Skip to main content

Ferry, Barbara

Former Branch Services Manager

As the interim head of Research Services Division, I manage the services and staff of seventeen Smithsonian Libraries branches focused on Art & Design, History & Culture, and Natural & Physical Sciences. I also serves as the Head of the Natural & Physical Science Libraries.  Prior to the Smithsonian, I was the Director of the Library and Archives at National Geographic Society and also worked as a news research analyst at the Washington Post, and led a research team at Washington Information Group.  I am active in the Library and information community and have spoken at workshops and conference programs throughout my career (SLA, IFLA, Charleston Library Conference, Future of Information Alliance, ALA, etc.).

Background And Education

Education And Training

Awards And Honors




Responsible Collections Areas

  • Science monographs and serial collections. 

Outreach Overview

  • Poster at ACRL/ALA Meeting June 2019: Measuring and Responding to the Evolution of Science Researcher Needs at the Smithsonian: Bullard, Kristen A.; Cox, Stephen; Ferry, Barbara; Lasker, Polly; Zwicker, Sue; Bullard, Kristen; Cox, Stephen; Ferry, Barbara; Lasker, Polly; Zwicker, Sue. Location:

    Speaker, American Library Association Conference, June 2019.  "Tips for Getting a Federal Library Job." 

    Speaker, Charleston Library Conference, November 2018: "Forming Cooperative Relationships for Collections: A Winding Tale of Map Stewardship."

    Speaker, Charleston Library Conference, November 2017: “What do Smithsonian Scientists Want From Their Libraries?” based on the 2016 Natural & Physical Science Survey, and “Inspiring Discovery Through Global Access to Free Biodiversity Literature (BHL)”.  

    Partner Interview with Gale Cengage, 2014. (

     "Creative Ideas, Insights, & Trends: Innovation to Go"; March 21, 2012; Computers in Libraries, Washington DC. (

    "The Future of the Past: Toward an Agenda for Research and Action: A Discussion with FIA Partners," December 6, 2013 (

    "Thinking Strategically About the Future"; DCLA/DCSLA Joint Spring Workshop, April 2012.

    National Geographic Intelligent Traveler: Postings from the Vancouver Olympics (

    "Dispatches From the Stacks," April 11, 2011. (

    Trends Analysis at National Geographic, Computers in Libraries, April 1, 2009.

    Nielsen Norman Group 2007 Intranet Design Annual Award for National Geographic's Intranet Team:

    "Podcasting Potential for Special Libraries" DC/SLA event. May 17, 2006.

    Editor, Chapter Notes, DCSLA (2006)

    "How to find your Library’s Value and Sell it to Management." Speaker, DCSLA event. 2006

    Special Libraries Association: Business & Finance Division Award for Outstanding Achievement in Business Librarianship (2009)




Mailing Address

  • Smithsonian Institution
    MRC 154 Box 37012
    Washington DC, 20013-7012