“Priority!” awarded Thackray Medal

-+*A recent book to which Leslie Overstreet, the Smithsonian Libraries curator of natural-history rare books, contributed has been awarded the John Thackray Medal by the Society for the History of Natural History for “significant achievements in the history and bibliography of natural history.”

Published Open Access Papers Set to Increase Soon

-+*The Smithsonian will soon develop procedures for complying with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s directive on public access to federally funded research. That means that most papers authored by Smithsonian staff and affiliates will be made available to the public at no charge, some after an embargo period. There are several methods being developed by other federal agencies to meet this requirement and the Smithsonian has kept abreast of these policies. But aside from the White House mandate, it is clear that Smithsonian authors are increasingly making their scholarship freely available via publishing with an open access (OA) publisher. On average, there are about 350* OA papers published each year by Smithsonian scientists. This represents nearly 15% of research output.

More Than Pictures of Lizards: The Value of Librarians and In-Person Instruction

-+*This post was written by Kendra Hurt, an Instructional Design Intern at the Biodiversity Heritage Library & Smithsonian Libraries. Kendra is graduating this May from the University of Maryland with a Master of Library Science. This semester I have worked with Bianca Crowley and Trina Brown as an Instructional Design intern, and I’ve been creating videos, writing instructions, and conducting sessions on using Prezi and how to search the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) via advanced search.

Computers and Washington

-+*Last fall, I marked the season for the harvesting of grapes to honor John Adlum, the little-known “Father of American Viticulture.” The origins of the first commercially viable vine in the American wine industry can be traced to the District of Columbia. Now, with the great interest in Alan Turing, the recent auction sale of this English mathematician’s 56-page notebook for more than a million dollars, and the success of the movie, more »

Smithsonian Libraries Observes the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day

-+*History in the Making… In addition to rare books and special collections housed in the DeWitt Clinton Ramsey Room, one of the valuable resources located in the National Air and Space Museum’s Library is its rich and diverse collection of books and journals which focus on the meteoric rise and advances in the field of aviation during World War II. May 8th marks the 70th anniversary of V-E Day, or “Victory in more »

Science Executive Committee in Panama

-+*On March 22-29, I traveled to Panama and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) with members of the Smithsonian’s Science Executive Committee. This is the science unit directors group who meet with the interim Undersecretary for Science each month. Others on the trip were Scott Miller, the Office of the Undersecretary for Science (OUSS) staff, Cynthia Brandt Stover, Smithsonian Campaign Director and Jenny McWilliams, Science Advancement Officer. Oh yes, and Stacy Cavanaugh’s more »

Changing Library Services

-+*Organizations which respond to the changing needs of their clients are the ones that survive well.  Here are two examples: Shortly after General Motors began manufacturing cars in the early 1900s it created a unit (GMAC), which loaned money to car buyers and earned interest on these loans. Although known worldwide as an industrial powerhouse, eventually GM began earning far more profit from this money-lending operation than they did from auto sales. more »

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