Meet New CALL Member, Mandy Lee

LC: You are currently a student at University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) living on campus. How long have you been a Graduate Assistant in the Law Library?

ML: I started the assistantship last August. I can’t believe it has been eight months!

LC: What made you decide to become a law librarian?

ML: A few years ago, I debated between applying to law school and library and information science graduate school. Law school was something I had considered since college. On the other hand, I love helping people and finding information, so librarianship seemed like a natural combination of the two. I ended up deciding to apply to law school, but librarianship was still in the back of my mind. The timing was finally right to go to library school, so here I am!

LC: What has been your favorite class so far?

ML: I’ve enjoyed all of my classes, so it would be tough to name a favorite. I’ve learned such varied things, and they have all contributed to my development as a librarian. If I had to pick one favorite of favorites, though, I’d probably choose Reference.

LC: How would you say library school is different from law school?

ML: Library school is less competitive, more collegial. Also, I get the sense that many of the people who choose to go to library school tend to go because they actually love the field. How many people can say that about law school?

LC: Anything surprising about library school?

ML: It turns out that I actually enjoy teaching! Also, the friends I’ve made. It wasn’t that I thought that I wouldn’t make friends. It’s just not something I had thought about. I started in the LEEP online program, which might sound like it would decrease the opportunities to get to know one’s classmates, but my cohortmates and I survived the initial on-campus “boot camp” week together! Subsequent on-campus weekends proved to be nice reunions. I’ve made friends since then, too.

LC: What do you like to do for fun?

ML: I like to read, watch movies, bake, travel. I’m a huge Bollywood fan! Learning to salsa dance is my newest hobby.

LC: Last book you have read?

ML: The Italian, by Ann Radcliffe.

LC: What is your plan after you graduate library school?

ML: I really enjoy the reference experience that I’m gaining as a graduate assistant, so I could certainly see myself continuing to work in an academic law library, most likely in a capacity that involves reference. Since firm and court libraries present additional unique and exciting challenges, though, I wouldn’t want to rule them out!