Hometown: Princeton, N.J.
Role: Manager of library services in the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services
Years of legislative service: 26
NCSL connection: Chair for the Legislative Research Librarians professional staff association
One thing she loves about her state: “There are many local wineries that I enjoy going to with family and friends. It’s interesting to speak to the vintners as well as assisting with the local economy!”
Why did you choose to work at the legislature?
After graduating from law school, I clerked for a judge for one year. I realized that I loved to do research and not litigate, so I went back to school to attain a master’s in library science. When I saw the job opening for a legislative librarian for the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services, I knew it would be a perfect way to use both degrees and help people.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
My research skills and the joy of assisting others. Working as a librarian utilizes both of these skills. The library has an excellent reputation for helping legislators and legislative staff by providing accurate information in a timely and friendly manner.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
“Take a deep breath.” My son, who is on the autism spectrum, often uses this phrase. If I am in the midst of a stressful situation, taking a deep breath helps to ease my mind, slow my thoughts and then figure out what is the best course of action. The seminars I have taken at the NCSL Summit have also reinforced this as a useful personal tool.
Who or what inspires you?
I enjoy helping others. In addition to assisting legislators and legislative staff at the library, I teach my son daily living skills. I also enjoy speaking to other parents who have special-needs children about educational and social services.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
I enjoy catching up on movies and series that are Golden Globe/Academy Award nominees and winners. I just finished watching “Succession,” “The Power of the Dog” and “King Richard.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.