The following is an interview with Jessica Craig, a junior fellow in the Digital Resources Division of the Law Library of Congress.
Describe your background:
I have lived in the Southern Californian city of Camarillo all my life, which is located equally between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. I am a first-generation college graduate and the youngest of my family. As a student, I spend most of my time studying, but whenever I find the time, I try to do something creative. My interests are mostly centered around art, whether it’s learning it, practicing it, or just admiring it!
What is your academic/professional history?
This month I am finishing my first year of graduate study at UCLA where I am pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science degree and completing a digital humanities graduate certificate program. In my current studies, I am focusing on the intersection of informatics and archival work. Just back in 2019, I earned my bachelor’s degree in art history at California State University Channel Islands. My library career path started at the Camarillo Public Library and from then on I’ve held positions at the UCLA Arts Library, UCLA Information Studies Research Lab, and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.
How would you describe your job to other people?
While I am working on multiple and varied projects, my overall job is to enhance the user experience of the Law Library’s online collections and resources. It requires working with metadata, reorganizing and redisplaying content, paying attention to detail, and a surprising amount of creativity. My primary project focuses on the web design and usability of the Law Library’s online collection of legal research reports. My goal is to redevelop the webpages so that any user, whether they are a beginner or expert in legal research, can smoothly navigate them and find what they are looking for.
Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?
The active initiatives promoted by the Library of Congress relate very much to my personal and professional interests. I was confident that serving as a Junior Fellow would allow me to develop my skills, strengthen my understanding of library practices, and equip me with valuable hands-on experience within the Library and Information Science field. I also knew that working with the people at the Library would be a wonderful experience, as I could learn from their expertise and benefit from their great mentorship.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library of Congress?
As someone without a law background, so much is new to me at the Law Library of Congress. I have learned a great amount, especially about the wide international scope of the collections. But the most interesting fact is that the Law Library is open whenever either chamber of Congress is in session. This means that law librarians are available during congressional meetings regardless of the time of day or night, weekends, or holidays. It goes to show how truly dedicated law librarians are to their work!
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I love playing and watching trivia games! Many of my days end with watching a trivia show. It is on my bucket list to make it onto Jeopardy! one day.