Today’s interview is with John “Trot” Trotman. John is working in the Collection Services Division of the Law Library of Congress as part of the institution’s Junior Fellows Program. The program’s focus is to increase access to our collections for our various patron groups.
Describe your background:
I grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia and went to school in Great Bridge. There I was lucky to have great teachers, friends, and family who, one way or another, have continually supported me in all my endeavors.
What is your academic/professional history?
Though I’m still relatively young, I’ve held a number of jobs. I’ve worked as an resident adviser (RA), an advocate for a refugee family, a substitute teacher, a marketing manager, and a crew chief for a paint company. Similar to my jobs, my studies have been very diverse. I graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in International Relations, but I also studied education methodology, environmental studies, international law, Middle East politics, and economics. My biggest problem is choosing which area to pursue in graduate school!
How would you describe your job to other people?
Working as a Junior Fellow in the Law Library is incredible! I look through countless legal documents from various countries and add missing materials to our existing collections. In the process of collating all the materials, I’ve chosen to highlight legislation from other countries that deals with environmental management. Because of the work my colleagues and I did, future researchers will be able to use the collections of the Library of Congress to study Papua New Guinea’s 1991 Forestry Act, Seychelles’ laws protecting green turtles, the laws establishing Israel’s Water Authority, and so much more.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
Education is so incredibly important, therefore I wanted a job that would provide me the opportunity to continue learning. What place could be better than the Library of Congress in developing your education? I was right to apply, because new and interesting materials are always on my desk. Just the other day I learned that Papua New Guinea banned sorcery in 1971 – and some people think law is boring!
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
My colleagues know everything there is to know about law. If you wanted to know anything about the Egyptian legal system, recent cases in the US Supreme Court, or how to get a fishing license in Cameroon, there’s someone here who can help.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I know where they stash their candy and have been taking it periodically.