This week’s interview is with Megan Lulofs, who is a contractor from CGI working in our Collection Services Division as a Library Technician and as an independent consultant in our Public Services Division.
Describe your background.
I have worked in various positions throughout the Law Library, and I have been here off and on for over five years. Right now, I work in both Collection Services as a Library Technician III, and in Public Services as an independent consultant. I was born and raised in Hampton, VA, but I have lived in the DC area for nearly nine years. I speak English and French, and I’ve amassed a small reading vocabulary in a variety of languages since I started working here. Most recently, I learned to read numbers and months in Chinese.
What is your academic/professional history?
I have a BA in English with a minor in Islamic Studies from George Mason University, an MLIS from The Catholic University America, and right now I am finishing the last semester of my JD at the University of Baltimore School of Law. In between tours of service at the Law Library, I was a project manager on an inventory project in the general collection of the Library of Congress.
How would you describe your job to other people?
My jobs in Collection and Public Services work towards the same end: ensuring that the Law Library’s collections are as complete and up to date as possible. In Collection Services, I am reviewing the periodical collection (K1-K30) volume by volume, and in Public Services I am reviewing the K-KF treatises looseleaf collection binder by binder. If an issue or a release is missing, I make a copyright claim; if something needs to be bound, I send it for binding. If we have one single issue of a title, it is old, and we have never received another, I review the title’s selection decision with the Collection Development Librarian or the Chief of Collection Services.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library?
When other kids said they wanted to be firefighters or marine biologists when they grew up, I said I wanted to work at the Library of Congress (save for that period when I wanted to be a medical examiner). It has been a dream job for a long time. However, at the same time that I was offered my first position here, I was also offered my other dream job: driving the Zamboni at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. Torn between the two, I chose the Library because it was non-seasonal employment and am still here today.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
Before the Library of Congress call number classes were created, the Law Library used their own unique call number system. Most items were given a call number based on jurisdiction, subject matter and author. Subject matter was divided into eight categories: constitutions were subject matter class 1, serials were class 5, and treatises were class 7, etc. For example, if Marcel Duchamp wrote a treatise on the French law of torts concerning injuries sustained while shoveling public walkways titled “In Advance of a Broken Arm,” it would have been classed as LAW France 7 Duchamp, and shelved alphabetically with respect to the titles of his other books. We’re making good progress on classifying the collection into the K schedule. But I’m always amazed by how well the old system can still work—over 98% of patron requests are ultimately located, regardless of call number style.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
My co-workers may have noticed my odd standing posture (almost always in third position, feet turned out), but may not know that it is because I am a classically trained ballerina. I danced for over 10 years. Injury has sidelined me, but I still love ballet, and try to attend as many performances as I can. I just recently saw Protégés III, with representatives from four different international ballet schools, and it was fantastic. Next, I’ll be seeing the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
I’m from Puerto Rico, and I’m a middle school teacher librarian. I read your comments and I wonder how silence that library could be, when mine is full of conversations, laughter, coming and going, the passing of books leaf, chatting, etc. Yeah, their suppose to be in silence, but with kids, that the least we’ve being worry about. I wish we can visit the Library of Congress (I mean me and a group of students assistants, who help me out a lot), so they can learn how special and emotionally involved are libraries with people around the world. My respect and a Happy Library week for you!!
I just called the Library for information on federal statutes and regulations and public laws. Megan is the person that ended up helping me and she is one of the most thorough and competent people in her field that I have ever had on the other end of the phone. Thank you so much Megan.