Compiled By: Cassandra Patterson
“Questions with Puron” is a social media series launched by the RIPS PR & Recruitment Committee to highlight the diverse views and professional strategies of the constituents of Research Instruction and Patron Services Special Interest Section (RIPS-SIS). Twice a month, our beloved penguin mascot poses a series of questions to one of the many librarians who make up RIPS. This month, Puron talked with Stephen Parks, State Librarian at the State Law Library of Mississippi.
Puron: What brought you to law libraries?
Stephen: I did not set out wanting to become a law librarian. Throughout my three years of law school, I did work in the library as a circulation assistant, but I did not consider it as a future career. I graduated and began to study for the bar exam, not knowing what I planned to do after the bar. As it turned out, my former supervisor at the law library was moving to another job that summer. The law library director reached out to me to see if I might be interested. Needing a job and a paycheck, I jumped at the opportunity. It was one of the best decisions I have made. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a law librarian the past ten years and am excited about the next ten years and more.
Puron: What’s a recent photo you took that makes you smile?
Stephen: This picture makes me smile as it includes both my pet pig Charlotte and my growing collection of plants. Charlotte is definitely not a typical pet, but she brings a lot of joy, and sometimes frustration, to my life. She will be four years old this August. She is a potbelly pig that lives inside of my house. As you can see, she’s eying some of those plants. I have to watch her! I am trying my best to grow a green thumb. I’ve had a few plant deaths along the way, some from death by pig, but so far this year, my plants are thriving. It could be from the extra attention they’re getting from me during this COVID time.
Puron: What’s something interesting about your work that most people outside the field wouldn’t know?
Stephen: When I took on my current position at the State Law Library of Mississippi, I did not realize how much historical knowledge of Mississippi and its Supreme Court I would be expected to know. The State Librarian is looked to by our Court to serve as a historian and archivist for the Court. Thankfully, I love history and am a quick learner.
Puron: Favorite movie?
Stephen: Clue is my favorite movie, even though I have never played the board game. It is extremely quotable, and the cast of characters is perfect. It has one of the best ensemble casts. Eileen Brennan as Mrs. Peacock, Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White, and Leslie Ann Warren as Miss Scarlett make the movie. While I would like to see an updated remake, I do not think any remake could match the hilarity and genius of the original.