Smithsonian Libraries Overview


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Overview of Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Created May 14, 2008

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  • Smithsonian Libraries Overview

    1. 1. Smithsonian Institution Libraries A Snapshot May 14, 2008
    2. 2. Mission As the largest and most diverse museum library in the world, SIL leads the Smithsonian in taking advantage of the opportunities of the digital society. SIL provides authoritative information and creates innovative services and programs for Smithsonian Institution researchers, scholars and curators, as well as the general public, to further their quest for knowledge. Through paper preservation and digital technologies, SIL ensures broad and enduring access to the Libraries’ collections for all users.
    3. 3. SIL-A Distributed Network <ul><li>20 libraries in museums and research centers in Washington, DC; Edgewater and Suitland, MD; New York City; & Republic of Panama, supported by Central Services: </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisitions </li></ul><ul><li>Cataloging </li></ul><ul><li>New Media Office and Preservation </li></ul><ul><li>Interlibrary loan </li></ul><ul><li>Director’s office/Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Development </li></ul><ul><li>109 Staff (down from 130 in 1997) </li></ul>
    4. 4. SIL– the Collections <ul><li>1.5 million volumes </li></ul><ul><li>4,522 active print journal subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>3,000 electronic journals </li></ul><ul><li>190,000 microforms </li></ul><ul><li>2,500 digital volumes </li></ul>
    5. 5. Special Collections <ul><li>50,000 Rare Books and Manuscripts </li></ul>
    6. 6. Special Collections <ul><li>World’s Fairs and Expositions </li></ul>
    7. 7. Special Collections <ul><li>Historical Trade Literature </li></ul>
    8. 8. Who Are We Serving? <ul><li>Smithsonian scientists, curators, historians, researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Visiting fellows, graduate students, scholars, interns </li></ul><ul><li>Students in affiliated academic programs </li></ul><ul><li>Smithsonian educators and exhibition staff </li></ul><ul><li>Smithsonian management, docents, volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers world-wide and general public </li></ul>
    9. 9. How Are We Serving? <ul><li>Direct access to physical collections through up-to-date online catalog and well-maintained stacks, scan & deliver </li></ul><ul><li>Interlibrary loan (5,822 items borrowed) </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange and Gift (3,763 exchange partners) </li></ul>With Print Collections…
    10. 10. Library Spaces National Air and Space Museum Anacostia
    11. 11. Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
    12. 12. National Museum of American Indian Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    13. 13. With knowledgeable staff… <ul><li>A Philadelphian called seeking assistance on a presentation she had been invited to make on African women artists during the inter-war years. </li></ul>(who answered 43,500 reference queries in 2007)
    14. 14. Recent press reports about super-massive black holes caused a number of queries about the nature of black holes, how they are detected, how they effect us, and how long does one last, whether two or more can merge and what happens if they do.
    15. 15. For a curator’s research on the use of sugar in the United States and the sugar industry, we found an online copy of an 1890 cartoon on the business “trusts,” originally published in the “Rural New Yorker” magazine research.
    16. 16. SIL assisted a couple from New Mexico with their historical research on a territorial post office built in 1873 on the outskirts of Albuquerque. Staff provided support for STRI’s Legal Office by doing several searches on the topic of open pit mining.
    17. 17. SIL Staff Also Teach & Train Seminar on natural history illustration Explaining the value of trade literature
    18. 18. How Do We Care for Collections? <ul><li>Good shelving, housing practices </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental controlled vaults </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Disaster planning & management </li></ul><ul><li>Binding </li></ul><ul><li>Repair </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation </li></ul>
    19. 19. Book Conservation Laboratory
    20. 20. How Do We Serve the Public? <ul><li>Public Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>The Web </li></ul>
    21. 21. SIL’s Public Programs <ul><li>SIL Gallery Exhibitions </li></ul><ul><li>Dibner Library Lecture </li></ul><ul><li>Publications </li></ul><ul><li>Resident Scholar Program </li></ul><ul><li>Traveling exhibition </li></ul><ul><li>Behind-the-scenes Tours </li></ul><ul><li>Galaxy of Knowledge Website (211,584 images) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Digital Imaging Center
