Today’s interview is with Louis Myers, the current Librarian-in-Residence at the Law Library of Congress. Louis has recently authored blog posts for In Custodia Legis, including Research Guides in Focus – Municipal Codes: A Beginner’s Guide and Research Guides in Focus – Neighbor Law: A Beginner’s Guide.
Describe your background.
I am originally from Akron, Ohio, where I lived until moving to Idaho to attend law school, and then moved to Alaska after graduating. I have always been an avid reader, often causing my parents problems both with late-night flashlight reading sessions and working through books faster than they could be replaced either from book stores or the local library. My interest in becoming a librarian started at a young age, but it took me some time to finally get around to making it into a profession. In my free time I am an avid skier in the winter, and try and ride my bike any day it’s not raining during the warmer months of the year.
What is your academic/professional history?
I attended Kent State University, receiving a BA in history in 2010, and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) in May 2020. I also attended the University of Idaho College of Law, earning a JD in 2017. My first experience working in a library came during my time in law school, and I must say the two years as a circulation assistant reignited my interest in becoming a librarian, with a focus on law. Upon graduation and bar study, I moved to Alaska and worked for the judiciary in Kodiak (that’s where the bears live) as a law clerk, and then transitioned into a staff attorney position for a non-profit organization in Anchorage. I then moved back to Ohio to be closer to family and took a position through AmeriCorps at our local food bank while earning my MLIS. I was then given the amazing opportunity to join the Law Library of Congress as its Librarian-in-Residence.
How would you describe your job to other people?
I get to work on quite a wide variety of projects within the Public Services Division. Generally, I try to pick up an Ask-a-Librarian question each day, and then work on other specific projects as needed. I have already had the opportunity to teach an orientation webinar, co-authored a legal report, written a Global Legal Monitor article, and have been involved with several LibGuide projects. I feel like I have been given an opportunity to create my own style of librarianship with the guidance and mentorship of the wonderful people who I work with, and hope to continue to grow my skills while providing top-notch legal reference to all of the researchers who use our services.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
To me, the Library of Congress is the most well-respected library in the world—where else would I want to work? But on a more serious note, I think the opportunity to work with the largest legal collection on the planet and have the opportunity to learn from the expert law librarians here will be a defining moment in my career, and will truly create a framework that I will carry with me no matter where law librarianship takes me. Each morning when I wake up I am still in awe that my job is with the Library of Congress.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library of Congress?
During one of the first weeks I learned that our foreign law collection is so large and comprehensive that foreign governments sometimes ask us to share our copies of their laws when they need to do primary source research. That is pretty cool!
What is something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
During undergrad I played bass and keyboards in several acid-rock and reggae-style bands. I still play the piano occasionally but I am definitely way out of practice these days.