LOCI Intern Spotlight: Sophie Wimberley

We regularly feature the interns whose hard work positively impacts the Library. Today’s interview is with a 2022 Summer participant in the Library of Congress Internship (LOCI) program, Sophie Wimberley.

Describe your background.

At present, I live in the Twin Cities (Saint Paul) Minnesota, where I completed high school and my undergraduate degree(s). Before moving to Saint Paul, I lived in Charlotte and Wilmington, NC, and New York City. My parents met working in television (both at ABC Sports), and my earlier memories consist of accompanying them on shows, climbing around ridiculously air-conditioned TV production trailers. I love learning about how things are made, how people learn, and information systems, especially inter-departmental modes of thinking.

 

What is your academic/professional history?

While I am currently a graduate student studying at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s iSchool, interning with the UX Team at the Library of Congress, and completing a service year in AmeriCorps at a public library, my background was been pretty varied. After graduating with my degree in English and Art History, I was an assistant manager in a restaurant and volunteered as a tutor ESL learner at a public library in Minneapolis. During the lockdown, my restaurant shut down, and I started applying for graduate programs in library schools. At this time, I also volunteered as a metadata and digital coordinator for the DREAM of Detroit Storytelling Project. Now that my internship with the Library has ended, I will work as a library associate at the public library in Saint Paul, MN.

 

How would you describe your job to other people?

My official internship title is User Researcher and Accessibility Analyst, but the main focus of my internship has been to meet with members of the UX Team and find patterns in the documentation practices. In addition to this, I have assisted my project mentor in coming up with a usability test for one of the departments at LOC.

 

Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?

It’s an incredible behind-the-scenes perspective for the field of librarianship and has a huge component of inter-departmental and field ways of thinking. The Library receives so many materials from across the globe and also outputs so many practices and methodologies.

 

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Library of Congress?

One of the most interesting facts I’ve learned about the Library of Congress is about their By the People crowd-sourced transcription, review, and tagging for digitized pages from the Library’s collections. Virtual volunteer opportunities provide an important space for people during COVID-19 and offer the opportunity for many voices to participate, which is important for historical understanding of documents.

 

What is something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

Besides the number of cats I live with (I’ll never tell), I feel like most of my co-workers do not know I am very into comic book writing and graphic novels. I write comics, both normal story-driven ones and others that are non-linear and accompanying poems. In addition to working in public libraries and accomplishing projects within the field, I hope to publish a graphic novel one day. We’ll see!

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