This week’s interview is with William Mahannah, an Assistant Reference Librarian in the Public Services Division.
Describe your background.
Baltimore, MD, is my home. While my immediate family is deceased, I am extremely fortunate in having a great god-niece who will receive a Ph.D. in biophysics this year. Her progress is a continual joy.
I have a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University; J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law; L.L.M. from George Washington University Law School; and M.S.L.S. from Catholic University of America School of Library and Information Science. I’m also a member of the DC, MD and NY bars. I was a Staff Attorney at the American Federation of Government Employees AFL-CIO in Washington, DC . When I joined the Federation, its General Counsel was a former Assistant Attorney General of the United States. This able and impressive lawyer was my direct superior. Working with him constituted a genuine and considerable education. Later, I had a private law practice in Towson, MD, the county seat of Baltimore County. I spent so much excellent, productive time in legal libraries, I decided to change my career direction and become part of a major law library staff.
How would you describe your job to other people?
My job places patrons on a relevant legal research pathway so they can locate the topic sought.
Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?
The literature of the law was my key professional interest . Because the Law Library of Congress had the strongest collection in this area, working here was an obvious and very natural step.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
The endless diversity of patrons and their questions is the most interesting fact.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
My home contains a large library covering American history, government and law. Thus, I both live and work in a research library. A happy interaction.