Monsters and Museum Libraries: Enjoying a Rebirth

What does a prehistoric monster have to do with museum libraries and their relevance today? Plenty.

By examining museum specimens, a natural history museum helped solve the case of the Tully Monster, a mysterious fossil. The fossil was initially thought to be some sort of worm, but with help from natural history museums and their libraries, scientists were able to determine that the monster had a backbone and was an ancestral precursor to today’s fishes.

Tully Monster

Dorothy Barr, reference librarian at the Ernst Mayr Library at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, will share this and other stories of how natural history museums are enjoying a rebirth at the SLA 2016 Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Her presentation will illustrate the changing role of museums and, in turn, of the librarians who work in them.

Be sure to catch “What Good is a Museum Library in the 21st Century?” to find out more about the evolving role of museum libraries and librarians. Dorothy will be joined by fellow speaker Marleene Boyd of the New Zealand Maritime Museum, who will add her own insights into how librarians can help museums not only survive, but thrive.

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