Top of page

Ashley Cuffia being interviewed by Fox News about Brood X 2021 cicadas. The U.S. Capitol is in the background.
Ashley Cuffia being interviewed by congressional correspondent Chad Pergram of Fox News about Brood X cicadas in 2021. Photograph by Maria Peña, Office of Communications.

Five Questions: Ashley Cuffia, Librarian for Medicine and Life Science

Share this post:

1. What is your background?

I am a native Marylander, born and raised south of Baltimore. I have two bachelor’s degrees: one in history, with a minor in political science, and a second in cyber security policy, followed by a master’s in library science. I started working in libraries in my sophomore year of college, as a circulation desk student worker. Once I graduated, I got a job at the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Health Science Library, where I worked as a reference tech. After that job, I worked at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, which is part of the National Library of Medicine. I was a library associate for them for almost 5 years before becoming their Consumer Health Librarian.

 2. Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?

I have wanted to be a librarian since I was a teenager and working at the Library of Congress was always the dream job. What could be better than working with the largest, most fascinating collection, going on mini treasure hunts in the book stacks, and learning something new every day?

3. How would you describe your job at the Library of Congress?

I would describe myself as a Book Wizard or Question Magician, as a lot of times LOC reference librarians are the last stop for someone trying to locate unknown information that no one else has been able to find. It takes a bit of detective work to find the little clues that lead to the right information.  I also get to use my creative side in creating research products, writing blog posts and working on special displays for events.

Ashley Cuffia and Natalie Burclaff standing with author Alexander McCall Smith behind a book display.
Ashley Cuffia and Natalie Burclaff (Business Section Head) with author Alexander McCall Smith at his book event at the Library of Congress, Nov. 2019

4. Do you have a favorite Library program or service?

The National Book Festival Presents author talk series. I’ve had the opportunity to put displays together for a few of the talks and been fortunate to meet the authors themselves. It is always fun to dig into our collections and find the most interesting representations of their discussion topics.

5. If you weren’t a librarian, what would you want to be? 

If I was not a librarian, my younger unencumbered self would have wanted to be an archeologist who worked on excavation sites all over Egypt and the Mediterranean. My less dusty, realistic adult self would have probably opened a small craft/florist shop; selling flower arrangements, designing flowers for weddings, and selling handmade crafts from local artisans or myself.

Do you want more stories like this? Then subscribe to Inside Adams — it’s free!


  1. I would like the authors of the blogs to include a picture of themselves. Please!

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.