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President's Annual Report 2007-2008

Dear USAIN Members,

 

I want to thank all of you for having given me the opportunity to serve as your President for 2007-2008. I cannot say enough about the support I received from the members of the Executive Council, the various USAIN committees and Interest Groups, and especially the planners of the enormously successful conference held in April in Wooster, Ohio. I am also appreciative of the various members who sent comments and suggestions
throughout the year, the staff of the National Agricultural Library, and the efforts
of the USAIN Web Site team. It was an especially busy year, and I can only report on
the highlights, but it was due to the hard work of so many people that made it a
success.  I am pleased to be able to continue to serve on the Executive Council for 2008-2009 as Past-President, and wish the best to Katie Newman during her tenure as President.


With thanks,
Norma Kobzina

 

 

USAIN Highlights 2007-2008

 

1. "Tradition in Transition: Information Fueling the Future of Agbiosciences" was
the title of the USAIN Conference hosted by Ohio State University, and held in Wooster, Ohio on April 27-30, 2008. I can say without question that this was an unqualified success, with 127 attendees, 9 exhibitors and sponsors. Conference Co-Chairs Connie Britton and Anita Ezzo are to be commended for their hard work and constant e-mail reminders which encouraged members to attend. The conference also served as the celebration of the 20th anniversary of USAIN. Some or possibly all of the papers from the conference will be available at Cornell's Institutional Repository; in addition some papers are being published in the latest issue of JAFI. There were several award recipients: Conference Scholarships for New Professionals went to Noel Kopriva and Amy Bedard; the Conference Scholarship for a Student went to Sarah Kasten; the Service to the Profession Award was given to Barbara Hutchinson. In addition, Carla Casler received a Special Achievement Award.

 

2. 2010 Conference:  Purdue University will be the host for the 2010 Conference, which will be held on May 9-12. Marianne Stowell-Bracke will chair the conference.
During this past year, special procedures for choosing the Conference Hosting site were
developed by the Executive Council, as a result of having several proposals submitted.

 

3. Legislation: A substantial part of the year was devoted to working on letters of support for upcoming legislation in Congress, as well as finalizing other key documents that had been worked on by a number of USAIN members for two years. One very important aspect of the success of the legislative efforts was the expansion of the USAIN Legislative and Government Relations Committee, under the guidance of Sally Kelley. The committee substantially revised and updated the web page to ensure that members have access to the most recent information, and also to support their public relations activities. As a result of their work, the Executive Council was able to finalize what had initially been called the "White Paper". The official title became "Making the Case for a Next-Generation Digital Information System to Ensure America's Leadership in the 21st Century", which is now available and can serve as a background document  for other letters from USAIN and/or individual members.

 

USAIN submitted a letter of support for funding of the Animal Welfare Information Center at NAL, to Rosa de Lauro, Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. A letter regarding the 2007 Farm Bill asked for special wording on timely access to agricultural information and research support activities was sent to Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, as well as several other appropriate committee chairs. Another letter to Congresswoman Rosa de Lauro and several colleagues in the House and Senate addressed the need for support for the U.S.D.A. National Agricultural Library in the Proposed Fiscal Year 2009 Budget.

 

4. Web Site:
The Communications Committee developed the procedure for transferring the web site to another host institution; it had previously only been at the University of Arizona. As a result, the web site moved from Arizona to Oklahoma State University, and Heather Moberly replaced Carla Casler as the Webmaster. The organization was very fortunate to have Carla Casler as the Webmaster from 1999-2007. She served the organization with distinction.

 

5. Logo Policy:
The Executive Council approved a new policy of the use of the USAIN logo by members.

 

6. Interest Groups:
A new Interest Group, the International Agriculture Interest Group, was created. The Co-Conveners are Barbara Hutchinson and Mary Ochs, was created. There was a request to dissolve the Social Issues/Rural Information Interest Group which was approved by the Executive Council; subsequently that Group decided they did not wish to disband. As a
result of these discussions, procedures about either forming a new group or disbanding an existing group were clarified.

 

7. Awards:
A new award, the Special Achievement Award, was set up. (See the Conference
notes above.) This award is to be given at the discretion of the Executive Council. Suggestions about where to list these awards, such as a press release to C&RL News,
and a listing on the web site, are being evaluated.

 

8. Membership Directory:
The membership was polled as to the format that was preferred, and a decision was approved to discontinue the print directory in the future, but continue to have an online directory.

 

9. Official Meetings:
The Executive Council met in June 2007 at ALA in Washington, D.C. and in
April 2008 at the Conference in Wooster. Official Business Meetings of the Membership
were held on June 22, 2007 and April 29, 2008. USAIN Updates were presented at the annual and midwinter meetings of ALA and at the annual SLA conference.

I would like to extend my thanks to all of my colleagues who served USAIN in various
capacities during the year, including members of the Executive Council, Committee Chairs and Interest Group Conveners, and Conference Co-Chairs:

 

Executive Council:
Katie Newman--President-Elect
Norma Kobzina--President
Heather K. Moberly--Past-President
Sharon Fujitani--Secretary/Treasurer
NAL Representative--Mike Esman
Directors--Diana Farmer, Martin A. Kesselman, Allison Level, Sheila Merrigan, Mohan Ramaswamy, Sarah C. Williams

 

Committee Chairs:
Awards and Honors--Norma Kobzina
Budget Task Force--Sharon Fujitani
Bylaws--Heather K. Moberly
Legislative and Government Relations--Sally J. Kelley
Membership--Bradley Brazzeal
Nominations/Elections--Heather K. Moberly
Conference Planning--Constance J. Britton and Anita Ezzo
Preservation Special Project--Joy Paulson
Task Force Special Project--Barbara Hutchinson

 

Interest Group Conveners:
AgNIC--Allison Level
Agricola--Carla Long Casler and Karl Schneider
Animal Health Information--Helen Smith
Collection Management--Allison Level and Valerie Perry
Social Issues/Rural Information--Regina Cannon and Deva E. Reddy
Technology Trends--Claudine Jenda, Martin A. Kesselman and Vernon Kisling

 

I would also like to extend my congratulations to the newest members of the
Executive Council:
President--Katie Newman
President-Elect--Sheila Merrigan
Incoming Directors--Constance A. Britton, Eboni Francis, and Patricia Neenan

 

I look forward to working with all of them.
Norma Kobzina