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Anna Barlow


I grew up in a house of avid readers. Money was tight at times, but we could always have any book we wanted. Whenever I expressed interest in any random topic, one of my parents would reach for the bookshelf and without hesitation pull out a relevant title. I started reading at the age of four, both in German, my native language, and in English. I’ve been learning English since the age of 3, but apparently I will never be done. As a child, I was known to raid the local library, precariously balancing my loot of books as I rode my bike home. As a teenager, I attempted, and failed, to catalog our family’s entire library electronically — my first brush with databases. Since then, I have been fascinated by their ability to classify, categorize, and store representations of real-world entities, with the goal of making these entities more accessible. I am also fascinated by the nuances of communication, especially when intercultural factors come into play. Following this passion, I struggled through a degree in Language, Business, and Cultural Studies (Dipl.-Kulturwirtin) at the University of Passau in Germany, heeding my dad’s advice that, most of the time, “you can replace a bad lecture with a good book.” I ended up working in the IT industry in Germany, New Zealand, and the U.S. at both very large and very small companies, predominantly as a Software Project Manager. Before I became the librarian at GIS, I was a volunteer for two years. Honestly, it’s a dream gig: I have books to get into kids’ hands, I have a database to maintain, and I am fortunate to be working with a team of brilliant, dedicated volunteers who keep the library operational and beautiful.

Other than books, I am also passionate about cats, music, and Star Trek.

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