A lot of the magic in running a library happens behind the scenes, and involves many dedicated individuals. Meet Katie Gohn, a native Tennessean and veteran librarian. She’s also UTC Library’s Digital Integration Librarian. Katie’s been with us since last December, but we neglected to introduce her at the time. A UT Knoxville graduate (B.A. English Literature, M.S. Information Science), Katie comes to us after nine years of working at GALILEO, Georgia’s virtual library.
In her spare time, she loves exploring Chattanooga and the surrounding mountains with husband William and their (almost) two-year-old daughter, Jane. You’ll also find Katie on the reference desk a few hours each week, so be sure to say hello.
1. A misconception from childhood only corrected as an adult? That having the most stuff means you are successful and happy. I think I have always known this, but now I really know it. Having things, holding on to things, buying more things — just makes me feel crazy. Simplify!
2. What’s a 20th century invention you’d like to uninvent? Nuclear Weapons — just can’t think of a good thing that has come from them.
3. Last pic you took with your phone? Daughter in her pajamas — she looks really unhappy, but the hearts are cute.
4. A theme song you can still sing from memory? It is actually a rather new one — but the theme from the HBO Series Treme. I can also repeat the entire Lee Press On Nail commercial from my childhood. It must have come on during my favorite show — and my dad made me repeat it on many occasions.
5. Favorite guilty-pleasure website? I am not a websurfer so I am not sure. I would say that I do peruse Awkward Family Photos from time to time. Reminds me of one family Christmas card from long ago.
6. How did you stay sane during undergrad? Don’t have an answer here. I am what you call a pretty even-keeled person. I didn’t have any major freakout moments during undergrad. Now — parenthood — that is a different story. Sanity defenses now all relate to calm, unscheduled, and unscripted moments.
7. It’s the final round in Wheel of Fortune. What three consonants and one vowel do you choose? W, S, T, E. Not sure why — I really really hate Wheel of Fortune by the way.
8. You’ve just finished hiking the Appalachian Trail – what’s your trail name? Mouth from the South.
9. First cassette tape you bought with your own money? LP — Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.
10. Spot in Chattanooga you’d consider a hidden gem? Not really hidden — Fairyland at Rock City. The black lights are an extra special touch! I love that it is creepy and enticing all at once. Also, Lula Lake Land Trust is a beautiful place with a great waterfall and hiking on Lookout Mountain. It is open on the first and last weekend of each month. And last, Frank Lloyd Wright house. Not saying where — you have to find that out yourself.
11. What crime would you commit if you had a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card? Touching famous pieces of art at museums. Particularly sculptures. I am always so tempted to do it. Something about the “Do Not Touch” signs. I did get kicked out of the National Archives as a kid for taking a flash photo of the Declaration of Independence. I guess I would also love to trespass in closed-off rooms in historic buildings and on fantastic pieces of private property.
12. Clowns: creepy or fantastic? Depends on the clown. The last circus I went to had really really creepy clowns. The whole circus was kind of creepy. That said, I have also seen some really great clowns too. I have fond memories of Bozo the Clown on Saturday mornings. The grand prize game was riveting.
13. Song title that describes your work ethic? This is a hard one. I am more drawn to the lyrics than to the title. So, I would say: “Twistable, Turnable Man Returns” by Andrew Bird. The song lyrics are actually the words of a Shel Silverstein poem. How does this relate to work ethic? I’m still trying to figure that out. I think it really all has to do with flexibility, creativity, and a smattering of silliness. I like solving problems, helping, and building relationships. I’ll also go out of my way to try and figure out just how to get something accomplished or resolved — it may take twisting, turning, bending, showing, squeezing, folding … to accomplish it!
14. Favorite aspect about working in libraries? I really enjoy troubleshooting problems and making things work in better/more intuitive ways. I want to help make library services integrate more seamlessly with all aspects of a student’s university experience. Doing that means a lot of problem solving and thinking outside of the box. I am lucky to be in a position that allows me to test out new processes and products. I also really enjoy working with students and faculty — and ordering great library materials.
15. Internet video that never ceases to make you giggle? I love the SNL skit of Kristen Wiig as Liza Minnelli trying to turn off a lamp.
16. What was your first paying job and how long did it last? I worked at Dutch Girl Dry Cleaners for three or so years. I started the summer I turned sixteen and continued working there through the summer of my Freshman year in college. I could work in the afternoons — so it was perfect for after school. They were also really flexible with me when I had soccer or other activities. I learned how to make change because the cash register wouldn’t tell you how much change to give. The owner wanted us to learn this skill. I am amazed at how many people can’t do this — so I am grateful for this skill.
17. One book that everyone should read before graduation? Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut or Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.
18. Skydiving or hang gliding? Hang Gliding — you get to enjoy the ride down at a slow and easy pace. I am really enamored of aerial photography — so hang gliding definitely makes the most sense; although, I don’t think you would get me to do it.
19. What forgotten fad would you like to see come back? Using cloth napkins.
20. How do you feel about grits? Cheesy.