Today’s interview is with Jenn Parent. Jenn is a remote metadata intern who described, created, and edited metadata on U.S. Reports last summer and is currently working on United States: Statutes at Large.
Describe your background.
I’m something of a wanderer. I don’t really consider anywhere to be a “hometown,” as I’ve moved a lot, which makes me glad as an adult. As a kid, I was less thrilled about moving because I wanted to stay with my friends! It was an amazing way to grow up and to experience various parts of the country. Currently, I live in Seattle, Washington.
What is your academic/professional history?
Most of my career has been in retail, specifically in bookstores. I have more than 15 years experience as an inventory and merchandising manager; though I have had a few other jobs as well. In May 2014, I graduated from Kennesaw State University with a bachelor of science degree in anthropology. Right after graduation, I spent the summer as a library intern at the National American History Museum.Then, I road-tripped my way across the United States.
In September 2014, I entered the University of Washington’s iSchool to attain my masters in library and information science. The last three years, I’ve worked at the University of Washington while pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science. It has been rather fun, as a student worker, to sample a job for a year and then try another. I’ve been a social media manager for a library; a curatorial assistant for an archive; and, currently a digital strategies student technician in the University of Washington libraries. My projects vary by need, but I do a lot of work with metadata, content management, and shared directories/files (editing, creating derivatives, organizing, and standardization, just to mention a few). I graduated June 3rd and look forward to starting my new job as an archivist at the Museum of Flight!
How would you describe your job to other people?
This is my second time as a remote metadata intern for the Law Library of Congress. The first time, I was a remote intern in the summer of 2016. This spring, I am using the internship as part of my Directed Fieldwork to complete my degree. I find this job interesting because it is very user-focused! I tell people that I am helping provide ease of access for researchers, but that it’s very detailed work requiring lots of thought and care.
At present, I am working on the 13th Congress of Statutes at Large. First, I review the legislation, and then I select the most fitting keywords from a controlled vocabulary. I have to think like a researcher: what word(s) would they use to search? It’s satisfying to know I will have provided some small measure of help in meeting someone’s information needs!
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
Being able to work remotely is a nice bonus, but what really called to me was putting things in order so someone could find them. Access is vital and if you can’t find what you seek, that is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Additionally, my love of culture and history tied in well with the initial project of the historical U.S. Reports. Even though I have no background in law, I used the internship to learn new information and acquire new skills–and apply my own knowledge and skills to help the Law Library of Congress.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
It may be obvious, but the sheer breadth of the collection is amazing. It thrills me to no end!
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I’ve driven more than half of historic Route 66, and I’d love to do the rest someday–it’s a view of the country you won’t get elsewhere. Also, I used to be quite a good pool player; though I am a bit rusty these days.