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An Interview with Stephen Wesson, Educational Resources Specialist

Today’s interview is with Stephen Wesson.  He’s an educational resources specialist at the Library of Congress. Stephen manages a number of the Library’s K-12 initiatives and blogs for Teaching with the Library of Congress.  He does a fantastic job of providing teachers with information about Congress.gov and other areas of overlapping interest such as Magna Carta.  He also previously did a guest post on In Custodia LegisTeaching with the Raw Materials of the Law: Primary Sources and the Legislative Process.

Describe your background.

stephon-wesson-interview-in-custodia-legisI moved to Washington from Austin, Texas, which has many things in common with the District: a population of avid readers, a river running through town, and an outsize dome looming over the skyline and over public life. The comparison breaks down when you look at taqueria quality, though, or tolerance for sandals in business meetings.

What is your academic/professional history?

My first career was in educational publishing, where I worked for many years in a number of disciplines. I was fortunate enough to enter that field during a period of transition and was able to collaborate not only with longtime experts in print publishing but also with new arrivals exploring emerging media–the best of both worlds.

How would you describe your job to other people?

In the Educational Outreach division of the Library of Congress, we develop tools and professional development resources that support the effective educational use of the Library’s online collections. Primary sources have tremendous educational power, and as the world’s largest repository of historical artifacts, the Library has great potential for changing the lives of teachers and students. It’s exciting to get to play a part in unlocking that potential every day.

Why did you want to work in the Library of Congress?

The Library has been part of my life since I discovered Alan Lomax recordings in my local public library, and the prospect of helping the greatest cultural institution on the planet reach one of its most important audiences was irresistible. My daily work lets me collaborate with colleagues from a dizzying array of fields and learn from some of the nation’s most creative teachers and students. I discover something new every day, and I can’t imagine that happening any place else.

 What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

I continue to be amazed by the staff of the Law Library of Congress–not only the depth of their subject-matter expertise, but their commitment to supporting the Library’s audiences. Every time I turn around, I discover a new project or a new resource that the Law Library offers. I don’t know when they sleep.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

When I was a child, my parents read me tales by Edgar Allan Poe as bedtime stories. I probably should talk to them about that.

An Interview with Glenn Ricci, Lead Information Technology Specialist

This week’s interview is with Glenn Ricci, lead information technology specialist in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the Library of Congress.  Glenn has produced videos and webcasts for various Law Library events.  Most recently, he produced two videos related to the upcoming exhibition – Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor . Describe your background. I […]

An Interview with Tanya London, Stacks Services Lead Technician

This week’s interview is with Tanya London, lead technician in the Stacks Services section of the Law Library’s Collection Services Division.  Tanya recently held an extended temporary position as a program specialist in the Law Library’s Office of Legislative and External Relations. Describe your background. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in History/Political Science from Virginia Union University. […]

An Interview with Ann Hemmens, Legal Reference Librarian

This week’s interview is with Ann Hemmens, a legal reference librarian with the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress. Describe your background. I grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. My parents were transplants from Illinois and I inherited their interest in travel and living in different parts of the country. I’ve […]

An Interview with Andrew Winston

Today’s interview is with Andrew Winston, a legal reference librarian in the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress. Describe your background. I grew up in Virginia and went to college and law school there.  I studied Ancient Greek and Latin as an undergraduate, went to law school and practiced law, and then […]