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An Interview with Pam Oliver, Collection Services Intern

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Pam Oliver standing in front of a large globe on a stand.
Pam Oliver, intern for the Collection Services Division. (Photo by author.)

This week’s interview is with Pamela Oliver, one of our summer interns in the Collection Services Division.  Pam is working on our Gazette Guide, inventorying our holdings one country at a time for inclusion in what will eventually be a complete database of all of our foreign gazette holdings.  Pam jumped right in, working on complicated countries such as Malaysia.  We are very happy to have her with us this year.

Describe your background.

Despite being reliably informed that I can’t call myself a Marylander since I’ve never eaten crabs, I was born in Silver Spring and grew up in Laurel, where I still live with my family.

What is your academic/professional history?

I graduated from American University with a BA in International Studies and minors in history and Japanese. I studied abroad at Waseda University in Tokyo, where I spent most of my time trying to consume as much food as humanly possible. More recently, I’ve been taking Korean classes at a local community college–I like to use “language practice” as an excuse to get Korean barbecue. (As you can see, there’s a bit of a theme here!)

How would you describe your job to other people?

I’m working on the Gazette Guides with the (eventual) goal of creating a database of the Library’s foreign gazette collection. It’s still in the early stages, so my work mostly involves seeing what gazettes the Library has and evaluating their contents.

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

I also enjoy research (when it’s not for a grade, at least), so I jumped at the chance to have access to the Law Library’s collection! I love handling older materials and wondering about all the people who have read or used them before me. Working with legal materials like gazettes also gives me some unique insights into each country I probably couldn’t get from a standard history book.

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

The Law Library has the largest collection of official gazettes in the world, and is one of only two libraries in the U.S. that collects them. Other countries have even consulted the Law Library’s collection when their own records are lost or destroyed.

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

Even though I’m a mediocre singer at best, I love karaoke–but only in a private room with friends! I’d never be able to sing in front of a group of strangers.

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