New Hires at the UWM Libraries

The UWM Libraries are excited to announce two recent new hires.

photo of Chris BaxterChristopher Baxter is the new building assistant in Facilities. His duties at the Golda Meir Library include managing the Conference Center and study carrels, performing and coordinating maintenance inside the library, and serving on the library’s security team. Chris has a BA in English and philosophy from CSU Fresno, and brings an abundance of relevant experience to the Libraries, having worked at several Minnesota universitiesAugsburg College, St. Thomas, and Macalesteras a hall director, academic course scheduler, and facility and event manager. After moving to Milwaukee in 2012 to be closer to his wife’s family, he served until 2021 as assistant director of Conference Services at UWM’s downtown School of Continuing Education.

Outside of work Chris spends his time in the kitchen cooking or outdoors grilling, and is a huge football fan and poker enthusiast. A true-crime podcast junkie, he also loves detective/crime fiction and sci-fi. Chris and his wife have one daughter, Helena, who is a voracious reader and thinks it’s really cool that her dad now works at a library. Chris does too, having spent the past 10 years downtown. “The pandemic is still impacting things of course,” he says, “but I’m very excited to be back around the buzz and vibe that students bring to a campus.”

photo of Annalese GerberAnnalese Gerber is the new first shift circulation assistant at the Golda Meir Library, employed in a department with which she is quite familiar, having worked there as a student from 2014 to 2017. After graduating from UWM with a BA in journalism, advertising and media studies in 2017, Annalese spent three years working, she says, “in the fast-paced service industry undercover as Agent Red at the SafeHouse–a popular spy-themed tourist attraction in downtown Milwaukee,” where she can still be caught fixing up a mean cocktail at their Interpol bar from time to time. Recently, her “obsession” with her own cats led to a job at the Elmbrook Humane Society, assisting with adoptions. Outside of the library, she enjoys traveling, camping in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, visiting with family, and seeking out some of the city’s best meals.

Annalese’s extensive experience working with the public makes her uniquely qualified for her new job, which involves directly interacting with students, faculty, and others to provide excellent service and put a human touch on library services. “I enjoy working closely with student employees,” she says, “and I want to make sure that they are motivated to be successful in their library jobs and have the same positive experience in circulation that I had.”

The Libraries recently said good-bye to the following employees. We wish them well as they begin new chapters in their lives.

Kris Midthun retired after 23 years as business librarian. Kris was highly sought out for her business reference expertise by faculty and graduate students in business, economic, and non-profit management departments. She served on numerous library committees through her years of service, impacting staff hires, collection development decisions, strategic planning, and space planning.

Nicole Bungert resigned after five years as the Libraries’ first student success librarian. Nicole helped shape the position and set a new direction for how the Libraries integrate information literacy into first year writing courses. She mentored and coached several User Services graduate student interns, providing valuable information literacy instruction experiences. Nicole served on various committees, communities of practice, and work groups.

Jan Donahou resigned after two years as academic librarian at UWM at Washington County Library. Jan and her staff worked diligently to improve the library’s collections, services, and spaces – focusing on meeting a deeper level of student needs. She plans to continue teaching for UWM SOIS and advising students interested in children’s librarianship.