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An Interview with Mary Thurston, Public Services Intern

Today’s interview is with Mary Thurston, a summer intern working in the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress. She is one of two interns we have this summer from the same program that brought us Ashley Sundin last year and of which I am also an alumna.

Describe your background.

Photo by Fernando O. Gonzalez

Photo by Fernando O. Gonzalez

I am interning here for three weeks as part of the Law Librarianship Program at the University of Washington. Prior to pursuing law librarianship, I worked as an attorney at a small firm in the Seattle area.  I earned my J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am interning in the Public Services Division. The work is focused on legal reference and research. I assist with answering patron questions through the Ask a Librarian Service, and am involved with print and electronic collections projects including updating the Guide to Law Online: U.S. States & Territories and the Global Information Legal Catalog.

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

As part of our program at the University of Washington we are required to do three weeks of directed fieldwork. When I discovered that there was a chance to work at the world’s largest law library, I jumped at the opportunity.

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

I did not realize that the Law Library had such an extensive collection of foreign law–collecting from countries and legal systems of the world.  I had no idea that the Library of Congress has overseas acquisitions offices in Cairo, Islamabad, Jakarta, Nairobi, New Dehli, and Rio di Janeiro.

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

I love to travel. The last international trip I took was to Turkey. I took a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia. I highly recommend it!

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