This week’s interview is with Melanie Antanesian. Melanie is working on communications and event planning for the Law Library’s Legislative and External Relations Division.
Describe your background.
I have called the quaint town of Clarksburg, Maryland my home for the majority of my life. I am currently studying public relations and technology entrepreneurship at Montgomery College in Germantown, Maryland. I am deeply grateful to my parents for raising me with a high regard for education. I grew up with my nose in a new book every week—the library was my playground.
How would you describe your job to other people?
As well as supporting the Legislative and External Relations division with administrative assistance, I have been working on communications to promote our special events. The Law Library hosts many fascinating and educational events; my role is to ensure that the public is aware of these upcoming programs and events.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library?
I fantasized about working at the Library of Congress after attending the Vardanants Day Armenian Lecture in the Thomas Jefferson Building in 2016. Every time I walk through Capitol Hill, I am still awestruck at the beauty of the buildings on Independence Avenue; the falling books atop the entrance of the James Madison Building are my favorite sight to see on Monday mornings. Besides the striking architectural work, the Law Library of Congress houses nearly 3 million items and the most extensive collection of legal works from other foreign countries! The number of items that are held within these buildings is mind-blowing.
When I was given the opportunity to intern at the Law Library of Congress, I was particularly looking forward to learning skills from the experienced individuals that make up this division. It is a very humbling feeling being able to work in such an educational and warm environment.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library?
I knew how extensive the Law Library’s collections were, but I was not aware of how many exciting events occur here—that is what is so exciting about my job. I think it is so important for the public to immerse themselves in the historic texts that have been saved for centuries for that specific purpose.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I am Iranian Armenian, and since the library has such a vast collection in their African and Middle Eastern Reading Room, I hope to use the resources available there to conduct my own research on ancient Armenian literature. I have always been passionately interested in Armenia and I am especially excited to have the opportunity to delve into the Armenian and Georgian collections.