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Five Questions (The Intern Edition): Alec Korte

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Alec Korte, 2012 Junior Fellow

1.  What is your background?

Excluding five years in California, I have lived most of my life in Bowling Green, Ohio, home to its namesake university as well as the National Tractor Pulling Championship. I am currently enrolled at the University of Cincinnati, where I am studying Mechanical Engineering and, eventually, Business as part of a five-year, dual-degree program.

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

I learned about the Junior Fellows program from a weekly email sent to me by the University of Cincinnati’s Honors Department about six months ago. While I oftentimes delete such emails without thinking twice, something prompted me to stop and read this one. About halfway through, the Library of Congress internship caught my eye… I decided to apply, and here I am! (Never again will I blindly delete emails!)

3.  How would you describe your internship?

The project I am working on involves sorting, cataloging, and filing a large microfiche collection of foreign annual reports from the late 1980s. By my estimates, there are roughly 15,000 reports in the collection (granted some are duplicates). So far, it has been quite a task—but still enjoyable and educational. I have learned a tremendous amount about the Library’s vast resources and had the opportunity to delve into a few topics of personal interest, namely investing and finance history. I have enjoyed reading about prominent businesspersons and financiers of the past as well as business trends. The Library’s collections of such are unmatched.

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

The amount and volume of material that is housed within the Library’s facilities continues to astound me. I’m a numbers guy; so I was amazed when one historian said that the Library receives approximately 10,000 new items on a daily basis—all of which must be sorted, cataloged and shelved. Of course, it wouldn’t work without the coordinated efforts of an extraordinary staff, which the Library is lucky to have.

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

Since my internships began, I have learned that the Library is much more than a brick and mortar building where erudite scholars and members of Congress do their research. It is also a place where the public becomes informed and where culture is celebrated. Recently, for example, I attended a presentation by Steven Raichlen on the history of barbeque and its cultural impact. Events like these abound in the Library, and I feel fortunate just to be here to experience them.

Comments (4)

  1. I want to know more about you .

  2. It was great having you here, Alec. All the best in your studies and future endeavors. Come and visit us again.

  3. Interesting read. Thank you for sharing.

  4. The Library Of Congress receives approximately 10,000 new items on a daily basis, that is a massive data base to curate, thanks to the LOC Staff for their hard work and sacrifice.

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