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This blog entry is the latest installment in a series introducing LVA employees and exploring what they do day-to-day. If you are interested in what goes on behind the scenes, entries in this series are collected under the tag 7 Questions. Other entries discussing the internal work of the Library of Virginia are filed under our new category “The Stacks”.

Jessica Beavers

Jessica Beavers

Information Security and Risk Management Officer

What is your background?

I am a Maryland native, which is also where I started my career in Information Security. I was fortunate to be surrounded by endless opportunities to grow in the IT field working at a Naval Air Station. The first program that I supported in the Information Security capacity was truly one of a kind and really increased my desire to know all things security-related. After working on the base for several years, I decided to change the scenery and moved to Virginia where I started working at the Department of Social Services as a Systems Administrator then realized that I really missed Information Security and thus accepted a position at the Library three years ago–the rest is history.

How do you explain what you do to others?

After people get over the original assumption that I must be a librarian, simply because I work at a library, I explain what we do at the Library of Virginia and how it differs from local libraries. After that I just state that I do my best to ensure that our digital records are safe and our documentation is in order. Which is much less exciting than being a hacker, which is what they assume when I say “Information Security.”

Have you held other positions at the Library? If so, what?

I wear many hats between Information Security and Risk Management but no, I have not held any other position at the Library.

How has technology affected your current job?

How has it not? Technology is continuing to advance daily, and with that advancement come new vulnerabilities and threats that shift our defense tactics. I frequently scan websites like “Krebs on Security” to look into the newest threats and how they affect the agency as well as things folks here may need to be more aware of in their personal lives, such as data breaches of major credit card companies. In addition, I attempt to go to as many training events as I can to learn better ways to defend against the newest threats.

Describe your best day at the Library of Virginia.

Every day is generally the best day for me. However, I do enjoy days that I get to learn more about my amazing colleagues and what they do here. Learning how they interact with the data we are trying to protect and coming up with ways to better support them is exciting for me.

What was your first paid job?

If we are not counting the Kool-Aid stand I built and set up at the age of ten for runners in the neighborhood (the little entrepreneur I was) my first legitimate paid job was working as an Activities Assistant at a retirement center. Every day I had different activities with the residents from watching classic movies, to solving group crossword puzzles, to bingo, and carnivals (where my job was to be in the dunk tank)!

What would people be surprised to find out about you?

That my goal is not to cut off their computer access. It seems that most people are surprised when they find out that I am a compound bow hunter.

Vince Brooks

Local Records Program Manager

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