Student’s Language Skills Essential at Library of Congress

Julia Cater ’14, Midland, Texas, loves libraries. She also loves the German language. Her internship at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., allows her to indulge in both.

Cater is making information more accessible for researchers during her eight-week internship. She sorts through German materials, writes English descriptions of the documents and creates aids that make documents easier and faster to locate.

One of her projects involves deciphering headlines of official Nazi newspapers from World War II. Cater always finds something that surprises her.

“These are always interesting, to me at least, in the way the stories are spun and slightly twisted,” she says.

She also is sorting through piles of pre-1970 Swiss maps.

“Once the project is finished, researchers will be able to search through the database to find which particular map they wish to examine instead of searching through one of several hundred map drawers containing maps of Switzerland,” Cater says.

Cater, who wants to study library science after graduation, is an English literature and German major. Her experiences working at Concordia’s library and her hometown libraries were a plus in the application process. What set her apart were her German language skills.

“German is the main reason I have the internship, as they needed someone who would understand the materials and could write about them,” she says.

Reading through German documents is good preparation for studying abroad. Cater will spend this year at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany.

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