1. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Chicago, moved to Tennessee and then Maryland, but grew up mostly in Wisconsin. I went to college at UW-Madison, a great experience.
2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?
I tried a few other careers first—lawyer, Westlaw database developer, stay-at-home parent, elementary school teacher. Then, my sister became a reference librarian after spending several years in publishing. She loved it and I thought I’d try it too. Law librarianship combines my interest in law with my love of teaching and of learning new things.
3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?
I have been interested in international law since I was in junior high and the US bombed Cambodia as part of the Vietnam War. I read that the bombing was illegal, which made me realize that there was such a thing as international law (even though it is often ignored).
In law school I had a class on comparative family law, taught by Mary Ann Glendon. The foreign variations on marriage and other family law institutions fascinated me and made me curious about other differences in foreign legal systems.
4. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there?
5. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I speak French with a horrendous Midwestern accent, and a bit of Spanish here and there. Fortunately, I find it much easier to read foreign languages than to speak them. I took a class on reading German for academic purposes and, with a good legal dictionary, can bludgeon my way through German texts.
6. What is your most significant professional achievement?
Somehow, this question reminds me of the contest for the tallest midget –or I guess we say “little person” now. I suppose I would pick editing a couple of books on human rights with David Weissbrodt at Minnesota. The most fun achievement was writing an FCIL coursebook with my professional idol, Marci Hoffman.
7. What is your biggest food weakness?
8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?
Well, lots of songs—today I’d pick Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.”
9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?
I’ve always thought the Vulcan Death Grip would be a handy skill. Or the ability to listen to people saying stupid things without rolling my eyes.
10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you cannot go a day without?
Reading books. I am a library junkie.
11. Anything else you would like to share with us?
As I’m becoming less active in FCIL-SIS stuff, I’m pleased to see all the new[er] FCIL librarians getting involved. And a quick plug for the FCIL Jumpstart List that Lyo Louis-Jacques created; if anyone has language or subject-matter expertise to share, please email me and I’ll add you as a possible resource for FCIL research.