Ringing in the New Year with thanks!

In the US, we set aside time to reflect and give thanks in November as part of the Thanksgiving holiday.  It is now the start of a new year–and only the first month, not the eleventh–yet BHL already has a lot for which to give thanks!

Since the start of the fiscal year 2014 (October 1), donors from across the world have contributed $2,434.12 to support BHL’s continuing mission.  As a digital library consortium comprised of 13 US and 2 UK institutions, it’s encouraging to see the generosity of donors with $1,794 coming in from those countries alone ($1,681.36 and $112.76 respectively).

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The Biodiversity Heritage Library provides free global access to more than 42 million pages of digitized biodiversity literature and we are so pleased to see the global response of generous support for continuing these efforts.  Donors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, and Russia have each made generous contributions totaling $640.

Historical collections of biodiversity literature are exceptionally valuable for taxonomists and others studying the diversity of life on our planet, yet this wealth of knowledge is available only to those few who can gain direct access to significant library collections. Literature about the biota existing in developing countries is often not available within their own borders.  Free global access to digital literature repatriates information about the earth’s species to all parts of the world. Because of BHL’s success in digitizing a significant mass of biodiversity literature, the study of living organisms has become more efficient.  Scientists around the world are using BHL to identify and classify species, facilitate further scientific research, and support conservation efforts to prevent extinctions.

BHL is so thankful and encouraged by the generosity of all of our donors!  These donations help pay for the cost of digitizing additional literature, improving data curation, and continuing technical development for the BHL program. The examples below highlight the ways your donation can make a meaningful and lasting impact:

$25 – Creates Flickr sets of our images which are popular with educators and artists

$50 – Promotes biodiversity education through social media, such as our blog

$100 – Scans 1,000 pages to be made available for free and open access

$250 – Helps us host marketing interns who circulate biodiversity content worldwide

$500 – Improves existing methodology and helps develop new tools for biodiversity research

We hope you’ll consider making a contribution of your own to help BHL continue providing open access to biodiversity literature!   Donate: https://donate.sil.si.edu/v/DonateBHL.asp 

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Carolyn Sheffield served as the BHL Program Manager from July 2013 - February 2019. She is currently the Associate Director of Library Technology and Digital Strategies at the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She holds a Masters of Library Science from the University of Maryland.