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"Exploring Human Origins" Private Tour
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Exclusive exhibit tour for CT librarians

When: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
9:00 - 11:00am
Where: Otis Library
261 Main Street
Norwich, Connecticut  06360
United States
Contact: Ellen Paul
860-344-8777 x104

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Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to be Human?

An Exclusive Private Tour and Q&A for Connecticut Library Staff


"Exploring Human Origins" is a thought-provoking Smithsonian Institution exhibit that is traveling to only 19 libraries across the country. The Otis Library in Norwich is the only stop in Connecticut.


Otis Library has partnered with CLC to offer Connecticut library staff an extraordinary opportunity: An exclusive private tour of the exhibit led by the Smithsonian scientists who curated it, followed by a Q&A session.


Clear your calendar and register now for this very special morning.



A message from our host, Otis Library:


human reunion poster

Otis Library is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition, Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human? from Saturday, January 7, 2017 – February 3, 2017.  The exhibition provides a fascinating glimpse into the complex field of human evolution research.


Based on a popular exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the exhibition explores the process of scientific investigation by communicating not only what we know about human origins but also how we know it.


Because human evolution can be a controversial topic, Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human? also seeks to foster a positive dialogue with people from different cultural perspectives. The goal is to enable a respectful exploration into the science of human origins through panels, interactive kiosks, hands-on displays, videos, and a series of free related programs, including presentations by Smithsonian scientists.


We are proud that Otis Library was chosen as one of 19 sites nationwide to host Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human? The exhibition was organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office. This project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and support from the Peter Buck Human Origins Fund.


We would like to invite you to a special private tour of the exhibit at on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  Check-in and refreshments from 9:00am – 9:30am; then Smithsonian scientists Dr. Rick Potts and Dr. Briana Pobiner will lead us on a tour of the exhibit and take part in a question and answer period afterward. 


We hope you can join us!



Dr. Rick Potts

Dr. Rick Potts is a paleoanthropologist who directs the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where he also holds the Peter Buck Chair in Human Origins. Since joining the Smithsonian in 1985, Rick has dedicated his research to piecing together the record of Earth’s environmental change and human adaptation. Bridging across many research disciplines, Rick’s field projects are located in the East African Rift and in southern and northern China. His latest work in the Rift Valley of Kenya has gained international attention as the first project to obtain a long drill core from an early human site in Africa, which will provide a detailed climate record spanning the past 500,000 years. Rick received his Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Harvard University in 1982, after which he taught anthropology at Yale University and served as curator of physical anthropology at the Yale Peabody Museum. Rick is curator of both The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and its accompanying traveling exhibition. He is also the author of the companion book, What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Dr. Brianna Pobiner    Dr. Briana Pobiner holds a B.A. in Evolutionary Studies from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rutgers University. Her research centers on the evolution of human diet (with a focus on meat-eating), but has included topics as diverse as cannibalism in the Cook Islands and chimpanzee carnivory. She has done fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Indonesia. Since joining the Smithsonian in 2005, in addition to continuing her active field, laboratory, and experimental research programs, she leads the Human Origins Program’s education and outreach efforts and manages the Human Origins Program's public programs, website content, social media, and exhibition volunteer training. Briana is also an Associate Research Professor of Anthropology at the George Washington University. 



   9:00 - 9:30: Registration & Continental Breakfast
   9:30 - 11:00: Private tour and viewing of the exhibit, followed by Q&A with Smithsonian scientists

LOCATION: Otis Library, Norwich


REGISTRATION: This is a FREE event for Connecticut library staff, but registration is required. Please register using the link above.


PARKING: A link to a complimentary parking pass will be sent with your registration confirmation email. Valid for parking in the Cliff Street parking lot, public parking spaces (white lined spaces) only. PARKING MAP


DIRECTIONS: From Route 2 East, turn right onto Washington Street (Backus Hospital on right). Head south and take left fork onto Broadway. About a half a mile bear right onto Union Street. At intersection, take a right back onto Broadway. At next light take a left onto Main. Library is 3 blocks down on right.



   CLC - Ellen Paul, 860.344.8777 x104 or

   Otis Library - Cathy Special, 860.889.2365 x125 or


   Human Origins Traveling Exhibit - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

   Exploring Human Origins at Otis Library - Otis Library


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