Biology Catalog and Joel Hallan

BHL and Our Users: Joel Hallan

For BHL and Our Users this week, we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of a questionnaire-style post, Program Manager Grace Costantino interviewed this week’s guest, computer programmer and spider enthusiast Joel Hallan of Texas A&M; University, over the phone. Each question is presented below as a separate video.

We’re trying to be more interactive with our interviews in the future, and we hope this will serve as a first good step in that direction!

What is your name, title, and institutional affiliation?

Can you expand on your special area of interest?

 Where did your interest in spiders come from?

Where did your interest in computer science come from?

 Can you tell us about your online catalog, Biology Catalog?

What compelled you to create Biology Catalog?

What would your perfect vision of Biology Catalog look like?

When did you first discover BHL?

How often and in what ways do you use BHL?

What is your opinion of BHL and how has it supported your work on Biology Catalog?

If you could change one thing about BHL, what would it be?

Thanks for tuning in this week! Check back for more great interviews with our creative, dedicated and enthusiastic users to get more ideas about new ways you can put BHL to use. Be sure to check out Joel’s catalog, Biology Catalog, an ambitious project which will hopefully one day serve as a catalog of all species.

If you’re interested in being interviewed on our blog, leave a comment on this post, send us feedback, or email us as


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Grace Costantino served as the Outreach and Communication Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library from 2014 to 2021. In this capacity, she developed and managed BHL's communication strategy, oversaw social media initiatives, and engaged with the public to excite audiences about the wealth of biodiversity heritage available in BHL. Prior to her role as Outreach and Communication Manager, Grace served as the Digital Collections Librarian for Smithsonian Libraries and as the Program Manager for BHL.