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51st Annual CBHL 2019 Meeting: Member Presentations

Member Presentations

Member Presentations

Thank you to all of the 2019 CBHL Member Presenters! Please see the presentations below. 

The call for Member Presentations closed March 22nd. This year, presentations highlight CBHL members' projects, programs, and special collections. We will learn how collaboration and technology improve access to collections and how innovative programs and outreach enable CBHL libraries to engage new users!  


Barbara Ferry, Head, Natural & Physical Sciences Libraries, Smithsonian 

As the head of the Natural & Physical Sciences Libraries at the Smithsonian, Barbara manages the services, collections, and staff of the National Museum of Natural History Library, the Botany and Horticulture Library, the John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Library, the National Zoological Park Library & Conservation Biology Institute Library, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Library in Panama. Prior to the Smithsonian, she was the Director of the Library and Archives at National Geographic Society, where she and her team launched the National Geographic Virtual Library, a database of National Geographic publications, images, and videos for the library market. Barbara received the Special Libraries Association: Outstanding Achievement in Business Librarianship, as well as the Nielsen Norman Group Intranet Design Award. Barbara is a Founding Member of the University of Maryland's Future of Information Alliance. In her early career, she assisted reporters as a news research analyst at the Washington Post, and led a research team at Washington Information Group.

What do Smithsonian Scientists want from Their Libraries?
The Natural & Physical Science (NPS) Libraries at the Smithsonian consist of several locations including the Botany and Horticulture Library in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Much has been written about the dramatic shift to electronic resources in university research environments, but there are few recent studies on the use of libraries by museum research staff. Together with the members of the NPS Libraries Advisory Committee, we developed a survey that investigated museum staff’s views and use of the library. Questions included use of library print and digital collections for research, service and training priorities, methods employed to find scholarly journal articles, and data management. The results provided insights into adapting to evolving research and service priorities. More than 260 individuals responded to the survey, and the Botany department represented the third largest groups responding. At this presentation, I will present the overall results of the 2017 survey as well as those specific to Botany staff. 


Leyla Cabugos, Plant Sciences Librarian, University of California, Davis

Leyla Cabugos has served as plant sciences librarian at the University of California, Davis, since 2016. She holds an MLIS from San Jose State University, and MS and BS degrees in botany from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Humboldt State University, respectively. Leyla is responsible for collection building, research consultations, and instruction in support of the university’s vibrant plant sciences programs. 

Seeding collaboration: connecting material on plant exploration across institutions
Librarians and archivists at four institutions across the country have developed an informal collaboration to cross-promote and improve access to our collections on the early 20th Century plant explorer, Frank N. Meyer. This presentation will discuss how we connected and work together, and invite further examples of informal collaborations to leverage our collections.


Robin Everly, Botany and Horticultural Librarian, Smithsonian

Robin Everly is the Botany and Horticultural Librarian at the Smithsonian and has been in the information field for over 34 years. She began her career at the National Cancer Institute, Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, as an information specialist in the Protocol and Information Office. She has also worked as database indexer at the National Agricultural Library and after receiving her library degree at the U.S. National Arboretum as a solo horticultural librarian. The last 10 years she has been the second Branch librarian for the Botany and Horticulture Library, Smithsonian Libraries, working with staff from the Department of Botany and Smithsonian Gardens. CBHL founding member Ruth F. Schallert was the first Botany librarian.

She received her Bachelors of Science in Zoology and a Masters of Library Services from the University of Maryland, College Park. She credits much of her success as a botanical librarian to CBHL and its members.  As a CBHL member she has served on various committees such as Publications and Electronic Communications and was on the Board from 2009 to 2013. She is also a member of the Botanical Society of Washington and served as their President in 2013.

Smithsonian Libraries Adopt a Book program: a way to learn, preserve, and raise funds for your library collection
The Smithsonian Libraries’ Adopt-a-Book (AaB) Program provides essential funding to support the conservation, acquisition, and digitization of books and manuscripts held by the world’s largest museum complex and research institution. What began 10 years ago, as a program to support the rare book collections, now involves participation of all 21 Branch libraries. In 2016, an AaB Working group was established that works with the Libraries’ Advancement team to promote the program through online offerings and in person scheduled events.

Robin Everly, branch librarian for the Botany and Horticulture Library will discuss both her roles in the AaB program.  As a branch librarian that selects and write descriptions for the books in her collection and as the representative for the science libraries in the AaB Working Group.


