This week’s interview is with Alia Hussain, the newest technician in the Collection Services Division. With her writing background, I’m hoping she decides to contribute to our blog.
Describe your background.
I was born and raised in New Jersey, then moved to Chicago after graduating high school to attend college.
What is your academic/professional history?
I studied creative writing and cultural studies at Columbia College Chicago. I later obtained a Library and Information Technology Certificate at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. It was this program that launched my career in libraries—I interned at the John G. Shedd Aquarium Library, worked as a page, then as a public services/technical services associate at Westmont Public Library. Later, I got a job as an adult services specialist at White Oak Library District. After moving back to New Jersey, I transitioned from special and public libraries to law libraries, and worked as a research services assistant at Lowenstein Sandler LLP.
How would you describe your job to other people?
I get to see and touch the coolest stuff! While that’s a perk of the job, in all seriousness, the Law Library of Congress has the largest law collection (roughly 3 million items) in the world. I help process and organize incoming materials from all over the world—in the languages of their countries of origin—and work on special projects to improve Library functions. My ultimate goal is to complete my education, obtain an MLIS, and pursue Congressional research or archive related branches (rare books!) of the Library.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
I wanted to surround myself daily with the global frameworks of civilization, the history of human creativity and thought, and mentors who would challenge me to grow.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
The Law Library of Congress assisted Afghanistan after a turbulent regime change. The Taliban destroyed existing decrees and instated its own law and order. Because the Law Library had older materials from Afghanistan, it was able to provide the nation with important documented history that Afghanistan had lost.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I’m obsessed with poetry, creative writing, skydiving, cats, geeky stuff, and tattoos. If anyone wants to chat about any of these subjects, you will quickly become my new best friend.