Get to know Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian

If you spend any amount of time in the D’Angelo Law Library, chances are good that you have been greeted by a warm smile from one of our longest-tenured librarians–Lyonette “Lyo” Louis-Jacques.  Scott Vanderlin took a moment to interview Lyo to find out about her life, career, and some of her fondest memories from her time here at UChicago.

Lyo at the Hockey Hall of Fame

How long have you been at the D’Angelo Law Library?

Since August 1992 (almost 25 years?!).

What is your subject specialty, and what activities consume most of your time as a law librarian?

I’m the specialist for civil/non-common law, comparative law, and international law questions. I also help with human rights and international relations research.

And, as a law librarian, I’m busiest helping with reference questions, which I love doing! Keep on asking me questions, y’all! 🙂

What are the biggest changes in the D’Angelo Law Library you’ve noticed over the years?

The biggest change is the space. I love how the reading room has these majestic stairs you can climb up to now. And every time I’m at the law library reference desk, I imagine the space being used to put on plays and musicals. Romeo and Juliet? (we have a balcony). Beauty and the Beast? (Belle comes down the stairs and then dances with the Beast).

In the time you’ve worked in the law library, what is the most memorable event you’ve attended?

I’ve been here a while, so a lot of memorable events! 🙂 But generally, the Law School musicals. I like seeing the students play faculty members! 🙂 Cracks me up. And most recently, the “Law School Attempts Talent” show. There was singing, dancing, instrument-playing. I think a spoken word poem? And lots of teasing and laughing. Loved it!

What are some of your interests outside of law libraries?

They’ve changed over time. I used to write crossword puzzles and collect romance and mystery novels, read a lot, and watch lots of sports (all of them, except fishing). Now I mostly read Twitter (y’all follow @jonnysun, @sheaserrno, and @lin_manuel – they are amazing!). And watch sports.  I’ve enjoyed watching March Madness recently, even though my brackets for the men’s and women’s tournaments were all busted.

What’s the best thing you read, watched, or listened to recently?

The best thing because I’m a bit of a fanatic about it is Hamilton: The Musical. I have seen it on Broadway, Chicago, San Francisco, and London. It’s like following a band… 🙂 Looking at what city I want to go see it in next. And I’m getting into other musicals – so far, I’ve seen Rent and Wicked. I am hooked! And Dear Evan Hansen is coming to Chicago in 2019!

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