Introducing…Mariana Newman as the July 2018 FCIL Librarian of the Month


1.Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Los Angeles, CA. I bleed Dodger blue!

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

When I was at UCLA Law, I was a research assistant for two+ years in their library research assistant program. I was fortunate to have the guidance of library director Kevin Gerson and librarian Jenny Lentz after law school during a time when I was questioning my path. They suggested law librarianship, and I felt like it might be the perfect fit. I’m also grateful for the mentorship of Richard Jost at the UW law librarianship program who helped mold me into a law librarian.

3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?

Here at Columbia I’ve learned more about foreign, comparative, and international law librarianship through our administrative rotation system. I’ve been working with our International, Comparative, and Foreign Law Librarian, Silke Sahl, since January. I felt so lucky to be able to attend the ASIL Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in April, and listen to some fascinating speakers and meet many FCIL librarians.

4.Who is your current employer? How long have  you worked there?

I’m currently employed at the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library at Columbia Law School, and I’ve worked here for just under a year.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I took French in high school and was an Italian minor in college, but both languages are pretty rusty now. I’d love to find more opportunities to practice speaking both!

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

I’ve only been a law librarian for a year and am in my first post-MLIS job, so right now I’d say my biggest professional achievement is making it to the other side of the first year happy that I am in this career!

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Guacamole. I could eat my cousin Mimi’s guacamole and chips until I exploded. My coworker (and FCIL-SIS Secretary-Treasurer) Sabrina Sondhi recently shared with me some avocados her parents picked from the tree in their yard in Southern California and mailed all the way to New York. I was in heaven!

8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?

I am really not a dancer, but I do love to sing at the top of my lungs while driving (something I miss since moving to New York City, since singing on the subway is generally not appreciated. ;)) Paul Simon’s Graceland album is an old favorite for car singing.

9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?

I would love to be able to sing beautifully or play the piano past my “quit lessons at age 11” level. I so admire people with natural singing talent!

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?

This is perhaps a little odd, but I couldn’t live without hand lotion. Even if my hands don’t “feel” dry, they feel dry to me. I was just on a glorious short vacation on Prince Edward Island with two of my library school friends, and I picked up a bottle of “Island Potato Face & Hand Cream.” We learned that Islanders are very proud of their potato industry, and this lotion is made with 70% potato juice. I must say, my hands smell like I’ve been slicing raw potatoes after I use it, but they are feeling very soft!

11. Anything else you would like to share with us?

Just that I’m grateful to be a member of such a friendly and generous professional community, and I look forward to meeting more of you at the AALL Annual Meeting this month.