My Job: Ashley Jones

Three-quarters portrait of Ashley Jones, posed in covered entrance of the Madison Building. She's smiling and wearing a black pullover top.

Ashley Jones. Photo: Shawn Miller.

Ashley Jones is a visual information specialist in the Office of Communications. She designs the Library of Congress Magazine, the Gazette and other publications.

Tell us about your background.

I grew up in Baltimore County, Maryland. Art has always been a part of my life. I credit my elementary school art teacher with igniting my passion for art. I continued to create art all throughout my secondary schooling. Baltimore County has a great magnet school system where students can focus on a specific area of study in addition to their regular academic classes. This program gave me the opportunity to study painting, sculpture and photography in middle and high school.

I received a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Parsons School of Design, where I studied communication design. Communication design blends elements of graphic design with elements of marketing and strategic communication. In addition to communication design, I took a lot of art and design history courses. This gave me a wealth of knowledge that I still use to this day. Like many millennials, my college graduation coincided with the Great Recession. It was difficult to find work in a creative field during that time. I freelanced as much as possible during this time in order to develop my skill set and portfolio.

Libraries have always played an important role in my life. As a child, my mother would take my sibling and me to the Library multiple times a week. It was a place to do homework, meet new friends and discover a new book. At Parsons, we had access to multiple universities around New York City. This became an invaluable resource during my studies.

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

After graduating, it was important to me to have a job that made use of the degree I earned. I came across a posting online for a visual information specialist at the Library. I applied and was chosen to join the Office of Communications.

I work primarily with the Library’s publications including the Gazette, the Library of Congress Magazine (LCM) and the calendar of events. I serve as art director for the annual report. I also work on other design-related projects as assigned. These projects range from printed ads to social media graphics.

What are some of your standout projects?

I recently completed a refresh of the calendar of events. We stopped producing the calendar due to the pandemic. This pause in production actually provided an opportunity to reflect on the look and feel of the publication. The new design showcases the eye-catching Library orange and provides more space to highlight Library programming.

I have worked on many issues of the LCM. The January-February 2022 jazz issue is one of my recent favorites. Issues featuring great photography are my favorite to work on. You can view that issue here {//loc.gov/lcm/pdf/LCM_2022_0102.pdf}

What do you enjoy doing outside work?

Outside of work, I enjoy creating illustrations digitally and by hand. I am currently working on a painting. I used to paint a lot in high school, and I’ve wanted to get back into that practice lately. I also enjoy trying out new recipes from around the world. I enjoy making dishes from the Beryl Shereshewsky YouTube channel. People from all over the world submit recipes to her and she tries them out. Karaoke is another pastime that I enjoy. I received a karaoke machine one year for Christmas, and I have been hooked ever since.

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

I initially went to Parsons to study fashion design. That fashion design program was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was filled with long hours and lots of nonstop innovation. I learned so much about myself during that time. Ultimately, communication design was a better fit, but I wouldn’t trade my time spent in the fashion department for anything.

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