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.
Karen Mau is a research librarian at the Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau Library, where she has served for more than 25 years.
Why did you choose to work at the legislature?
After I graduated from the University of Hawaii with my master’s in library science, not many librarian jobs were available. However, a few months later, I saw an advertisement for a research librarian position at the Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau Library. I applied right away and, 25-plus years later, I’m still here!
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
I try very hard to be a good listener, to be diplomatic on sensitive issues and to keep my focus on the good characteristics in people.
Who or what inspires you?
My two daughters inspire me to be and do better every day. My older daughter recently graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and is now an ensign stationed in St. Petersburg, Fla. I admire her determination and strength of character, and the rigors and regimen she endured while attending a service academy and now while serving as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. And my second daughter is pursuing a degree in the medical field, in Seattle. I admire her courage to embrace doing something new in a different environment, with her compassion and empathy to help others, especially during this pandemic.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
The weather, people and food. Sorry, I can’t choose just one!
What are you currently reading or watching?
“Grey’s Anatomy,” on Netflix. I’m halfway through and I’m trying very hard to avoid any spoilers of the current season.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.