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President's Annual Report 2010-2011

President's Report

May 17, 2010
Purdue University


I want to thank you very much for giving me the privilege of serving as the President of USAIN. The Executive Council provided tremendous support and expertise throughout the year as we met once a month virtually, and then convened in May at the National Agricultural Library. Although this was a non-conference year, many committees and interest groups stayed busy and the USAIN 2012 Conference Planning Committee is hard at work preparing for our next conference. USAIN is a great organization and that is due in large part to the exceptional knowledge-base and commitment to the profession exhibited by USAIN members and the Executive Council. Thank you to everyone involved with USAIN who helped make this a productive year for the organization. The goal numbers listed after each highlight refer to the USAIN Action Plan Goals. I wish Mary Ochs all the best during her tenure as President for 2011-2012 and I look forward to seeing you next spring at the University of Minnesota for USAIN 2012.

Respectfully submitted,
Allison Level, President

USAIN Highlights of 2010-2011

  • The USAIN membership held steady for the year with 80 personal/student members and 30 institutional members. While some library organizations are experiencing drops in membership, it is heartening that USAIN members continue to support the organization with their memberships and involvement. (Goal 1)
  • New appointments or continuing appointments were made to USAIN Committees and Interest Groups. The National Preservation Special Project Committee became a standing committee that was renamed the Preservation and Digital Library Committee. (Goal 1)
  • The Executive Council (EC) welcomed Maria Pisa, as the new NAL Liaison on the EC. Maria is the Associate Director for Public Services at NAL. The EC enjoyed working with Maria this year and we appreciate her contributions to and involvement with USAIN. (Goal 1)
  • One of the first action items for the year was writing a letter of support for NAL and the NAL budget. These letters were sent to three key ARS-USDA administrators and were signed by members of the USAIN EC 2009-2010 and the 2010-2011 EC. (Goal 2)
  • A membership survey was conducted in fall 2010 with Nan Hyland and Valrie Davis from the EC took the lead. The results provided information for the EC on member usage of technologies for communication and professional development ideas of interest to the membership. USAIN members who took the survey were given the opportunity to express interest in serving on committees. (Goal 1)
  • The EC established two special task forces this year. The Management Company Task Force included Connie Britton (chair), Anita Ezzo, Nan Hyland, Julie Kelly, Mary Ochs, and Amy Paster. The task force was charged with looking at options for organizational/member services for USAIN and to make recommendations to the EC. This task force’s final report was presented at the May meeting and the recommendations and next-steps will be implemented in the upcoming year. (Goal 1)
  • The National Preservation Plan Task Force was chaired by Mary Ochs and included Maria Pisa, Amy Paster, Joy Paulson, and Heather Moberly. This task force submitted a report to the EC at the May meeting. Recommendations and future directions are forthcoming. Maria Pisa, Pat Murphy, Susan Fugate, Melanie Gardner, Dan Lech, and Gretchen Kaminski from NAL provided information for the task force and we appreciate all their contributions. (Goal 1 and 2)
  • As part of the EC discussion about the preservation of agricultural information, the EC invited Joy Paulson to attend a meeting and give a brief history of the USAIN Preservation Special Projects Committee and its work on the USAIN State and Local Literature Preservation Projects. (Goal 3)
  • USAIN held its first ever Virtual Business Meeting. The special meeting was called to look at proposed bylaws changes. The changes included providing the option to hold elections and to vote on future bylaws changes via electronic means. The membership approved the bylaws changes in December, 2010. (Goal 1)
  • Marianne Stowell Bracke provided a 2010 Purdue Conference Report to the EC. She was commended on the thoroughness of both the conference information and the financial reporting. The Purdue Conference was an outstanding success and the EC recognized the hard work of Marianne, Jeanne Pfander, and the members of the conference planning committee. (Goal 3)
  • Julie Kelly and Philip Herold from the USAIN 2012 Conference Planning Committee provided several updates to the EC on conference planning. It is going well and everyone is looking forward to an excellent conference. (Goal 3)
  • USAIN bylaw changes approved in fall 2010 paved the way to allow for electronic > voting. In spring 2011 Sheila Merrigan, Chair of the Nominations Committee arranged for the election voting to be conducted using online survey software. This made voting much easier for the membership as evidenced by a historic 70% of the membership voting in this year’s election. (Goal 1)
  • In February 2011 USAIN rallied to support of federal funding for Cooperative Extension. A letter of support for full-funding of Cooperative Extension were sent to the Honorable Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and a letter was sent to the Honorable Frank Lucas, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. The USAIN Legislative and Government Relations Committee also provided information to the USAIN membership about social media actions to save federal funding for Extension and urged members to express their support. USAIN members frequently use and refer others to Extension information and it was essential to support Extension staffing and activities. (Goal 2)
  • This year EC communication channels were improved when Valrie Davis created an Executive Council listserv. The EC also continued monthly conference call meetings that promoted regular communication about USAIN business and important topics. (Goal 1)
  • The EC spent time, during several monthly calls, reviewing and updating the USAIN Procedures and Rules (P&Rs). Sheila Merrigan, Chair of the Bylaws Committee, led the effort. The Bylaws Committee is also responsible for revising the P&Rs. The P&Rs are the mortar for the organization and although they are not flashy, they provide important organizational foundation and structure. Thanks to Sheila for her year-long work on this critical project. (Goal 1)
  • Beginning in the 2009-2010 year the EC moved from holding one in-person meeting a year to holding monthly conference calls and one in-person meeting per year. This made a substantial change to the amount of work required by Anita Ezzo, the USAIN Secretary/Treasurer. Anita has done a tremendous job of keeping the minutes, finances, and USAIN business recorded accurately and in a timely manner during the past two years. As President I have really appreciated all her work and her commitment to USAIN. The membership is also pleased with her work as she was voted in for a second term as Secretary/Treasurer. (Goal 1)
  • There are two EC members rotating off the Council this year. Sheila Merrigan, Past President, is concluding her three year officer cycle. Julie Kelly, Director, is concluding her two year term. Thank you to both of you for your outstanding work on behalf of USAIN and for your willingness to take on leadership roles for USAIN. (Goal 1)
  • The EC voted to continue the AgNIC-USAIN Memorandum of Understanding and a new MOU was signed during the May 2011 USAIN-AgNIC Board lunch. While AgNIC and USAIN are different organizations, they share many similar interests. This MOU formally acknowledges the two groups’ efforts to work together, “in the spirit of endeavoring to increase cooperation in the area of collection and dissemination of agricultural information.” (Goal 3)

