The end of an era has come to the Smithsonian Libraries and a new one begins! The current model of a library, with a physical location, books and journals on the shelves and a librarian to manage it all is so 2011. A hip, new model of a ‘ librarian-as-reference-resource-person-embedded-in-research-department’ has come for the National Zoological Park/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in 2012!
One of the truly wonderful “perks” of working at the Smithsonian Institution is being able to participate in presentations of current research. Recently I was lucky enough to attend a daylong Science Convivium at the Front Royal, Virginia headquarters of the National Zoological Park’s science arm, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). What’s a convivium, you ask? Briefly, according to Webster’s Third New International Dictionary a convivium is a convivial gathering. Hmmm, alright. And if you’re being convivial you’re “relating to, or occupied with feasting, drinking, and good company”. Well, there was definitely good company, a nice lunch and a wine and cheese social hour in the afternoon!
The Libraries was represented at this year’s Autumn Conservation Festival at the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center (CRC) in Front Royal, Virginia. It is the only time each year that the CRC is open to the public. The event took place in beautiful weather over last weekend, October 3-4. Polly Lasker, Librarian, National Zoological Park Library, manned the tent & table. Polly Lasker in the Libraries tent The highlight of the weekend was seeing the clouded leopard cubs that were born in March playfully romping for the visitors: Clouded Leopard Cubs 2 Clouded Leopard Cubs 3 Breeding clouded leopards in captivity has been a challenge the world over, primarily due to male aggression, decreased breeding activity between paired animals, and high cub mortality. The National Zoo has been working in partnership with the Zoological Park Organization of Thailand, the Nashville Zoo and the Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan to develop a clouded leopard breeding program in Thai zoos (largest population of confiscated clouded leopards in Southeast Asia). Check out the Fact more »