Natural History Librarian
Sue Zwicker serves as the librarian at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), and is part of the reference team at the National Museum of Natural History Library.
When Sue was 8, the “Childcraft Annual” volume from World Book arrived in the mail. It was called Animals in Danger and she read it cover to cover. It was about endangered and extinct species— the first time she had heard of those concepts. Her two older sisters made fun of her because she was reading “an encyclopedia!” but Sue only cared that it was about the objects of her passion: animals!
Sue spent the next 30 or so years figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up…but that book must have had a big impact: along her professional journey, Sue earned an M.S. in Zoology, conducting research on the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. She worked for the USFWS for a while, reviewing permit applications for impacts to endangered species, worked on various field projects for species common and rare, and interned at an environmental ed center. She also dabbled off and on as a webmaster (for ecology/zoology related orgs, of course).
Eventually, her interest in books (remember that 8 year old reading “an encyclopedia!”?), computers and information, education and outreach, melded, and she went back to school to earn a Master of Library Science. Now that Sue has finally figured out what she wants to do when she grows up, she has happily made a home as a librarian for the Natural and Physical Sciences Division of the Smithsonian Libraries. She is thrilled to be able to provide reference and library services in an environment where she is passionate about the work being done by her patrons.
B.A. Anthropology, State University of New York at Albany