Alena McNamara, Librarian, Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Alena McNamara, Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Librarian since June 2018, comes to the botanic garden library world from the MIT Libraries—where they spent three years in Access Services and two in the Liaison, Instruction, and Reference Services department—and before that from a four-year run as Special Collections Student Assistant at the Mount Holyoke College Rare Book Room. They hold a Master’s in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. 

Grounding the Botanic Library at Tower Hill
The Tower Hill Botanic Library is adding collections of seeds and adaptive garden tools this spring, as part of a larger effort to establish the library as a practical, hands-on, visitor-friendly and interactive space as well as a place to access more traditional print, digitized, and born-digital resources. Alena McNamara, Tower Hill’s Librarian, will discuss the motivations behind these new initiatives as well as the challenges and successes in initial implementation.


Esther Jackson, Public Services Librarian, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden. She is the Secretary for the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, on the Wikimedia NYC Board of Directors, a Chapter Leader for Girl Develop It NYC, and the organizer of Code4Lib NYC.

Wikidata & Natural History Libraries: Engaging the Public and Improving Access to Collections
This talk will give a brief introduction to Wikidata, a “free and open knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and machines. Wikidata acts as central storage for the structured data of its Wikimedia sister projects including Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikisource, and others.” ( The talk will also include a report of Wikidata projects at the New York Botanical Garden, including a citizen science/citizen humanities edit-a-thon held in March of 2019 as part of the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s #HerNaturalHistory campaign (


Kristen Mastel, Outreach and Instruction Librarian, University of Minnesota 

Kristen Mastel is an Outreach and Instruction Librarian at the University of Minnesota. She is the library liaison to Extension, College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Institute on the Environment and Agricultural Education. She is currently President of the United States Agricultural Information Network.

Creativity Walkshops: Outreach through nature to reach new audiences
Learn about various outreach programs used to gain new audiences from students, staff and community members through nature-based activities at the University of Minnesota. Nature 30x30 was a partnership with our Nature-Based Therapies program to highlight activities and research to encourage our community to go outside and explore nature for 30 minutes every day. To encourage students and staff to grow their six dimensions of wellness, we have engaged in stressbusters that seek to connect students with nature through aromatherapy, nature printing, and more! Our latest project to encourage reconnection with nature is creativity walkshops where participants will go on a short guided walk and then participate in an activity. While some may see these programs as unrelated to a library, I will show you how partnering with other units to support community wellbeing supports our mission.


Gillian Hayward, Library Public Service and Research Assistant, Longwood Gardens

Gillian has been at Longwood Gardens almost 14 years. She started as a Tour Guide, and soon after was recruited by Venice Bayrd to do part-time clerical work in the library. She loved the work, and has worked her way up in the library. She has learned an immense amount on the job – especially since David Sleasman was hired in 2011. Doing things a little bit backwards, Gillian is now celebrating earning her MLIS from Kent State University, and completed her final course work just one week before the meeting!

Using EOS.Web Reference Tracker to Help Demonstrate our Value and Impact
This is one of the goals in Longwood’s current Strategic Plan: Measure and communicate the value and impact of our mission
We know that we provide value and are making an impact as a busy special library, but sometimes the tools we use to communicate that value lean toward bean-counting (circulation statistics, # of users in the library, etc.). Using some lessons from Mary Ellen Bates, we’ve started looking at ways we can get at the stories of who we are helping, and how we are providing value by helping them with their work. Our ILS is EOS.Web, which has a module called Reference Tracker that we weren’t previously using. Starting January 1, LIS staff and interns (library, digital library, archives and plant records) have entered all reference interactions into this module. From this data, we can see what users and departments we are serving, what kinds of questions they are asking, how much time we are saving users by assisting them, what departments we could serve better, and more. We hope that, going forward, we will be able to communicate our value and impact much more robustly by utilizing this tool.


Kathy Allen, Librarian, University of Minnesota Andersen Horticultural Library and Kristen Mastel, Outreach and Instruction Librarian, University of Minnesota (Presenters)

Kathy Allen is Librarian at the University of Minnesota’s Andersen Horticultural Library. She is a past president of CBHL and is coordinator of Plant Information Online (

Shannon Farrell is the Natural Resources Librarian at the University of Minnesota. She has subject expertise in Forestry, Entomology, and Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. She is also co-chair of the University Libraries’ Research Data Services Team and has a keen interest in helping researchers better manage, preserve, and share their data.

Julie Kelly is a Science Librarian at Magrath Library at the University of Minnesota She is the liaison to Applied Economics, Horticulture, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and she co-coordinates AgEcon Search.

