In Memoriam of Russell Train

It is with great sadness that I tell you of the death of Russell Train, one of the Libraries’ major benefactors. Russell was a close friend of Joseph F. Cullman 3rd and it was Joe’s suggestion that brought Russell to us and ultimately resulted in his donation of the Russell E. Train Africana Collection, which resides in the Cullman Library. The donation was singular since it came with a full inventory of the collection, which he developed, including evaluations of individual items.

In Memoriam of Russell Shank

I was saddened to learn that Russell Shank, 86, appointed by Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley as the first director of the Smithsonian Libraries, died June 26 of complications from a fall.  The 1978–1979 president of the American Library Association, he had been attending its 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim at the time of his death, and was among the library leaders acknowledged at the June 21 Library Champions and Past Presidents Reception.

White House Honors IMLS Awardees

There is probably no better place to be during the holidays than the White House. I was privileged to attend the ceremony for the 2010 Winners of the IMLS (Institute for Museum and Library Services) National Medal. First Lady Michelle Obama elegantly presented each award in the East Room.

National Digital Stewardship Alliance Meets December 15-16, 2010

I was privileged recently to represent the Smithsonian Institution at an organizational meeting of the new National Digital Stewardship Alliance, which is a follow-on group to the Library of Congress’s NDIIP (National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program).

Visit to STRI Library

Mary Augusta Thomas and I, Nancy Gwinn, went to Panama this week to visit our library at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center.  We saw the renovated library reading space, where extra windows have been added to bring in the light and lushness of the green spaces outside.  STRI Director Biff Bermingham has a new senior team in place with Deputy Director Ron Herzig and Owen McMillan in the newly created position of Academic Dean.  Dr. McMillan will be in charge of the expanding fellowship program. The library will work with both of these administrators for their STRI-related needs.  The two expressed great confidence in our librarian Vielka Chang-Yau and told us how important and well-run the libraries and its services are.  We also met with Vielka's staff Angel Aguirre, Ricardo Beteta, Elizabeth Sanchez, Apolinar Guerrero, and Mr. Sanchez. (See photo) The hard work and dedication of the staff are one of the keys to the library's success.  Library volunteers Diane and Abby presented their project of inventorying and digitizing the 750-item map collection in the library, more »

IFLA—Gothenburg Sweden 2010

I’m writing from the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg Sweden. It’s Saturday, Aug. 14, with only one more day to go.

IFLA Representation at ICOMOS

I am attending a meeting of ICOMOS the International Council on Monuments and Sites on the island of Malta.  The meeting consists of a Scientific Symposium on the topic of “Changing World, Changing Views of Heritage: The Impact of Global Change on Cultural Heritage – Technological Change,” along with meetings of the organization’s Scientific Council and Advisory Committee.  I’m here to give a paper on behalf of IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, which describes international collaboration among international nongovernmental organizations (NGO) concerned with libraries, archives, museums, monuments and sites (LAMMS).   ICOMOS works on the protection and preservation of cultural heritage sites world-wide—buildings, archaeological sites, historical cities and monuments.  Members are from national heritage committees, but also comprise architects, engineers, builders, conservators, policy-makers, and others in the field. The Library in Valletta, Malta   The symposium papers covered topics such as laser scanning of monuments and buildings, the impact of cultural tourism on world heritage sites, using technology to monitor global climate change, and reproduction of historical sites.  Preservation includes documentation more »

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