Janet Hinshaw, collection manager of the Bird Division at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, was honored by the Wilson Ornithological Society with the William and Nancy Klamm Service Award for 2015.
The William and Nancy Klamm Service Award honors the memory of extensive service and commitment to the society shown by Bill and Nancy Klamm, who generously supported the society with both their time and a substantial financial bequest, according to Hinshaw’s citation. Often service awards are bestowed upon former officers, whose work has been easy to observe. However, this year it recognizes someone whose work has been almost entirely behind the scenes.
In 1974, Hinshaw began her work as a technician at the UMMZ where she coordinated the work associated with the Josselyn Van Tyne Memorial Library. Before the Internet age, this library was one of the only ways for ornithologists without access to a large library to be able to access resources. When ornithologists requested copies of articles, the loan of books or journals, and access to historical information, Hinshaw coordinated these activities. The library still contains many resources that are not easily available from other sources. She coordinates exchanges with other organizations to increase the availability of journals (in some years, well over 100 exchanges).
Ornithologists have contributed numerous books, reprints, reports, journals and other media to the library over the years, making it a rich resource. Hinshaw has catalogued all of these holdings, identifies duplicate items in the library, and has facilitated the sale of some duplicate materials to help fund the library’s activities. She has helped numerous historians as they have worked to document the history of the society and the lives of many Wilson members. She served on the council from 1992 to 1995 to help her better understand the society’s needs and to help the society better understand the resources available in the library. She has been tireless in advocating for the library and its value to ornithologists.
To honor the recipient of the Klamm Service Award, the society commissions an original painting of a bird that is special to the recipient. Hinshaw’s award is by Julie Zickefoose of collared redstarts, a species Hinshaw encountered and loved in Costa Rica.
“We are grateful for Janet’s more than four decades of diligent efforts for the Van Tyne library and are pleased to honor her with the William and Nancy Klamm Service Award for 2015,” states the award citation.
The Wilson Ornithological Society, founded in 1888, is a world-wide organization of more than 2000 people who share a curiosity about birds. Named in honor of Alexander Wilson, the father of American ornithology, the society publishes a quarterly journal of ornithology, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, and holds annual meetings.