This is an interview with Colin Hess, currently an intern at the Law Library of Congress Information Technology Office providing Geographic Information System support.
Describe your background
I am from Chesterfield, Virginia and am a senior at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia (UMW). I am a Geography major, with a concentration on Third World development and human geography. I am also enrolled in the Geographic Information Science (GIS) certificate program at UMW, a 18 credit program that is ranked best in Virginia for its concentration. If you’re interested in GIS and courses on the subject, you can find out more at the UMW Geographic Information Science website. If you are interested in learning more about GIS in general, I would check out the Understanding the World ESRI’s website.
Colin at the Law Library of Congress Feb. 2012
How would you describe your job to other people?
GIS basically refers to the process of transferring raw data into spatial data. It is a new and emerging field that both public and private sectors are now beginning to embrace. It is somewhat hard to explain, because it can do so much! If you are looking to show population density, you can show it on a county, state, or regional level. If you are trying to determine the best location for a new fire station in your town, GIS can aid you in your quest. If you want to determine the most efficient postal routes for the USPS, GIS can help. Virtually any question that you ask, GIS can help answer in a visual representation.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
I wanted to work at the Law Library of Congress because of its history. I have always been very interested in research and answering questions. I’ve also always had a passion for history, law and geography. I am curious about the world and the spatial differences between regions in the world, which the Law Library investigates in many ways. Also, I was excited about working with Congress in a direct way.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
I never knew how many records the Law Library of Congress truly has. It was amazing the first time I toured the collections of the Law Library to see the history and breadth of human knowledge that the institution contains. I found the rare book collection particularly interesting.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I am a collegiate swimmer. I am the team captain for the Mary Washington men’s swim team. We compete in the Capital Athletic Conference, at the D3 level. I swim distance freestyle and the 400 I.M. and I am a 5-time conference medalist. The men’s team has won our conference for the last 11 years and was ranked nationally earlier this year. Go Eagles!
The following is a guest post by Matthew Braun, Legal Reference Specialist at the Law Library of Congress. On December 12, 2011, the Copyright Clearance Center, a global broker for copyrighted material, presented a program titled Orphan Works and Fair Use in the Digital Age. This program featured separate question and answer sessions with Maria Pallante, […]
The following is a guest post by Megan Lulofs, a Legal Information Analyst in the Public Services Division. This week’s pic comes from our northern counterparts, the Library of Parliament (or Bibliothèque du Parlement) of Canada in Ottawa, ON. I visited Ottawa earlier this month for their annual Winterlude festival, and to go ice skating on the Rideau Canal (an UNESCO World Heritage […]
Last Friday, the Parliament of Australia launched its new website, replacing the one that had been in place for 12 years. I had often used the old website to find a range of information on bills and parliamentary inquiries (i.e., investigations into particular issues). This includes explanatory memoranda (according to the glossary on the new […]
This week’s pic comes to you from the Principality of Asturias, which is an autonomous community in the north-central region of the Kingdom of Spain. While I was visiting a friend who lives in Asturias and exploring the land of my ancestors, Galicia, I chanced upon this banner at the Museo de Bellas Artes de […]
This week’s interview is with Jeanine Cali who is a writer for the Law Library’s Outreach Team. Jeanine had previously worked at the Law Library from 2003 to 2009 as a legal reference librarian and has recently returned to the Law Library. Describe your background I began work at the Law Library of Congress in […]
The following is a guest post by David Mao, Law Librarian of Congress. He has previously guest posted on Rebellious Children and Witches. David has been previously interviewed in his role as the Deputy Law Librarian of Congress. Moving into my new office, I came across two curious artifacts in a drawer: a pair of old keys. One […]
Last fall I blogged about where you can watch Congress online. Now there is another place: the Senate’s website. From that site you can watch the Senate floor proceedings live, search and watch from the archive, and browse the archive by date. The Advanced Search options include captions, all words, exact phrase, or, not, and a […]
In my January 31, 2012 post, Ethiopian Emperors and Slavery, I briefly discussed slavery in Ethiopia and the unsuccessful attempts made by various Emperors to rid the country of the institution through the reign of Emperor Menelik II (1889-1913). In this post I have highlighted effective measures that were put in place, mainly during Emperor […]