It is with unbelievable sadness that we pass along the news that Constance Rinaldo, in so many ways the heart of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, has died after a rapid and sudden illness. After some glimmers of hope that she might recover, she passed away on Thursday, October 27th. Connie’s family expects celebrations of her life in Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine.
BHL Executive Committee Chair, David Iggulden (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), noted:
“Connie was a wonderful colleague and friend and her passion for all things BHL was highly infectious. I know that many of us will have very fond memories of attending various events with Connie or jointly presenting with her on BHL activities and developments. I personally have learnt so much from her during my time on the Executive and was always inspired by her drive to track down new opportunities for collaboration, development, or promotion of BHL.”
After her family and friends, BHL was Connie’s greatest passion and we are all better for that passion. As BHL Program Director since 2012, looking beyond daily administrative challenges is sometimes difficult. Connie was invaluable in reminding us all of the higher goals, the higher purpose, that BHL was committed to: BHL’s service to our library partners, to our global audience of researchers, and to making progress, however small, on the great challenges facing our planet and the organisms we share it with.