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Q&A: Jessica Castelo

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Jessica Castelo is a museum technician in the Visitor Engagement Office.

Tell us about your background.

I am originally from a city in the greater Los Angeles area called Downey. I attended California State University Channel Islands for my bachelor’s in history and the University of Southern California (USC) for my master’s in library and information science. I was fortunate to intern at the Library from September to December 2022 while finishing grad school.

After my internship, I worked as a medical records clerk in Los Angeles briefly before moving back to Washington, D.C.

What brought you to the Library, and what do you do?

During my Library internship, I worked in the Visitor Engagement Office and the Informal Learning Office. Shortly after my internship ended, my current position opened, and I returned to the Library in August 2023.

As a museum technician, I help to oversee visitor operations in the Jefferson Building and ensure that our visitors have a positive experience.

Examples of daily tasks include running the Main Reading Room experience, staffing the ticketing podium and information desks and engaging with visitors by sharing my knowledge of the Library. I also work Live at the Library events on a rotating schedule with my fellow museum technicians.

What are some of your standout projects?

One of my standout projects is from my internship last fall. I worked on a research project for the 125th anniversary celebration of the Jefferson Building’s opening. I conducted research in the online catalogs of the Manuscripts and the Prints and Photographs divisions to create a PowerPoint presentation on the building’s construction and its first few years of being open. I also created a reference sheet for volunteers to get a sense of what the very first opening day was like for visitors.

This was a very rewarding project, and I am grateful my internship allowed me to be a part of such a monumental event. The project was especially valuable to my current position, because I can now speak to how the Library can be used for in-person and online research.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy reading and exploring the different neighborhoods of D.C. I am still pretty new in town and love exploring everything D.C. has to offer. I combine my interests by visiting different bookstores in the city and finding new parks outside of my neighborhood on Capitol Hill to sit in and read.

What is something your co-workers may not know about you?

I have a twin sister! We are fraternal twins and opposites in personality. So, even when we are standing next to each other, people don’t usually guess it.

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Comments (3)

  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing! I visited the Jefferson Building in Sept 2022 and my birthday present to myself was my LOC card and access to the Reading Room! I work at the Council Bluffs Public Library in Council Bluffs Iowa. Thank you for all you do!

  2. What an icon! The future of the library field!

  3. So wonderful to have people from different backgrounds work at library! There seems to be passionate staff here 🙂

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