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A new addition to the NHSN team

18th September 2019

NHSN are delighted to welcome Jen Whitney who joins the team this week on an 11-month research secondment.

Jen is a Librarian on secondment to NHSN from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where she supports the Library’s digital collections and information systems. Over the next year, she’ll work with us to increase digital access to our Library and Archives, promote our collections and to connect with and engage people who have an interest in the natural history of the north-east.

We cannot wait to work with Jen to boost access to the treasures found in our library and archive collections and we will surely benefit from her expansive knowledge of the field. For now, however, here is a little more about Jen in her own words:


I initially met with NHSN Director Clare Freeman in spring 2018 to talk about the possibility of joining the NHSN on secondment during research leave from my position as a Librarian at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. As the meeting occurred shortly after the beginning of the Toward 2029 project, it was an exciting time to discuss ways that I could apply my experience working with digital collections and information systems in support of activities anticipated in the project’s ten-year strategic plan.

Over past year Clare’s kept in touch to share information about Towards 2029 project findings that relate to the NHSN Library and Archives and to help shape and refine a secondment project. With her support my leave was approved and I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to work with the NHSN. I’ll be working with staff, volunteers, and partners to examine ways to increase digital access to the Library and Archives, to help promote their collections and to connect with and engage people who have interest in the natural history of north-east.

My secondment started this week on Monday this week – Clare, Hazel, James, Sarah, June, and Les (and many others!) have been really welcoming and helpful in very quickly getting me up to speed with NHSN history, aims, activities, partners, and so much more. I look forward to getting started on overall goal of increasing digital access to collections and reporting progress as we continue.