Meet Your Lane Library Staff: Evans Whitaker
Every month, we are spotlighting an amazing member of our library staff. This month meet Evans Whitaker – Whit, Research & Instruction Librarian.
What do you do at the library?
I am a research librarian. I help members of the Stanford community find the information they need for their academic work.
What did you do before coming to Lane Library?
I worked at UCSF Health Sciences Library for 8 years, prior to that I spent 3 years at USC Health Sciences Library. My work in those locations was similar to what I believe my work will be at Stanford.
I retired in mid-2020 and am working in a ~half-time temporary role at Lane Library. I found during retirement that I really missed the work. However let me be clear that retirement definitely has its good points as well!
Prior to my library career, I worked as a Family Practice doctor for about 25 years, a bit less than 20 of those in Santa Cruz, CA. I left practice due to fairly intense burnout.
Oh, and I did have a Stanford connection before this. I studied and worked at Stanford as an undergrad and for two years after graduation. Highlights of my SU time were working at the Stanford Outdoor Primate Facility for four years observing chimpanzee behavior, a 6 month stretch at Hopkins Marine Station doing a lot of scuba diving. I even have a Stanford Library connection. During my first two years I worked as a student assistant in the J. Henry Meyer Memorial Undergraduate Library which is no longer standing. My favorite place to study was deep in the stacks at Green Library.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
I love working with interesting and intelligent people. I continue to be fascinated by medicine, in the broadest sense. I especially enjoy working with medical students and residents.
How long have you worked at Lane?
I started March 14, 2023. I am truly a new arrival.
What do you do in your spare time?
I ride a bike for exercise, I am working daily to play an acoustic guitar in a way that does not offend listeners and Duolingo is helping me move beyond my pitiful medical Spanish. Slow going!
Do you prefer . . .
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning, usually oolong tea in the afternoon.
Cats or dogs? I’m a dog person. I’ve had both. Our high tide for cats was six. We became an unofficial adoption agency for cats from patients and families who came to the family practice office my wife and I shared. I still like cats but do not want to own one. We adopted a boxer from one our medical assistents. After that we had a series of boxer, and I loved them! Sweet and funny, appearances aside. Unfortunately short lifespans. We have not had animals for over 10 years now. That started with my library career. At USC and UCSF I rented a place in Pasadena/SF respectively and was on site M-F and home on weekends. Not fair to load up my wife with all the pet responsibilities. Maybe we will change that soon, but both our kids and our grandkid (and in 5 months it will be grandkids) live on the east coast. It is hard to travel and have pets.
Candy or cake? Candy, preferably something intensely chocolatey. Is that a word?
Salty or sweet? Depends. Usually sweet but sometimes nothing hits the spot better than salt. I am thinking of some sort of potato chip as I write this.
Print or digital books? Once again the waffle answer. I love the smell and feel of print books. I love being able to use an index easily and get a really good look at pictures, maps, and graphics. Digital is great for convenience, portability, and built-in light. I do love being able to search for text from the entire book as a way to remember a character or plot point.
Nonfiction or fiction? Having lots of time to read has been the best thing about my now half-interrupted retirement! Usually fiction. All kinds, recent tacks have been African science fiction (Binti is one specific example), Lessons in Chemistry, and Remarkable Bright Creatures. Right now I am reading An American Marriage.
Summer or winter? SUMMER!! I may be a bit biased as we are hopefully nearing the end of this cold, wet, power-outage filled winter.