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Interview with Lena Gómez, Law Library Reading Room Technician

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Today’s interview is with Lena Gómez, Law Library Reading Room Technician.  We are happy to give the public a brief glimpse into her life; and as this is a parting interview of a colleague for whom we augur a brilliant future, we would like to take this opportunity to wish her much success in her future endeavors in librarianship.

Describe your background.

I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan in a neighborhood affectionately called “El Barrio” by longtime residents. I loved growing up in New York City!  I have fond girlhood memories of bike rides with my father to Central Park; crafty projects with my mother in our apartment; and walks with my grandfather to school. At age 11, my parents moved our family to Rockland County,  a suburb just a few miles outside of the city. My parents still live in Rockland, in a home that is 15 minutes away from the birthplace and childhood home of renowned artist Edward Hopper.  

I left my home state in the summer of 2010 and relocated to Washington, D.C., to work as a Library Technician (contractor) for the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress. My time here has been a growing experience! Although I am excited about beginning the next stage of my professional life, as Reference Librarian at Keller and Heckman, L.L.P., I am sad to leave the Law Library and I will miss my colleagues and friends tremendously.

Lena Gomez standing at the edge of a body of water and reaching out to branches on either side.

What is your academic/professional history?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz and a Master of Science (MSLIS) degree in Library and Information Science from Long Island University (LIU) Palmer School of Library and Information Science. Before my move to Washington, D.C., I worked as a Reference Librarian at Finkelstein Memorial Library, a bustling regional library in the greater New York City area. I provided reference desk service, and developed and maintained library collections for nearly four years.

I am a passionate advocate for literacy and lifelong learning. As a Reference Librarian in New York, I participated in the New York State Summer Library Reading Program, where I performed outreach duties at the local middle schools. Over the years, I have also enjoyed time as a tutor and mentor for grade school students.

How would you describe your job to other people?

As a Library Technician in the Law Library Reading Room, I answer ready-reference questions in-person and over the phone for federal constituents and members of the general public. My daily routine also includes a shift in the Microform Reading Room, where I provide one-on-one assistance on the usage of ScanPro®, a digital microfilm reader scanner. I spend another segment of my day performing collection maintenance for Reading Room materials as well as inputting records into the Global Legal Information Catalog (GLIC), a Library of Congress database that interfaces the library catalog with subject area and jurisdictional search capabilities. I have also updated sections of the Guide to Law Online, as well as submitted records into the Federal Inventory of Legal Materials.  

I volunteer for library events, such as the National Book Festival (which is held annually at the National Mall) and the recent field-trip of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) to the Law Library. Last year, I participated in the 1st Annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Chili Cook-Off at the Library of Congress… and won with my “Bronx Bomb Chili” entry! (Woot! Woot!)

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


As a Librarian, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up!


What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

Some time ago, I had an opportunity to view a display of rare books from Latin America arranged by Nathan Dorn, Rare Book Curator. One  of the books had the signature of Simon Bolivar

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

Most of my colleagues—including my partner in baking, Margaret —are well aware of my love for cooking and baking from scratch; but they might not know that I am an origami enthusiast. Over the years, I have made boats, swans, blow tops, cubes, and various other three-dimensional geometric objects.    Recently, I made a stellated octahedron.  

An origami piece made of blue, pink, and yellow paper in the shape of a stellated octahedron.

 I enjoy visiting the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) annually to see the Origami Holiday Tree, a New York and AMNH tradition for more than 30 years.


The Origami Holiday Tree in the American Museum of Natural History decorated and lit up.

Comments (2)

  1. Thanks to everyone who made my interview happen! 🙂

  2. Congratulations to Lena, from the Palmer School!

    Ellen Mehling
    Director, Westchester Program and Internships
    Palmer School of Library and Information Science
    Long Island University

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