Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spreading the Word: BHL at the Smithsonian Autumn Conservation Festival

Kristen Bullard at SI Autumn Conservation Festival
Our BHL member institutions are extremely invested in the Biodiversity Heritage Library project. As the largest collaborative digital library in the biodiversity sciences, BHL is a unique and exceptional opportunity to work with like-minded institutions to repatriate the knowledge in our collections to the world. For many partners, BHL represents the single largest digital initiative at their institutions. As such, our partners take every opportunity to promote the project. Case in point: The Smithsonian Libraries' Autumn Conservation Festival!
On Saturday, October 6, and Sunday, October 7, Smithsonian Libraries (SIL) had a table at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's (SCBI) Autumn Conservation Festival in Front Royal, VA.  Smithsonian Librarians Kristen Bullard, Sue Zwicker, and Polly Lasker introduced hundreds of guests to Smithsonian Libraries' activities, including the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Despite a light sporadic drizzle on Sunday, many people stopped by the SIL table.
As they did at the recent SERC event, visitors learned about SI Libraries, the Gallery of Images and the Biodiversity Heritage Library.  Our younger visitors were able to color BHL coloring pages, and earned call number stickers by answering a question about how to find a particular book (Giant Pandas) at a library.  SIL staff member Anne Graham helped make this educational activity a success by creating the very popular stickers.

How does a child envision an octopus? These coloring pages from BHL, provided to younger visitors at the Autumn Festival, are quite revealing, particularly when compared with the original image!

And what about a pear? Compare a child's imaginative rendition of one to the original, from BHL.

Call Number Stickers at the SI Conservation Festival
In addition to learning about SI Libraries, visitors to the SCBI Fall Festival had direct opportunities to learn about conservation issues, exotic animal care, and the exciting and often ground breaking research being conducted by our Zoo researchers. 

Kristen Bullard interacting with visitors at the SI Conservation Festival
We hope many of our SIL colleagues will join us next year for this fun and educational event! Such venues serve as an excellent opportunity to spread the word about powerful initiatives like the Biodiversity Heritage Library. 

- Kristen Bullard, Librarian, Smithsonian Libraries


  1. Are these (or other BHL coloring pages) available anywhere on the web? (I couldn't find them). We'd like to use things like this for an elementary school class.

    Thanks very much for your great work and site!

  2. Indeed, the coloring pages we used at the Autumn Festival are available in the BHL Pinterest at this location: Any new coloring pages we make will also be available on that page.

    If you do use these for elementary school classes, we'd love to see the results! If you'd be interested, we'd be happy to feature them on our blog! To discuss this possibility further, please email us at

    Thanks for reading our blog and taking an interest in our resources!