1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Macon, Georgia. My father was a professor at Mercer University, so I grew up in the faculty housing at Mercer, just up the hill from the library.
2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?
Like a lot of law librarians, I was an unhappy and not particularly successful lawyer. I started thinking about what I could do to keep the research part of the job without the parts I didn’t like, and I went back to library school.
3. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there?
I’ve been at Emory University since 1994, as a student intern, a part-time reference librarian, full-time reference librarian, government documents librarian, and bibliographic instruction librarian; I’ve only been the foreign and international law librarian since 2013.
4. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?
I developed an interest in it over time. I took a lot of the international law questions when I was in government documents, and I taught some basic foreign and international law research in Advanced Legal Research and in the class visits to seminars and the international law journal. After a while, I liked getting those research questions and classes, because they were more challenging and I used a wider array of resources.
5. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I wish I did. I manage to read some materials in French, but I mostly get by with Google Translate and finding translated materials. One of these days I’m going to do some remedial work on my college French.
6. What is your most significant professional achievement?
That’s a tough one – my resume is more doggedly working my way through things than a series of achievements. I guess it’s that I’ve become a fairly competent foreign and international law librarian and instructor in spite of both that lack of language skills and an incredible discomfort with public speaking.
7. What is your biggest food weakness?
So many things that are terrible for me, but especially ice cream.
8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?
I’ll sing – in private – anything that I can remember most of the words to, so it’s all really old stuff like Love Shack (the B52s), a bunch of Beatles songs, and then there’s I Am Woman (Helen Reddy), which I sang to my daughter when she was a baby, because who knows the words to lullabyes?
9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?
Besides the foreign language ability I’ve already mentioned, Atlanta traffic makes me wish that I could fly. Or get a Tardis.
10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you cannot go a day without?
Like the millennial group that I am not part of, I can’t do without my cell phone.
11. Anything else you would like to share with us?
I have very genre-specific reading interests. See the photo above.
All the DipLawMatic Dialogue readers should register for the IALL Annual Course this year! It’s in Atlanta this year, which makes it easier to get to for the U.S. librarians, and we’ve got a lot of great lectures and excursions lined up. My personal favorite on the program is the movie tour on the optional day, where we will be visiting sites from the Civil Rights Movement and from movies filmed around Atlanta.