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President's Annual Report 2009-2010

President's Report

May 9, 2010
Purdue University


Dear USAIN Members,


Thank you for the opportunity to serve as President of USAIN.  I am extremely grateful to the Executive Council for their outstanding service this year.  This has been a busy year and the Executive Council has been incredibly productive.  I thank all of the officers for their commitment to USAIN and their good work.  The chairs of the committees, conveners of Interest Groups, and all those who served on the various standing and program committees are to be commended.  Your productivity this year has been impressive.  I asked a great deal from the EC this year as we met once a month virtually using the NAL conference system.  All documents were put up on NAL SharePoint system.  I thank the National Agricultural Library and its Executive Council liaison, Mike Esman, for their gracious use of both items.  I look forward to serving the organization in the capacity of past president and am confident USAIN will thrive with Allison Level providing leadership as President for 2010-2011. 


Sheila Merrigan

USAIN Highlights of 2009-2010

  • Confirmation of continuing service (or solicitation of replacements) was obtained for committee chairs, interest group conveners, and EC liaisons.  All members of the EC participated and stepped up to act as liaisons as needed. 

  • A special Budget Reserve Task Force comprised of Allison Level, Sharon Fujitani, and Amy Paster addressed the issue of how much money should the organization really have in reserve and where did the guideline for a reserve come from.  Their findings were submitted to the Budget Task Force Committee for consideration. 

  • The Budget Task Force Committee, in addition to scrutinizing and approving the budget, considered the suggestions from the Special Budget Committee and put forth some recommendations to the EC.  Some of these recommendations are in process while other are being held until they can be addressed at a better time.  Anita Ezzo, chair; Katie Newman, Allison, Pat Weaver-Meyers, and Sheila Merrigan.

  • The criteria for choosing the next conference host was a bit ambiguous and was therefore updated to provide better instruction for future EC’s.  Connie Britton, lead; all EC contributed.  

  • The Herder List was reviewed several times throughout the year in order to keep us moving forward on items.  Allison, was keeper of the List; all contributed

  • A Membership Survey was 1) conducted (Katie and Patricia Neenan took the lead on
    this), 2) analyzed by section by all members of the EC, and 3) compiled into a report including summary (Sheila was primarily responsible, but the entire EC assisted).

  • Allison served as a member on the committee to select the new NAL director, Simon Liu. 

  • Mentoring information was added to the members section of the web site. 

  • The Action Plan was revisited, reanalyzed, and rewritten.  Connie and Eboni Francis took the lead on this, with all EC contributing.  A call to review and submit questions/suggestions regarding the Action Plan was sent to the membership.  All questions/suggestions will be considered for inclusion and then voted on by the EC after the conference in May. 

  • A letter of support for College of Research Libraries (CRL) IMLS Grant application to archive/preserve and possibly digitize significant agricultural materials was submitted.  The EC members unanimously supported the concept of the project, with no monetary contribution.  The Presidents trio took the lead on writing the letter.  The Preservation Committee will take the lead on any future activity with this Project.

  • A five member Professional Development Task Force has been formed to look at opportunities and options for the membership.  Julie Kelly and Allison are leading this group. 

  • Many membership issues regarding timing of dues invoices, membership updating and recruitment of new members have been raised this year.  Nan Hyland and Patricia have been working with Marjorie Porter, chair of the Membership Committee, along with Allison and Sheila, on these issues.  All EC have contributed their thoughts at various times. 

  • A Letter of Welcome was sent to Simon Liu, the new Director of NAL.  Allison, Katie, and Norma Kobzina greatly assisted Sheila with this task. 

  • The web master (Heather Moberly), Communications Chair (Helen Smith), and President (Sheila) have reviewed the web hosting contract and both the hosting institution (OK State) and USAIN feel it is still appropriate and complete.

  • Membership committee chair, Marjorie Porter, reported at total of 150 paid members this year. 

  • The Executive Committee met virtually every month this past year. 

  • At the request of the EC a special virtual Business meeting will take place in the Fall (2010) to discuss Bylaw changes.  Date and time to be determined. 

Executive Council

President: Sheila Merrigan
Past President: Katie Newman
President-Elect: Allison Level
Secretary/Treasurer: Anita Ezzo
Directors: Connie Britton, Eboni Frances, Patricia Neenan, Nan Hyland, Julie Kelly, Marianne Stowell Bracke
NAL Representative: Mike Esman
Ex-Officio Members: Amy Paster, Archivist and Heather Moberly, Webmaster


Incoming EC members:  June 1
Mary Ochs, Cornell University
Connie Britton, The Ohio State University
Valrie Davis, University of Florida
Claudine Jenda, Auburn University


  • Awards and Honors : Allison Level, chair; Barb Hutchinson, Noel Kopriva, Amy Bedard, Sarah Kasten
  • Budget Task Force: Anita Ezzo, chair; Allison Level, Katie Newman, Sheila Merrigan, Pat Weaver-Meyers
  • Bylaws: Katie Newman
  • Conference Planning 2010: Marianne Stowell Bracke and Jeanne Pfander
  • Communications: Helen Smith, chair; Mary K. Taylor, Heather K. Moberly, Sarah Williams, Pat Wilson, Julie Kelly (EC Liaison)
  • Legislative and Government Relations: Madeleine Charney, chair; Diana Farmer, Barbara Hutchinson, Lindsay Johnston, Sally Kelley, Pat Wilson, Connie Britton (EC Liaison)
  • Membership: Jorie Porter, chair; Bradley Brazzeal, May Chau, Mohan Ramaswamy, Kathie Richardson, Nan Hyland (EC Liaison)
  • Nominationa/Elections: Katie Newman, chair; Rebecca Bernthal, Philip Herold
  • National Preservation Special Project: Joy Paulson, chair; Heather Moberly, Amy Paster, Mary Ochs, Mike Esman (EC Liaison)

Interest Groups

  • AgNIC: Diana Farmer, convener; Julie Kelly, EC Liaison
  • Animal Health Information: Helen Smith and Cindy Mitchell, co- conveners; Eboni Francis, EC Liaison
  • Collection Management: Nancy Duran and Jodee Kawasaki, co-conveners; Connie Britton, EC Liaison
  • International Agriculture: Barbara Hutchinson and Mary Ochs, co-conveners; Patricia Neenan, EC Liaison
  • Social Issues/Rural Information: Deva E. Reddy (Reddy), convener; Julie Kelly, EC Liaison
  • Technology Trends: Claudine Jenda and Marty Kesselman, co-conveners; Marianne Stowell Bracke, EC Liaison