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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, which represents an extensive resource for understanding the physical history of the region.  Vielka organized a coffee for us to meet with a group of scientists and other library users. When we questioned them about their library use and concerns, it was clear that like other Smithsonian scientists, they are receiving most of their materials digitally and would like more, more, more!  But they are especially appreciative of what we are able to supply for this library, the best science library in the region. STRI's administrators wanted us to convey to "Washington" how important the library's proactive collaboration with the University of Panama and the Group 1 Panamanian community is to cementing excellent relationships in the country.  It was as good visit, and we are well prepared to accompany the SIL Board to STRI for a visit next spring. 

One Comment

  1. Congratulation to the STRI’s administrators.The hardwork and dedications of the staff is really the keys of STRI’s library success.It is a big of help to everyone.

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