A quick overview from Second Global BHL Planning Meeting…

We just had the Second Global BHL Planning Meeting in Chicago Field Museum this past November 13, 2011 with representatives of all BHL Programs, except our colleagues from Bibliotheca Alexandrina, who couldn’t attend this time. During the meeting, each of our BHL Programs shared their progress since our (last Global Meeting on September 2010) and it was definitely a year of new and valuable achievements for all.

For BHL-US/UK, beyond an increasing access to constantly growing content, an improved appearance that includes a whole new logo, and the novel Flickr account, now with more than 20,000 images, turned into a fundamental component of our outreach activities to new communities. Also, the election of a new Executive Committee and the incorporation of new library partners were part of the good news of this year. Our Australian colleagues launched their new appealing website) to contribute content about Australian species to the Atlas of Living Australia project and are now getting ready to start digitizing and sharing their content from BHL-Australia. Our colleagues from BHL-China have come a long way this past year integrating BHL-China with the numerous projects on biodiversity they have in all their country’s provinces. BHL-China node hosted colleagues from BHL-US/UK last year for (technical meetings), and continued digitalization of valuable Chinese material, now shared also through BHL-US/UK. BHL-Europe is ready to launch by the end of this year their new portal that will aggregate content from European libraries, increase support to species names and allow for a powerful new Advance Search interface. Likewise, our colleagues from SciELO-Brazil have been contributing their information to BHL’s citation repository, Citebank and are now setting up the equipment and workflows to inaugurate their new digitization facilities by April next year.

We also discussed and reviewed the Vision of BHL as a global unified network where its member institutions share their leadership and coordinate within the nodes, engaging with other organizations related to our field to become the recognized reference tool for biodiversity literature. We all agreed on more and better communications between the nodes and defined ways to coordinate this. Also, as part of the review of the governance structure of BHL, it was decided to form a Coordinating Committee that would establish the by-laws and tackle some of the challenges and issues addressed during the meeting and support the implementation of the way forward. It was also decided to hold a Technical Meeting in conjunction with our Global BHL Meeting next year.

As the meeting came to an end, all participants were looking forward for another new exciting year, initiated with the Life and Literature Meeting the following two days, as a source of valuable input from colleagues, users and staff on the areas and activities that BHL should focus and prioritize for the following 5 to 7 years!

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William Ulate served as the BHL Technical Director from 2012-2014. Prior to this, he served as BHL's Global Coordinator.