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Meet UT Libraries: Samantha Mathews

Samantha Mathews joined UT Libraries in May 2016 as a Senior Library Associate in Acquisitions and Continuing Resources.  When you check out a book, Samantha or someone in her department likely ordered and processed it.  Watch or read more to hear about Samantha’s exciting hobbies (hint: it involves the circus).


Where were you born and raised?samantha mathews headshot

Chicago, Illinois

What is the farthest away you’ve been from Knoxville?

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy

What’s your favorite thing about working at UT Libraries?

My favorite thing is that I get to go to the library everyday!  Growing up, a fun Friday night out was a trip to the local library.  Once, I was trying to check out a book that had recently been acquired and I was frustrated that it was taking so long to get to me.  Now I am the person ordering those books and I see how much work has to be done before a book can be put on the shelves.  I feel privileged to hold such a position.

Which books are on your bedside table?

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Wier, because the antics of the Tudor court fascinate me, and Dante’s Divine Comedy because I am taking a class on it.

What was your job before you came to the library?

I taught ballet at the Knoxville Dance Project and I still do!

What is your favorite hobby?

After work I can often be found at Crossfit Ktown.  Definitely NOT doing crossfit, but hanging from the ceiling, training on various circus apparatus.  I am a semi-professional circus performer with Knoxville Aerial Arts.  Our next show is a fundraiser for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  If I got to meet Dolly, that would be a dream come true!

Do you have any pets?

I have a tiny kitten names Bustopher Jones, named after the cat from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot.  The illustrator is my favorite artist and School of Art Institute of Chicago alum, Edward Gorey.

What’s a fun fact about you that few people know?

I received an excellent bilingual education, kindergarten-12th grade, in the Chicago public school system.

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