|Left to Right: Grace Costantino, Carolyn Sheffield, Bianca Crowley|
BHL Collections Coordinator Bianca Crowley, BHL Program Manager Grace Costantino, and Field Book Project Manager Carolyn Sheffield, with support from BHL Program Director Martin Kalfatovic, Field Museum's Technical Services Librarian Diana Duncan, and Smithsonian Libraries’ Metadata Librarian Suzanne Pilsk (both of whom regularly contribute to the BHL project), spoke with over a hundred people during the four exhibit days. Providing valuable project information (to many who had never before heard of BHL or the Field Book Project), booth staffers also gave out cool swag, including pens, brochures, stickers, buttons, book marks, and business cards, and conducted two raffles for prizes including books and greeting cards and matted prints gleaned from BHL’s fantastic Flickr site.
|BHL and Field Book Project Swag at ALA booth.|
|Carolyn Sheffield (left) and Bianca Crowley (center) with visitors at the ALA booth.|
The conference in Seattle also provided BHL staff with another unique opportunity – to be interviewed for an upcoming BHL video produced by Lockheed Martin (a follow-up to the 2011 emmy-winning video about the Smithsonian Libraries). Interviewees included Martin Kalfatovic, Bianca Crowley, Grace Costantino, Carolyn Sheffield, and Nancy Gwinn (Smithsonian Libraries Director and BHL Executive Chair). The film crew also set up shop at the exhibit hall’s opening reception Friday night, shooting footage of booth visitors and conducting an impromptu interview with Rebecca Wilke (a BHL volunteer at the Field Museum working to improve BHL’s metadata) who serendipitously stopped by the booth. Check back on our blog, Twitter and Facebook for more information about the video’s future release.
|The BHL button at the Public Market in Seattle.|
Events like ALA provide an incredible opportunity for us to showcase the BHL project. It is not enough to make natural history literature freely available through BHL. We must also ensure that people are aware of the work we do. Presenting at conferences is an important piece of our outreach strategy. If you have any suggestions for conferences or venues we should be present at, please send us feedback or email us as firstname.lastname@example.org. Each digitized book and each user connection moves us closer to the day when the entire published record of biodiversity knowledge is available to everyone, everywhere.