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Author: Nancy Gwinn

Director’s Message: Looking Forward

This piece was written by Nancy E. Gwinn, Director, Smithsonian Libraries, for our summer 2015 printed newsletter magazine. To obtain a copy of our printed newsletter, email 

The Smithsonian Libraries has an updated look, as you may have noticed.  Recently, we simplified our name, dropping the word “Institution” for simplicity’s sake and because people always say “institute” instead.  So we are now Smithsonian Libraries. And we’ve rolled out our new brand, the colored dots that will grace all of our products, fondly known as “chromazones,” a play on “chromosome,” with “chroma” meaning color in Greek and “zones” describing areas of our collections; green is Natural & Physical Sciences, purple is Special Collections (rare books & manuscripts), orange is Art & Design, and blue is History & Culture. You’ll find these on our website, our mobile apps, our brochures, our name badges, and anywhere else we can think to put them.

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 12-year-old son.

From howler monkeys to fossil boas, from blue morpho butterflies to the top of the forest canopy, seven members of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and their spouses and guests more »