This week’s interview is with Jennifer Gonzalez, a digital library technician in the Law Library’s new Digital Resources Division. Jennifer is helping to review our content and serves as a web editor.
I am a Floridian, born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Florida with my two younger sisters. My family still lives in Florida, and I enjoy traveling back to the beach any time I can. I moved to New York and Seattle for school, and have recently settled with my husband, Fernando, in Fredericksburg, Virginia near George Washington’s childhood home.
What is your academic/professional history?
I received my undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida (go Bulls!) where I studied history and earned a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. After managing an education/tutoring program, I went to law school at Pace University School of Law, where I received an International Law Certificate along with my JD. I then spent a wonderful year in Seattle where I attended the University of Washington and earned a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) with a Certificate in Law Librarianship.
How would you describe your job to other people?
I work on various projects focused on adding material to the Law Library’s website. This includes coordinating the web publication of digitized material and reports from the foreign legal specialists. I also work behind-the-scenes to improve search results on the website by making content easier to find.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
I can’t imagine a better place to put my newly-minted MLIS to work! It is a privilege to work with some of the best law librarians in the world. I enjoy that my job provides me with fresh challenges and learning opportunities every day.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
The size of the collection is one of the most amazing things about the Law Library, of course, but how this size affects projects is incredible. For example, reclassifying items in the Law Library for the K class began in 2005 and is expected to conclude in 2025. For the 815,202 items that had the old classification numbers, the current goal is to re-class at least 20,000 volumes each year in order to complete on time!
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
Growing up, I was fortunate to participate in some uncommon activities. For over twenty years I performed Ukrainian folk dance even though I am not of Ukrainian descent. I was a synchronized swimmer and won several gold medals at the Sunshine State Games. I also was a professional musician and even played in Carnegie Hall!
I am also an accomplished traveler. My husband; our Australian Shepherd, Edison; and I have traveled more than 75,000 miles by car, crisscrossing the country hiking, taking pictures, and collecting stamps to fill our National Park Service passport!