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An Interview with Isabella Marques de Castilla, Leadership Development Program Fellow

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This week’s interview is with Isabella Marques de Castilla, who is at the Law Library of Congress as a Fellow in the Library of Congress Leadership Development Program.

Describe your background.

Isabella Marques de Castilla standing in front of a wood paneled wall with gold letters spelling, "The Law Library of Congress."


I am a product of different customs and cultures.  I have resided in various countries including Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  I return frequently to the German-speaking countries and to Spain, Italy, and France.  I have also been in some of the Latin American countries and Canada.

What is your academic/professional history?

I have a degree in European history, certificates in Italian, German, and British studies, and a master’s degree of Library and Information Science.  I am fluent in Spanish, German, English, and Italian.  I also have extensive experience in the world of fashion and textile design.  Prior to arriving at the Library of Congress in 2003 I worked in the private sector.  I served as the customer service and production administrator for Potters Europe in England, where I was responsible for building and sustaining relationships with internal and external customers in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain.  Further, I worked directly for the senior director of Engineering Program Development at General Dynamics Land Systems, where in addition to performing administrative responsibilities I served as a link between the office and European business partners.

Currently, I perform the duties of a professional librarian/cataloger in the Germany Section of the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, where I am responsible for cataloging German material.  I also collaborate with another section to catalog material in Italian and Raeto-Romansch, in the subjects of European art and architecture.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am honored to work at the Library of Congress.  Each morning as I enter the Library, I feel excited to be part of this glorious institution!  My primary function is to organize German material according to the rules and standards of the Library of Congress. In addition, I execute a variety of activities within and outside the Library.  I serve on committees, teach Spanish courses, assist colleagues throughout the directorate with European art and architecture and language questions, and have instructed on the (Integrated Library System) ILS upgrade of the cataloging module (Voyager).

Why did you want to work at the Law Library?

I came to the Law Library as a Fellow in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) to work on my second full time rotational assignment.  My project is to calculate the rate of growth and volume of born-digital vs. legacy/analog material in the collection over the last five years, and to calculate an estimated potential increase in born-digital documents in the next decade.  I am honored to have the opportunity to make a contribution with my project, and I love being here!

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?

I admire the high level of professionalism and respect that is displayed by the leadership and all members of the staff, and the high degree of trust and freedom that people have to contribute and perform.

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

One thing may be that I love to dance, and the more I dance, the more energy I get.  Another may be that I have passion for ‘fine’ food, prefer cold weather, and make great grilled octopus.

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