GovLoop Member of the Week

Living in DC during inauguration weekend can be a bit challenging, although extremely exciting as well. For an Arizonian like myself, going outside in 10 degree weather (0 degrees with the windshield) is more than challenging, it’s torture! At any rate, in thinking about whom I would interview for GovLoop, the choice was pretty easy. I chose my colleague Hector Morey and I did so for a number of reasons. I met Hector while working at the Library of Congress (LoC). I chose to interview him because I think very highly of him; he is extremely hard working and very engaged in different organizations at the LoC. What follows is a brief, but interesting interview…hope you all enjoy. Thanks! Celia

1. – If you are not from DC, where are you from and how did you end up here? How long have you been living in the area?

I am originally from the city of Ponce in Puerto Rico. I became interested in studying and moved to College Park, MD in 2001. I have been living in the Capitol Hill area of DC since 2004.

{Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico, San Juan being the first}

2. – Did you always want to work for the federal government? If not, when did you realize you had a call for public service?

While working in an academic library in Puerto Rico my life dream was to visit, and perhaps one day work at the Library of Congress. I still remember a picture of the Library of Congress Reading Room that hangs in my university library.

3. – Do you like traveling? If so, what countries or cities have you visited?

My traveling has been in the US mainly, visiting small towns and learning about local customs.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

It would have to be either Vienna, Austria or somewhere in the Amalfi coast of Italy. I like Austria because of its history with psychology and classical music. Italy because of its scenic beauty and picturesque towns … and the wine!

5.- In regards to riding the metro in DC, what do you think of people who stand on the left side of the escalator when they should walk instead?

It’s funny because telling my friends that they should walk on the left and stand on the right
was perhaps one of the first things that made me consider myself a DC resident.

6. – If you were having lunch with President Elect Obama tomorrow, what would you talk about? What three topics would you cover?

Not sure about the topic in particular but he seems very approachable so we probably could talk about the economy, health reform, immigration and how to bring back that ‘American Dream’.

7. – What do you think are the biggest challenges for the federal government? How about the challenges for libraries in general? How has technology changed the work of information professionals?

Accountability. A term you seldom hear in government.
Another term is workforce engagement

Libraries in particular will need to adapt to the changing times. New technologies are changing people’s behavior for searching and using information. In order to meet the demands, libraries will have to reevaluate the way they acquire and catalog materials, and the way they provide access to those materials.

8. – What are your goals for the new year and how do you intent to accomplish them?

Try to reach out more to organizations in the DC area. I used to work for a homeless breakfast program and would like to do more of that this year.

9. – Do you have a mentor? If so, how did you find your mentor and how has he/she helped you grow in your field?

I am a strong believer in mentoring programs. I have had many mentors at different stages of my career and I feel very grateful to them for the opportunity. I only hope one day I will be in a position to share my expertise with someone.

10.-What, in your opinion, is the secret of success?

It’s a combination between hard work and opportunities. Working hard to be prepared for when those opportunities come your way.

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Adriel Hampton

Nice interview – I love travel (actually, I love new places, not plane rides!), so those kind of discussions are great. Awesome escalator question! It drives me so crazy when I’m trying to get to work and 50 people are on the right and one or two people just don’t get it and block the left.
Hector, we look forward to hearing about how the LoC responds to technological changes, and nice to meet you!


An amazing journey. There is something inspirational about the Library of Congress reading rooms. I’m glad you reached one of your goals and I hope you help LOC transform to be as important for the next generations.


Hi Celia,

Thank you for the very interesting interview! I’ve always been interested in Library Science. I’m currently an MPA major, but might transfer to another university for an MA in Government. I am an unconventional student at 43, but it is becoming the norm for older (referentially) people to be going back to school. It’s nice to meet you!