BHL Members’ Council Elects New Executive Committee

The Biodiversity Heritage Library Members’ Council elected a new Executive Committee at the BHL Annual Meeting in Singapore. The Executive Committee appointments include: Constance Rinaldo (Ernst Mayr Library, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University), Chair; Jane Smith (Natural History Museum Library, London), Vice-Chair; Doug Holland (Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H. Raven Library), Secretary; and Nancy E. Gwinn (Smithsonian Libraries), Immediate Past-Chair.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to lead the Biodiversity Heritage Library as we forge ahead into the next 10 years,” affirmed Rinaldo. “I thank my predecessor, Dr. Nancy Gwinn, for her work in strengthening the BHL and ensuring a strong foundation with the extraordinary Secretariat staff housed at the Smithsonian Libraries. I also thank Professor James Hanken, Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, for the museum’s support and encouragement of the BHL over these years. I look forward to working with current and future BHL partners to expand organizational and technological sustainability as we invest in the future of open data, open science and research connections across disciplines.”

The BHL Executive Committee provides strategic leadership and governance decisions for the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Officers are elected for two-year terms by the BHL Members’ Council, which is comprised of one representative from each BHL Member institution. This year’s elections took place on 17 March 2017 during the business portion of the Members’ Annual Meeting, hosted by the National Library Board, Singapore.

The current committee replaces the previous appointments elected in 2015: Nancy E. Gwinn, Chair; Constance Rinaldo, Vice-Chair; Jane Smith, Secretary.

“It has been my honor to serve as the Chair of the BHL Members’ Council for the past five years, and I am delighted to see Constance (Connie) Rinaldo assume this role, working with Jane Smith as Vice Chair and Doug Holland as Secretary,” expressed Gwinn. “Connie’s contributions as Vice-Chair, with its responsibility for the Global Partners, have already played a vital role in the success of BHL. I am confident that under Connie’s leadership, the BHL will continue to thrive and empower research on a global scale. In the newly defined role of Immediate Past-Chair, I look forward to continuing my work with her and the rest of the Members’ Council to ensure the growth and prosperity of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.”

BHL Executive Committee Bios

Constance Rinaldo (Ernst Mayr Library, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University), Chair. 

View Full Size Image

Constance Rinaldo has been the Librarian of the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University since 1999. She is a founding member (2005) and previous Vice-Chair of the BHL Members’ Council. Rinaldo has a BA in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, an MSc in Zoology from the University of Connecticut, and an MLS from the University of Maryland. Prior to coming to Harvard, Rinaldo spent 10 years as Head of Collections in the Biomedical Libraries at Dartmouth College and in the late 1980s was an assistant in the National Agricultural Library Text Digitization Project.

Jane Smith (Natural History Museum Library, London), Vice-Chair. 

View Full Size Image

Jane Smith has served as the Head of Library and Archives at the Natural History Museum, London since September 2012, before which she served as the Head of Library Collections and Services (2006 – 2012). Prior to joining the NHM, she was Deputy Librarian and then Librarian at the British Medical Association and Centre Manager at the Department of Health-funded National Centre for Clinical Audit, which has since evolved into the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). From 2015-2017, Smith served as the Secretary of the BHL Members’ Council.

Doug Holland (Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H. Raven Library), Secretary. 

View Full Size Image

Doug Holland started at the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1994, serving first in the Horticulture Division, followed by several years as a botanical research assistant in the Herbarium and several more as archivist and historian. In 2004, he became Director of the Peter H. Raven Library. He now manages the Garden’s world-class research library, archives and digitization program. He is a founding member of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), a past-President of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, and also manages the St. Louis Research Library Consortium.

Nancy E. Gwinn (Smithsonian Libraries), Immediate Past-Chair. 

View Full Size Image

Nancy E. Gwinn has been director of the Smithsonian Libraries since 1997. She oversees a network of 21 libraries and central services units and is a recognized leader in international librarianship, in developing digital libraries, in building cooperative programs and partnerships, and in promoting Smithsonian scholarship to external communities. Under Gwinn’s leadership, the Libraries initiated and became a lead partner in establishing the international Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) and the program’s Secretariat. She served as chair of the BHL Members Council from 2011–2017 and member of the executive committee of a companion project, the Encyclopedia of Life.

Avatar for Grace Costantino
Written by

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.