Today’s interview is with Taylor Gulasti, a program specialist in the Office of External Relations in the Law Library of Congress.
Describe your background:
I am a Virginia native, born in Woodbridge and raised in Fredericksburg – just an hour outside of Washington, D.C. on a good day. Living in such proximity to the beach, mountains, and D.C. was an enjoyable way to grow up, but I especially enjoyed growing up near downtown Fredericksburg because of its iconic ice cream spot and all of the unique boutiques and shops that line historic Caroline Street. After getting married, my partner and I moved to northern Virginia, which has been a great change of pace and more exciting to be just a metro ride away from the nation’s capital.
What is your academic/professional history?
I earned my bachelor’s degree in tourism with a concentration in events management from George Mason University. I was originally an education major with the hopes of teaching elementary education but took an elective class on intro to events management and realized that was what I wanted to pursue a career in. While in college, I interned at a non-profit company in Fairfax which later turned into a full-time position as a program manager responsible for coordinating all event operations, entertainment, and marketing for the company, the biggest event being the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival which had national headline acts each year. When the pandemic hit, events were at a standstill and therefore I found myself as a government contractor for the Small Business Administration, which ended up shifting to a federal employee position. All of that brought me here, as a program specialist in the Law Library.
How do you describe your job to other people?
I would describe my job to others as a combination of my two favorite things – events and administrative work. I get to assist in coordinating the Law Library’s Office of External Relations (OER) events while also getting to expand on my knowledge of administrative tasks – both of which I enjoy. The events that we coordinate in OER are a lot different than those in my previous experience, so I am constantly expanding my skills while also learning so much about the history of the Library of Congress and the Law Library. One of my favorite things that I get to do in my position is facilitating tours of the Law Library which has helped me to become more acquainted with the James Madison building as well as the Library of Congress overall.
Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?
Growing up, I feel like there was a notoriety around Washington D.C., and have always felt lucky to live so close to the nation’s capital. At an early age, my parents would take my siblings and me to places like Monticello, Mount Vernon, and the Smithsonian museums, which led to me having a deep love and appreciation of our country’s history and excitement for where the country could go. I have always been in awe of the architecture in D.C. and being able to be in such proximity to our democracy at work – I believe that was the main reason I wanted to work at the Library of Congress. I am learning so much about the legislative history of our country and all of the services that the Law Library and the Library of Congress have to offer. I cannot imagine a day when I will not be in complete awe getting off the metro as I walk into the Library to start my day. I never thought that I would work in the federal government or on Capitol Hill but I am very grateful that this is where life has led me and the skills that I get to expand on while here.
What is the most interesting fact that you’ve learned about the Library?
The most interesting thing that I have learned is that the Library of Congress has the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets from the night of his assassination. Additionally, one collection that I am enamored by is the Veteran’s History Project. I think it is such a beneficial program and such an innovative way to gain knowledge on the different generations of military history in our country while also being able to honor those who have served our country by their accounts of their service.
What’s something that most of your co-workers don’t know about you?
Something my co-workers probably do not know about me is that I have been to over 100 concerts, running the gambit of all genres. My first was Bon Jovi, my most recent concerts were Paul McCartney and Harry Styles, and my next is Taylor Swift. Through my previous job, I was able to meet bands like Good Charlotte and Sugar Ray. I love the artistic decisions in production that each performer makes at their concerts and the experiences and memories that are created for attendees, especially when I know what happens behind the scenes as an event producer to make all of that happen.
Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.