A very special Libraries staffer, Amy Levin, retired in September. Amy had been with the Smithsonian Libraries since 1975.
Amy earned her B.S. in natural sciences (biology and chemistry) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her M.L.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. She also received a certificate in medical librarianship from the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. Before coming to the Libraries, Amy was a Geology & Geophysics Librarian at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and worked as a reference librarian in the U.S. Geological Survey Library.
One of Amy’s many gifts was her ability to adapt and help out wherever needed in the Libraries. Amy initially worked in the National Museum of Natural History Library, which also held the Museum Studies & Reference Library collections at that time (called Central Reference & Loan, or CRLS). When the Libraries decided to split the collections in 1984, Amy stayed with CRLS, eventually transferring to the National Air & Space Museum Library for the remainder of the 1980s. She ultimately came back to CRLS, and then served as head librarian of the newly-formed MRSL for several years.
Amy has several interesting stories about her times with the Libraries. When the Museum Reference Center moved to the Museum of Natural History, an anole lizard crawled out of a moving box shipped from New Orleans. The animal was taken to the Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington, Va. for the remainder of its life. Also, Amy slightly escaped injury when the ceiling in the National Air & Space Library fell on her desk (some contractors were working above!) Other career highlights include corresponding with the foreign embassies in DC, a visit to the National Museum of Natural History of Kenya (Nairobi), and a tour of the National and University Library of Iceland.
Amy will stay busy in her retirement through working on the executive board of the Arlington County Civic Federation, reading books that she’s been putting off for years, organizing her house, and of course, volunteering at the Libraries! She will also have more time to spend with her daughter Rena, a Fulbright Scholar working in Oslo, Norway, and her son Joe, who teaches English at Nanjing University in China.