Kristen Mastel is an Outreach and Instruction Librarian at the University of Minnesota.  She is the library liaison to Extension, College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Institute on the Environment and Agricultural Education. She is currently President of the United States Agricultural Information Network.​

Tracing Honeycrisp's Roots: Rediscovering fruit breeding data through organization and preservation
Until just recently, there was no record of who the parents of the famous Honeycrisp apple were, a mystery that arose due to poor data management. To better preserve and increase access to the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center’s 100 years of historic fruit breeding data, librarians from the U of M partnered with researchers to better organize, describe, and digitize their data. This talk will discuss the data management efforts along with stories of how the historical data has been used over time.  


Anita Kay, Life Sciences Librarian, Iowa State University (Presenter)

Anita Kay has been the Life Sciences Librarian at Iowa State University since 2014. She is the liaison to departments of agronomy, horticulture, plant pathology, microbiology, and kinesiology. She is responsible for instruction, collection development, and outreach in her liaison departments.

Erin Anderson is the project coordinator and Co-PI for the Avian Archives of Iowa Online and a member of the Digital Initiatives unit at the Iowa State University Library. She holds an MA in American Studies from the University of Wyoming, and her previous work experience includes grant writing and database management for the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Exploring the Avian Archives of Iowa Online (avIAn)
The Avian Archives of Iowa Online (avIAn) is a web portal for Iowa ornithological primary sources dating from 1895-2012. The portal’s eight archival collections provide robust documentation of over one hundred years of bird study in Iowa and encompass some of the Midwest’s most influential conservationists. This presentation and database demonstration will share documents and photographs from the Frederic Leopold collection. We will learn about Leopold’s life-long study of Wood Duck populations in Iowa while simultaneously exploring the content and functionality of this new and publicly accessible digital resource. In addition, we will present background information on the project’s inception and development.


Suzi Teghtmeyer, Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry and Botanical Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries

Suzi Teghtmeyer is the agriculture, horticulture, forestry and botanical librarian at Michigan State University Libraries. She’s been a CBHL member since 1999 and loves this organization. She loves teaching students library research methods, writes grants, serves on the library’s ergonomics committee, and is the new book and internet reviews editor for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Information (JAFI). Pet projects include creating indexes and raising her two sons. 

Indexing Michigan Botanist/Great Lakes Botanist: Procedure and Findings
Michigan Botanist / Great Lakes Botanist is the premier journal for articles on botanical research and information for the Upper Midwest. Published by The Michigan Botanical Club since 1962, this peer-reviewed journal covers floras, genus and species studies, book reviews, regional ecological studies, and more. Despite its longevity, depth and coverage, it isn’t comprehensively indexed in any of the major article plant science databases and finding specific authors, species and titles is difficult and time consuming. Content that does appear in article databases often lacks detail, or the index omits entire volumes or issues. This presentation describes how the full run of 57 years of articles has been indexed and is sharable in an open access citation management format. The procedure utilized a variety of programs, where citation components were collected, enhanced, parsed into tables, manipulated into a tab-delimited code, and uploaded into citation management software (CMS) programs for searching and organization purposes.  From the CMS program the index can be exported as an RIS file and shared with the global plant science community. Additionally, this presentation includes findings about authors, floral keys, geographic locations, and book reviews, while acknowledging the value of this Michigan-produced scholarly publication. 


Kathy Allen, Librarian, University of Minnesota Andersen Horticultural Library

Kathy Allen is Librarian at the University of Minnesota’s Andersen Horticultural Library. She is a past president of CBHL and is coordinator of Plant Information Online (

Imag(in)ing Andersen Horticultural Library’s Special Collections
Andersen Horticultural Library has been able to cherry pick discrete collections to digitize over the last few years.  Learn a bit about the digitization process (images are moving to a new platform as I write this) and get a glimpse of some of these colorful and unusual items, including botanical wallcharts, nurserymen’s plate-books, thirty years of Arboretum garden designs, and more.


Charlotte Tancin, Librarian and Principal Research Scholar, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Charlotte Tancin is Librarian and Principal Research Scholar of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, where she has been working since 1984. Charlotte has been a CBHL member since 1988.

Women botanical artists in 19th-century England 
The art collection of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation includes original and published botanical art made by women artists in the 19th century, and the library also has published examples.  During that period in England, botany was undergoing a shift to separating and emphasizing professional work over that of amateurs, and at the same time there was a lot of popular interest in plants, both in the wild and in gardens.  Women artists were filling a wide range of niches with their work, from fine art, to enjoyment and appreciation of nature, to child and adult education, to expanding scientific knowledge.  This talk discusses issues around their work, illustrated with examples.