This week’s interview is with Christine Ford, who is interning with the Law Library’s Public Services Division for three weeks. Jennifer is shepherding this interview for Donna Sokol while she’s away.Describe your background.
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and lived there for the majority of my life. I love St. Louis. I especially love all of the free museums, activities in Forest Park, ice cream at Ted Drewes, and Cardinals baseball. But I’m also looking forward to making Washington, D.C. my home– I hear that I’m not the only baseball fan in this area.
What is your academic/professional history?
I got my bachelor’s degree in women and gender studies from Washington University in St. Louis. While an undergrad, I interned with the county courthouse and enjoyed my experiences there; this led me to the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. I returned to St. Louis to work at a mid-sized law firm, primarily doing medical malpractice defense. I really enjoyed the research and writing aspects of legal practice; so, law librarianship seemed like a natural fit for me. I moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington’s Law Librarianship (UW) program, and am currently finishing my master’s degree in library and information sciences (M.L.I.S.). While at UW, I worked as a reference intern at the Gallagher Law Library. I am now at the Law Library of Congress completing my directed fieldwork, a requirement for my M.L.I.S. degree. At the conclusion of my brief stay here, I will attend the AALL annual conference and then return to D.C. to work for the IRS Historical Research Library as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF).
How would you describe your job to other people?
My internship is only three weeks long; so, I am here to learn as much as possible and help in any way I can. Thus far I have assisted with reference questions, updated a couple of online legal research guides, and cleaned up some cataloging records and indexing projects.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
While it has been said before, it’s worth repeating: this is the largest law library in the world, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work for this prestigious institution.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
It is nothing short of miraculous how the Library is able to maintain all of the physical items, especially with the continual growth. I was interested to learn about the off-site storage locations. After seeing firsthand how many law libraries are decreasing the size of their print collections, the Law Library of Congress feels like a dream.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I love to dance, but I don’t spend much time in the studio these days. Growing up I primarily focused on ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. After law school, I danced with a small group in St. Louis composed of adult dancers who wanted to keep their skills fresh. I’m hoping to find a similar niche here. While I’m sure my roommate appreciates coming home to the occasional impromptu solo dance party, a formal class might be a more appropriate outlet for my energies.