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New Smithsonian Libraries Staff in 2017

A number of new staff joined the Smithsonian Libraries in the past year (and we’re so happy to have them!). Meet the new team members who came on board in 2017:


Morgan Aronson

Library Technician

Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology

Hometown: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Favorite book: Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fun facts: Won “Most Likely to Rule a Dictatorship” in high school.


Kristina Cottingham

Data Developer

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Hometown: Dillon, South Carolina

Favorite book: If we go off of how many times I’ve reread it, probably the Harry Potter series.

Fun facts: My family is from South Carolina, but I never stayed there for long. My dad was in the military, so we traveled a lot. I lived in Egypt for two years and South Korea and Greece for three years. I graduated in Athens. I’ve spent the last six years in South Dakota, where I went to college.


Samuel Gamble

Management Support Specialist

Administrative Services

Hometown: Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Suffolk, Virginia

Favorite book: I enjoy reading bios; some of my favorite are: Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, and Extraordinary Ordinary People by Condoleezza Rice.

Fun facts: I’ve been weekend warrior with the Maryland Army National Guard for 18 years. I like afternoon jogs after work on the National Mall and around the monuments and downtown D.C. attractions. I enjoy participating in various running events that give out the bling (medals) at the end of the each race.


Chanda Hardin

Library Technician

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Favorite book: 1984 by George Orwell and The Giver by Lois Lowry

Fun facts: I lived in Myrtle Beach for a year and consider it home. In my free time I like to read and sometimes write. I think that I was a young adult fiction writer in a past life.


Alan Katz

Library Technician

Vine Deloria, Jr. Library, National Museum of the American Indian and Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Favorite book: The Ralph Steadman illustrated edition of Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Fun facts: In my night life I’m a theater professional. I produce, dramaturg, develop, write, criticize, and, yes, sometimes even act in theatrical productions. Most of my free time right now is occupied by my 3 month old daughter, Beatrice.


Nilda Lopez

Library Technician

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Favorite book: Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm

Fun facts: I love to travel and learn new things! I lived and studied in Florence, Italy for a year for my second master’s degree, am a native New Yorker, and currently work part-time as a curatorial assistant at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey. I love going to exhibits and visiting museums and libraries. I enjoy playing video games, (currently playing the Nintendo Switch!), to read, travel, and have fun and exciting experiences. I am the proud aunt of six-month old twin girls, Elena and Emily, and of a one year old boy, Benicio.


Adriana Marroquin

Project Manager, Field Notebook Digitization Projects

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Hometown: Germantown, Maryland

Favorite book: A tie between The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis and The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno

Fun facts: I am currently playing in four RPG campaigns and running a particularly spooky one. In the pockets of free time left over, I bake, craft, read and review comics, and plan Halloween costumes.


Allie Newman

Library Technician

Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

Favorite book: Too many! I’m quite partial to the 12th century Hunterian Psalter manuscript, but if we’re talking modern books… I think I’ll go with Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Fun facts: I only recently moved back to the States after several years of living in the UK, and I still call French fries “chips” accidentally sometimes. My favorite color is robin’s egg blue, and my hair is often pink. I carry a bag of birdseed with me so I can feed the sparrows on my way to work.


Jacqueline Protka

Branch Librarian

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library

Hometown: Born in Ottawa, Canada to British parents; immigrated to the States at age 6; and raised mainly in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia.

Favorite book: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Fun facts: My librarian origin story? Watching the cult classic Party Girl.


Patricia Reid

Library Technician

American Art and Portrait Gallery Library

Hometown: I was born in Washington, D.C. and lived there up until twelve years ago when I moved to Maryland.

Favorite book: My favorite book is Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus.  It’s considered a children’s book, but the message is for any one at any age.

Fun fact: I am a collector. My biggest collection is books – I own about 3,000 of them. I also collect ceramic masks, figurines (angels and ballerinas), lighthouses, stamps, comic books, trading cards, and images for that day in the future when I will have time to create collages.


Noah Smutz

Book Conservator

Preservation Services

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Favorite book: The Harry Potter Series

Fun facts: I make delicious whole wheat maple chocolate chip cookies.










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