Today’s interview is with one of our newest colleagues, Stephen Mayeaux, who is a legal information specialist in the Digital Resources Division of the Law Library of Congress.
Describe your background.
I grew up in a small town in Northwest Florida and moved to D.C. in 2012 after spending a few years in New York for college and in Pennsylvania for library school.
What is your academic/professional history?
I received my M.L.I.S. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011 and a B.A. in 2010 from New York University, where I double-majored in linguistics and psychology.
After receiving my M.L.I.S., I moved to D.C. to work as a public librarian in Montgomery County Public Libraries (Maryland) and Fairfax County Public Library (Virginia). Since then, I have worked at the U.S. Department of Labor, the American Library Association-Washington Office, and, most recently, as a program specialist at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
How would you describe your job to other people?
My job as a librarian in the Digital Resources Division of the Law Library is to help improve and expand online access to our unique collections for Congress, federal agencies, the courts, researchers, students, and the public. Currently, I am focused on new digitization efforts for certain rare collections–as well as developing or refining ways to easily browse and search our digital collections on Law.gov–and on the Library of Congress website overall.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
Over the last few years working as a librarian or alongside librarians, I have been fortunate to witness the wealth of talent, experience, and expertise among the Library of Congress staff, and I was eager for the opportunity to join an institution that is looking for new ways to connect more people to its collections. Now is an especially exciting time to be working at the Law Library, as we continue to align with the Library’s digital planning efforts and work to improve the way users experience the Library of Congress.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
I was astonished to learn the degree to which the Law Library of Congress serves as a truly global institution. Before starting this position, I had not realized just how much our mission, staff’s legal expertise, research, and collections draw from the legal materials of other nations, with many of these collection materials printed in the original languages.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
My career in libraries began when I became a student volunteer at the circulation desk of my school media center in 5th grade, followed by stints in my school libraries in middle and high school. I have held a few other non-library jobs since then, but none that lasted very long, or were ever as rewarding as working in a library, or advocating for libraries and librarians.