Smithsonian Libraries Directors Appointed to BHL Leadership Positions
Nancy E. Gwinn, Director, Smithsonian Libraries, and Martin R. Kalfatovic, Associate Director for Digital Services, Smithsonian Libraries, have been appointed to new positions within the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Gwinn was elected chair of the Biodiversity Heritage Library Steering Committee for a two-year term at its annual meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 16. In this position, Gwinn will guide the Committee as it oversees the continuing expansion and development of the digital collection, which now numbers over 100,000 volumes and nearly 40 million pages of biodiversity-related publications. Other newly elected officers include Vice Chair Constance Rinaldo, Librarian, Ernst Mayr Library, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, and Secretary, Susan Fraser, Director, Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden.
Kalfatovic has assumed the position of BHL Program Director. In this position, he will guide the daily operations of the BHL. In continuing the mission of the BHL, increasing the amount of digitized materials and making them more easily accessible to a wider audience will remain top priorities. Enhancing the partnerships with current partners and encouraging new partners will help meeting these priorities.
Regarded as one of the most successful open access digitizing collaborations of its kind, the BHL is used by scientists, students, and other researchers all over the world who are working in biodiversity activities, including species identification and classification, ecology, land management, and biology. In addition, the BHL makes documentation of flora and fauna existing in the developing world freely available to researchers in those countries, no matter how remote, as long as they have an internet connection.
BHL partners comprise fourteen natural history museums, botanical garden, botany, agricultural, biological research and U.S. agency libraries in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, who are committed to work together to digitize the published literature of biodiversity held in their respective collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” Affiliated BHL projects have been established in Europe, China, Australia, and Brazil.