This week’s interview is with Endia Sowers Paige, a legal reference librarian with the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress.
Describe your background
I am from South Carolina, but I grew up living in several places including North Carolina, Michigan and Germany. I spent childhood summers at my grandmother’s house in rural South Carolina. My cousins and I would spend our days picking blackberries, milking honeysuckle flowers, and chasing fireflies. I believe those summers helped to develop my deep love of nature and being outdoors. I was also one of those kids who would read in bed under the blankets with a flashlight, so I guess it’s fitting that I chose a career surrounded by books.
What is your academic/professional history?
I earned my Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from the University of South Carolina. After a stint in the Peace Corps, I went to law school and completed the Juris Doctor/Master of Library Science joint degree program at North Carolina Central University. I knew that I wanted to be a law librarian after just one semester of law school, so I was grateful that I could earn both degrees at the same time and work in the law library there for two years before graduating.
In addition to working at the Law Library of Congress, I am also the Reference and Outreach Services Librarian at George Mason University’s law library. I previously worked at the Howard University School of Law as a Reference Librarian and Legal Research Instructor.
How would you describe your job to other people?
I help people find the resources that they need to understand the law and other legal topics.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library?
It’s the biggest collection of legal materials in the world. Having access to such a vast collection to assist patrons is a librarian’s dream. I enjoy that each shift at the reference desk brings new opportunities to learn about new areas of law. My legal research skills have grown tremendously in my time here.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library of Congress?
There are too many to name, but one thing that has been amazing to learn is how many global legal specialists work in the law library. Whether you need an expert in Mongolian law or are seeking a legal research specialist who speaks Amharic or Hindi, we have someone to help. My colleagues here are brilliant.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I am in divinity school. I am currently three classes away from completing a Master of Arts in Religious Studies with a concentration in Ethics and Social Justice. I am interested in the intersection of law, religion, and ethics.
Outside of work and academics, I am really fascinated with natural living and holistic health so my hobbies include soap making, herbalism, and aromatherapy.