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Five Questions (The Intern Edition): Vatina McLaurin


Vatina McLaurin, 2011 Science Reference Summer Intern

1. What is your background?

I’m a true Midwesterner!  I am from the Chicago suburbs and attend college in Rock Island, Illinois.  I am a sophomore at Augustana College and will pursue a double major in Anthropology and Religion.  I love learning about people’s cultures, values, and beliefs, which drove me to explore veganism, one of my own strongest beliefs, while at the Library.

2. How did you learn about the intern program and why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?

I learned about this program from two girls who had interned at the Library last summer, Kim and Chris Hedlin.  They were excited to talk about their internships and share their experiences with me. Their enthusiasm was contagious!  I was eager for an opportunity to learn in-depth about a topic that is important to me. 

3. How would you describe your internship?

I was able to see the LC through the eyes of someone so passionate about the institution: my amazing supervisor, Connie Carter. 

2011 Summer Interns with Constance Carter. Science Reference Desk Alcove, John Adams Building, Library of Congress.

My internship was a surreal experience!  I navigated through the stacks (getting lost numerous times), found books- new and ancient- on vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, and explored the Library itself. I created Veganism: Eating Consciously and Compassionately. Resources for Active and Aspiring Vegans.

4. What has amazed you the most about the Library?

I was amazed to find books on vegetarian lifestyles from centuries before.  I was shocked to learn my favorite book on vegetarianism, The Golden Rule Cook Book  by Mrs. Maud Russell Lorraine Sharpe Freshel was copyrighted in 1907*.  So many people think vegetarianism and veganism are novel ideas.  Finding that these choices are rooted in bold and passionate writers from decades ago was so enlightening!

5. What have you learned about the Library that you didn’t know before you started your internship?

I never realized that the Library is such an active, progressive institution.  I had always heard about the centuries of history the LC houses, but I didn’t know the Library finds it just as important to document history as it happens.


    August 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    i real like lo work on the library,

  2. Gavin!!!!!
    August 25, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Yea Vatina! Go Vegetarianism!!!

  3. Kathy Molli
    August 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Very nice article!

  4. Gerri Cangelosi
    August 26, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Words fail to describe the loving pride we feel for you and your accomplishments. There is no limit to what you can achieve in your lifetime.
    Go, Vatina!
    Reach for those stars…….

  5. Dea DeMarco
    August 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    So, compassionate eating is not a fad.

    I love animals, and I love to eat them, too. Even a devout carnivore like myself was intrigued by your use of the word “compassionate”, and I ended up in your extensive resource list.

    I will pass it on! Thank you for compiling this for us.

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