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Inside this Section YOU ARE HERE> SIL Home Page: Giving to the Libraries: Partners in Discovery Campaign
Message from the Director
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Partners in Discovery Campaign

Giving Opportunities

Partners in Discovery Campaign

A curator of invertebrate zoology from the National Museum of Natural HistoryA Call for Partners: It's about you

The Smithsonian's great challenge is to help people understand the forces of nature and culture that shape our world. Our scientists, scholars and educators could not perform their research, prepare exhibitions, publish interpretive results, or develop educational programs and curricula without the resources and staff assistance provided by the Libraries.

Just as a library is the heart of any great university, libraries at the Smithsonian have always been an integral part of the research and educational work of the Institution. Ranging from 15th century manuscripts to electronic journals, our library collections are a tremendous resource for the nation. They offer many opportunities to connect a growing America to its historical, cultural, and scientific heritage. Unfortunately, many of those opportunities cannot today be realized.

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries has reached a critical juncture in its ability to guide library users through the vastly increasing sources of information available in both traditional and electronic formats. The day has passed when access to our collections meant a physical presence in the library. The Internet has made it possible for anyone, anywhere, to use the Smithsonian Libraries. And the implications of this dramatically expanded constituency for the Libraries are profound.

SI Libraries Director Nancy GwinnRecently, the Libraries undertook a strategic self-evaluation with the objective of redefining its place in the new information millennium. The result is a new vision that underscores the Libraries' readiness to serve the nation. To fulfill that vision, we must enhance certain key collections, we must expand our ability to serve people who seek access to our collections via the Internet, and we must strengthen our ability to preserve rare and precious books.

Turning our vision into reality requires a significant investment of time, creativity, and financial resources. We must build on the limited base of funding we receive from the federal government by engaging private partners in discovery: interested citizens with a strong belief in the value of Smithsonian programs to Americans, the educational value of the collections we hold, and with a desire to help the Libraries make these collections widely available. Together, we can encourage knowledge-seekers worldwide to find and enjoy the written treasures of the nation's great cultural and scientific center, the Smithsonian Institution.

Nancy E. Gwinn, Director, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

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