worked for three years at Concordia Seminary St. Louis’ Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library as their Public Services Librarian. This is where I developed my appreciation and love for Atla’s services and mission as a member institution. During this time, I also worked part-time as a reference librarian and information literacy instructor at Fontbonne University.
I am currently completing my PhD (defense set for April 2024!) at Saint Louis University. My dissertation is on women’s emotions, specifically anger, in early medieval literature: Old English, Old Norse, and Latin.
What inspired you to become a librarian?
That is easy! I couldn’t think of a better profession to bring together my own love for research and education with my passion for supporting academic endeavors, students, faculty, and staff alike.
What are you most looking forward to working with Atla members?
As someone who has worked in the academic world all her career—student, faculty, and library staff, I love supporting and connecting people to the resources they need to make their work and life easier. I am looking forward to building relationships with our members, learning what they need, and helping make resource and programming connections.
Can you share some of the programs you will be supporting?
In my position as Membership Coordinator, I am on the frontlines for communications with members, whether by email or phone. I get to work with member institutions involved in our EBSCO and OCLC Consortia and in yearly renewals. As a member of the Membership & Engagement team, I am able to take part in ideas, planning, and support for programming and educational efforts.
The Membership & Engagement department expands all time zones in the continental United States. So, when members contact you, which state are you in? And can you tell me your favorite part of where you live?
I live in St. Louis, Missouri (CST). After having moved around a lot for academic reasons, it was nice finding a community rich in history and cultural and academic institutions to settle down in, where there is also access to good hiking trails, horse stables, and water sports.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Reading (too obvious?). I am on several committees with my parish, so I spend a lot of my “free time” at my church, and I really do love the community I have found there. I enjoy cooking and spending time with my fiancé and our dogs (golden retriever mix and a labrador). I am planning my wedding (June 2024!) and have always loved to spend as much time outdoors as I can kayaking, hiking, and horseback riding.
What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
I have been rereading the Epic of Gilgamesh and I appreciate it so much more nearly twenty years after my first read! I have been reading it in conjunction with Susan Wise Bauer’s volume on the History of Ancient Civilization and it has been a nice refresher in ancient history.
Please join us in welcoming Natalie to Atla!
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