New Staff Profile: Natasha Hollander

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Lander College for Women Librarian Natasha Hollander

Where else have you lived? 

I grew up in Staten Island until I was around 10 years old when my father’s job took us to Maryland.  I lived there until I was about 21, then moved back to the New York area but settled in Brooklyn instead of Staten Island because of its proximity to the city and its large center of Jewish life.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English (obviously) and am conversant in Hebrew; my understanding far outweighs my speaking ability when it comes to conversational Hebrew. I also can sign a little bit in ASL (American Sign Language).

How did you become interested in Library and Information Science? 

I became interested in libraries in general at a young age. My mom encouraged me to read by telling me “We are a family of readers!”  Once I started I couldn’t stop, so we wound up at the library all the time.  My interest in Library and Information Science as a career developed after I finished college.  I discovered my goal of becoming an osteologist (someone who studies bones found at archeological sites) was going to require more tests and studies focused on learning math more intricately then I would have liked. So, I shelved that plan and went looking for alternatives. A friend knew I liked reading and history and suggested I look into library science which it turned out was a perfect fit.  It combined my love of reading with my insatiable desire to gain knowledge.

How long have you been at Touro and what’s your position? What is the name of your site and where is it located? 

I started working as a Librarian at the Lander College for Women in August of this year.

What is the part of your job that you enjoy most? 

The most enjoyable part of my job (so far) is finding the books or materials that a patron has requested. I like finding something that a patron can use to further their knowledge base.

What is the most challenging part of your job? 

The most challenging part of my job is on Friday when my schedule is completely different than the rest of the week’s schedule. I have to be in a lot earlier, but the tradeoff is that I get off earlier as well.  I can’t complain about it, though, because it’s part of the job and something I will get used to. I adapt easily.

If you weren’t a librarian what would you be? 

If I wasn’t a librarian I would most definitely be a chef.  I love learning about new places and trying new foods.  It would also allow me to share my food knowledge with other people. Being a chef is still something I hope to achieve in the future.

Your ideal vacation?

My ideal vacation would be to Italy. I have loved Italy ever since I was young and hope to one day fit a visit in. The first stop would be a visit to a famous bookstore in Venice called the “Liberia Acqua Alta” or “Book Store of High Water” which keeps its collections in bathtubs, gondolas, or waterproof bins to escape the flooding of the canal.  Also, I love water, so if not Italy, somewhere on or near the ocean with stunning views would suit me just fine.

Any Hobbies? 

My hobbies include cooking and reading up on the science behind it, studying different cooking techniques and learning about the histories of diverse food cultures, reading about major historical events and people, binge-watching Netflix, crafting, and when I’m creatively motivated, writing.

Favorite Food?

I love all things gluten! However, they don’t always love me, so I have to take foods that I used to love eating (namely noodles) and find gluten free ways of making them. The advent of palatable gluten free pasta has reopened the door to all my favorites:  macaroni and cheese, and baked ziti as well as some original twists such as gluten free chive macaroni and cheese. But my all-time favorite is still, and always will be, spaghetti and meatballs.

When you travel what do you never leave home without? 

When I travel I never leave home without four things: 1) my noise-canceling headphones, 2) a notebook and pens or pencils 3) a coin I came into possession of a couple of years ago 4) a small fleece blanket, a sweatshirt or my leather jacket because I’m always scared I will be cold.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most of us probably didn’t know? 

Most people are completely unaware of my love of Disney movies. I’m a complete Disney animated buff: I love Aladdin, The Lion King, Mulan, and Frozen most of all. I guess I just like a good fairy tale with a happy ending.

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