Have you met… Natalya Brettle?

Have you met Natalya, Public Service Assistant and Circulation Specialist? Spend the next two minutes getting to know her a little better.

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Have you met Natalya, Public Service Assistant and Circulation Specialist? Spend the next two minutes getting to know her a little better.

Where is your favourite place on campus?

The koi pond just in front of the Humanities Building. It’s very peaceful.

Tablet or paper?

Depends on how important the meeting is. Usually paper, though.

Name one thing you’ve brought to work from home.

Pictures of family and friends. And a yoga mat — sometimes I sneak off and try to find a quiet spot to do yoga.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

Sugar-free bubblemint gum. I have four packages of it in my purse right now.

If you won airfare to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

The Bahamas, because my dream is to retire there some day. But I’d also really love to see Ukraine — it’s a part of my heritage that I’ve never visited. One is about the future and one is about the past, I guess.

You can invite anyone — alive or dead, real or fictional — to dinner. Who would it be?

I would want to throw a massive dinner party with lots of people. I’d start with my dad, because he passed away when I was a teenager, and I’d love for him to see where I’m at in my life now. Then I would say Sherlock Holmes, Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, and Zelda Fitzgerald — that would be one heck of a swinging party.

If you could switch jobs with someone else on campus for a week, what would you do?

I’d pick anywhere in the human ecology department — I love textiles; I love working with my hands; I love food sciences and nutrition; I love animal care. And that department covers all of those wonderful things.

I also know that there are a lot of amazing people who work in the Healthy Campus Unit, so that might be another one I’d pick.

What does “uplifting the whole people” mean to you?

I think you could interpret it in two ways: one way means leaving nobody behind, and reaching out to everyone in the whole community. This is especially important to us in the library, because we welcome people from the public.

But the other way is about uplifting the whole person, and supporting everything about a person that would help them to grow.

If you could solve any problem in the world, what would it be?

Fear-based politics. If you can solve fear-based politics, you can solve everything that goes with that: racism, sexism, tyrannical government, poverty and oppression. I think all of those things could be solved if we could somehow eliminate fear-based politics.

What 3 words best describe your U of A experience?

Heritage (my parents both went to this school, and a lot of my relatives did too). Growth. And Passion.

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Natalya is a U of A alumna (B.A. English), and has also worked here in various roles over the past 11 years, most recently in the libraries since 2011. She is currently based in the Rutherford library, in the role of Public Service Assistant and Circulation Specialist. She also supervises staff in the J.A. Weir Memorial Law Library. Say hello if you spot her working a library service desk!