Our central team is led by Katie Colson, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and working towards a master’s of science in library and information science degree. She is originally from northern Idaho and began her career in libraries working at the Boundary County Public Library during high school. She was working as a cataloger at the rare book and manuscript library on campus while in school. Last summer, she was part of the Junior Fellows program, and we are glad to have her back as a team lead for the fall!
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?
It is impossible to pick a favorite of the projects I have worked on for the Law Library of Congress! Both my projects thus far have allowed me to support accessibility to resources, which is central to what I want to add to the library field. Working as a junior fellow this summer, I was able to improve the accessibility of the blog’s resources by adding alt text to images and creating guidelines for adding alt text. This fall, as a remote metadata intern, I get to create metadata for bill summaries that will allow for discovery and exploration of this amazing resource. What could be better?
Why do you keep coming back to the Library of Congress?
I keep coming back to the Library of Congress because, first of all, the people who work here are awesome! In addition I keep working for the Library of Congress because I get to be part of a library that is a leader in the field, and has helped create the standards and best practices I interact with every day. I am also able to support the library that works closely with the government that runs my country, and I feel honored to be part of that. I want to be a part of the future of libraries and working for the Library of Congress feels like a huge step in that direction!
What is the coolest thing you’ve come across while working with us?
There has really not been just one cool thing, but many! Everything I have worked with, from blog posts to bill summaries, has shown me new information about history, our government, and the world we live in! It has been amazing in particular working with the bill summaries and seeing all the work that goes into developing the laws and policies that govern the country.
What are you hoping to do in the library field?
I want to work in supporting information access, and I want to make sure libraries are able to take advantage of the interconnectedness of the digital age. I see that happening through metadata, and I want to create guidelines and explore new areas of application for metadata and allow new, unexpected connections to be made. I envision an interconnected library with the ability to connect patrons easily to diverse, in-depth, multi-perspective, and accurate resources.
As a voracious reader, libraries have always been an important part of my life, but I first saw my future career in them while working in the library at my undergraduate school, the University of Idaho. I was able to help students find the resources they were looking for and be a part of an entity whose entire goal was information access and fostering connections. I loved diving into new topics with every patron and exploring a wide variety of topics every day. I found my future and I have been pursuing that future and finding my exact niche in this field ever since.
And now, the team!
William Blackerby is proud to call Birmingham, Alabama home. A graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South with a B.A. in classical languages, he is in his seventh year teaching Latin and Greek at Indian Springs School just outside Birmingham. He is a second year M.L.I.S. student at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. Outside of work and school, he enjoys playing old time fiddle and spending time with his wife and dog. William hopes to use the skills gained during his master’s program to help libraries and nonprofits find technological solutions to information management problems.
Katie Harper (she/her/hers) is an Ohio native who holds an M.L.S. degree with a focus in health information from the University of Kentucky and a B.S. in elementary education from the University of Louisville. She currently works for her local public library as a full-time clerk. Before that, she worked at an academic library as a research and instruction assistant, as well as a stack maintenance assistant. In the future, Katie hopes to work in the health information field as a medical librarian.
Renée LaCapria-Harper is currently pursuing a master’s degree in archiving and records administration from San José State University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Wilmington University. From previous studies, she holds an M.I.S. from University of Phoenix; an M.L.I.S. from San José State University; and a B.A. in communication studies (concentration in rhetoric and argumentation) from California State University, San Bernardino. She is a technical project manager with dreams of joining others who work diligently to archive the many stories that history produces. When the workday ends and between university studies, Renée enjoys reading, building websites, and expanding her knowledge in technology, archiving, and digital art.
Sami Luke is a current graduate student at Wayne State University where she is studying for a master’s degree in library and information science with a specialization in library services such as library systems and infrastructure. Sami went to Michigan State University (M.S.U.) for a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in women’s and gender studies. While working as a remote metadata intern for the Law Library, Sami also works at the M.S.U. library in the reference and discovery services department. In the future she hopes to continue working with metadata and/or venture into the world of cataloging.
Sam Mays lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is currently finishing his M.L.I.S. through Kent State University. In addition to this internship, he is a volunteer at Cincinnati History Library and Archives. When not reading or researching, he loves running, watching documentaries, and cooking.
Andrew Reiter is a Michigan native currently based in Austin, Texas, where he is in his final year as a master’s student in the school of information at the University of Texas. Andrew is interested in digital libraries, metadata, and the digital humanities and hopes to work at a university or in the government after graduation. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading, and being outdoors as much as the Texas heat allows.
Nancy Sprouse is a recent M.L.I.S. graduate from Texas Woman’s University, and current resident of San Antonio, Texas. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University, and a master’s in biology from the University of the Incarnate Word. She has actively worked in information technology for the past seven years and joins this season’s remote internship to diversify her current skills with metadata experience. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her dogs, cats, and chinchilla, as well as gardening. She currently hopes to obtain a future position that will allow her to utilize her diverse skill sets and plans on continuing her education in the near future to include a Ph.D. in library and information science.
Margaret Stephens lives in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a bachelor of science degree in healthcare leadership from National-Louis University. She is completing her coursework for an M.S.L.I.S. at Chicago State University. She enjoys Chicago’s fireworks and the Shoreline Skyline Lake Tours at Navy Pier.
Stacey Weldon is currently studying information communication technology at the University of Kentucky. Her current internship at the Law Library of Congress has allowed her to pursue knowledge of metadata related to Congress Research Service bill summaries. She is interested in the topics of finance, data management, and metadata.
Julia Zamarripa is from Houston, Texas, and is currently an M.L.S. student at Texas Woman’s University. She received her B.B.A. in finance from Texas State University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and baking.
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