Today’s interview is with Allegra Chilstrom. Allegra worked with us last year as an intern adding metadata to the U.S. Treaty Series, and we welcomed her back this year with a new class of interns to work on the Statutes at Large.
Describe your background.
I was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, and I’m happy to be back in the area for the summer. I am about to start my senior year at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, and I’m not quite sure what I’ll be doing after I graduate! Right now I am interested in pursuing either publishing or a degree in library science, both of which would tie into my love of books.
How would you describe your job to other people?
I have spent this summer, and part of last summer, creating metadata for the United States Statutes at Large so that the Law Library can put those statutes online for the public to access. Using a list of keywords created by a committee here in the Law Library, I have been assigning each statute terms that will eventually help people to search for the statutes on the Library’s website.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
Besides the fact that the Law Library of Congress is the most extensive Law Library in the world, I had a great experience working with the Law Library staff last summer. I also wanted to continue to work on the metadata projects because I think that everyone deserves to have access to the tremendous resources that the Library contains, and I enjoy playing a small part in the effort to make that happen.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
I was very interested to learn that the Law Library (and the rest of the Library of Congress) participates in an interlibrary loan system, lending books to both public and institutional libraries. While I already knew that many institutions, including my own school, have libraries that participate in these systems, I was surprised that parts of such a large and extensive collection could be transferred to other parts of the country for anyone to use. To me this represents yet another way that the Law Library tries to reach out to the public and provide everyone with access to these collections.
What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?
My family just got an adorable golden retriever puppy named Tess! She is a ball of energy and a sweet and gentle dog. It’s so fun to watch her grow every day.