    23. 23. Sharing Information <ul><li>Web-based Databases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trade Literature Inventory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postal Museum Vertical Files </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Art and Artist Files </li></ul></ul>
    24. 27. Sharing Collections <ul><li>Online Exhibitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doodles, Drafts and Designs (2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digital Books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Avifauna of Laysan (1893-1900) by Walter Rothschild </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Distinctive Collections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sewing Machines: Trade Literature </li></ul></ul>
    25. 28. Online Exhibitions USA Today “Hot Site: January 13, 2005”. “this site will knock your socks off.”
    26. 29. Digital Books
    27. 31. Digital Books “ Aloha. I live on The Big Island of Hawai'i, a $300.00 plane ride away from Honolulu and the Bishop Museum. Even when I can make it to the Museum (where I study the Hawaiian Bird Skins), they do not have every single bird (moho apicalis, the Oahu moho is missing)….I have been looking for this text for over TWENTY YEARS. Mahalo nui loa for all your hard work.”
    28. 32. Distinctive Collections “ Obviously I am spending TOOOOO much time in your terrific collection.”
    29. 33. Smithsonian Libraries Websites <ul><li>4 websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Galaxy of Knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools for the Researcher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Digital Repository (SDR) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Libraries’ Blog </li></ul></ul>
    30. 38. Smithsonian Libraries Web Stats <ul><li>Usage Statistics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3.5-4 million hits per month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>350-450,000 visitor sessions per month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>80% of users are non-Smithsonian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~ 27% growth in use each year </li></ul></ul>
    31. 39. New Roles <ul><li>Data Curation </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership in international projects </li></ul>
    32. 40. Data Curation <ul><li>Smithsonian Research Bibliography </li></ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Digital Repository </li></ul>
    33. 41. Publishing <ul><li>Electronic Publisher for the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press </li></ul><ul><li>Sources and Critical Interpretations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stirling Expedition Project </li></ul></ul>
    34. 44. Leadership in International Projects <ul><li>The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL is the largest collaboration yet undertaken by Smithsonian Libraries. </li></ul><ul><li>SIL Serves as the Secretariat </li></ul><ul><li>Hosts the BHL Program Director </li></ul>
    35. 45. Biodiversity Heritage Library <ul><li>American Museum of Natural History (New York) </li></ul><ul><li>Field Museum (Chicago) </li></ul><ul><li>Natural History Museum (London) </li></ul><ul><li>Smithsonian Institution Libraries (Washington) </li></ul><ul><li>Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis) </li></ul><ul><li>New York Botanical Garden (New York) </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Botanic Garden, Kew </li></ul><ul><li>Botany Libraries, Harvard University </li></ul><ul><li>Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University </li></ul><ul><li>Marine Biological Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution </li></ul>
    36. 47. SIL’s Inflation Challenge
    37. 48. SIL’s Inflation Challenge <ul><li>In 1984, spent $385,000 for 5,000 journal subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007 spent $958,290 for 1,948 </li></ul><ul><li>Print journal subscriptions rise every year due to rate increases and fall of dollar </li></ul><ul><li>FY09 projection is 10% rise </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for electronic resources escalating -- $468,000 in 2007 </li></ul>“ [Electronic access] is crucial, and increasingly, because of the absence of many important journals that have been cut, it is having a very negative effect on my scholarship here at SI.”
    38. 50. What Users Are Saying Extracts from User Assessments “ Users universally agree that the library collections are one of three inseparable pillars of superior academic research, alongside staff and collections. “ One thing that really makes the library wonderful is the librarian’s expertise in terms of really understanding the discipline and guiding people to things. I go in there and think I’m a great researcher and just talking to the librarian for five minutes I have five more things I wouldn’t have thought of….”