In advance of our Annual Meeting next week, we figured it was the perfect time spotlight one of our members!
Meet LaToya Devezin!
With a BA in Music from Mary Baldwin College, an MA in Museum Studies from Southern University, and an MLIS from Louisiana State, LaToya is currently an archivist for the Carter Presidential Library and Museum and NARA. She loves trivia/board games, cooking, and making jewelry.
What attracted you to the archives profession?
I’m originally from New Orleans, LA and I became interested in the archives profession in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while working on cultural preservation projects in the city. I wanted to learn how to properly preserve items from the community, and I ended up going to graduate programs in both museum studies and archives management.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Providing access to collections and assisting customers with reference requests.
What’s the most interesting piece that you’ve come across?
It’s a tie. The first item is a gold tooth belonging to a famous musician that was punched out in a fight. It was donated by the man who punched him. The second piece is a really beautiful hand carved wooden cross that someone gave to President Carter to bless him on the campaign trail.
Did you have an alternative career path?
Yes, prior to becoming an archivist, I was an opera singer, and I spent most of my time switching between singing opera and jazz, which is difficult to do vocally because the genres are so different. While nursing a vocal injury, I began working on the cultural preservation projects in New Orleans that led to my interest in becoming an archivist.
What’s your advice for new members entering the profession?
I would encourage all new members entering the profession to find a mentor, gain as much experience as you can, establish good working relationships because our profession is small, and to not be afraid to contact colleagues if you have technical questions or need advice.