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An Interview with Jennifer Davis, Collection Specialist

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This week’s interview is with Jennifer Davis, a collection specialist and supervisor of the technical services librarians in our Collection Services Division at the Law Library of Congress.

Describe your background.

I am from Baltimore, and I grew up mainly in Maryland, but all my family and friends are from different cultures, so I grew up surrounded by a wide variety of traditions. We would eat lebkuchen, kimchi and tamales as often as blue crabs. Not at the same meal, though.

What is your academic/professional history?

I received my MLS at the University of Maryland at College Park, and an MA in English from The College of William and Mary. I had started working in my high school library as a volunteer, and continued working in libraries through undergraduate and graduate school. The summer between earning my MLS and going to Williamsburg for my MA, I worked in the Law Library of Congress as a contractor. The collection impressed me; I loved the books I worked with here. I’ve worked in federal libraries ever since.

How would you describe your job to other people?Jennifer Davis standing outdoors with trees and bushes behind her.

As a collection specialist, I get to recommend legal materials for the library to acquire. So I get to review a wealth of books and other formats all day long.

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

It bears repeating that the Law Library’s collections are so unique. Material that I see here is so different from what I have found in other collections. For example, last week I worked with books on Burkinabé women’s legal rights, complete with full color illustrations.

There’s a great team spirit here that I admire as well.

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

Today I was told that the Law Library’s blog was one of the first blogs at LC. I used to use it (along with other blogs) for inspiration when I was working on a blog at my previous agency. In Custodia Legis has always been one of my favorite Federal blogs to read, and I’ve read quite a few.

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

For years, I’ve loved to make things with my hands, and lately I’ve been knitting almost exclusively.

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