Executive Council 2010-2011
President: Allison Level
Past President: Sheila Merrigan
President-Elect: Mary Ochs
Secretary/Treasurer: Anita Ezzo
Directors: Connie Britton, Valrie Davis, Nan Hyland, Claudine Jenda, Julie Kelly, and Marianne Stowell Bracke.
NAL Representative: Maria Pisa
Ex-Officio Members: Amy Paster, Archivist and Heather Moberly, Webmaster

Executive Council 2011-2012
Incoming EC members: June 1
President-Elect: Eileen Herring
Secretary/Treasurer: Anita Ezzo was re-elected for a second term.
Marianne Stowell Bracke & Nan Hyland were re-elected for a second term and Hope Jansen was elected for a first term.

Returning EC members: June 1
President: Mary Ochs
Directors (second year): Connie Britton, Valrie Davis, and Claudine Jenda
NAL Representative: Maria Pisa
Past-President: Allison Level
Ex-Officio Members: Amy Paster, Archivist and Heather Moberly, Webmaster

Committee Chairs
  • Awards and Honors : Mary Ochs, chair & EC Liaison
  • Budget: Anita Ezzo, chair & EC Liaison
  • Bylaws: Sheila Merrigan, chair & EC Liaison
  • Conference Planning 2012: Philip Herold, chair; Julie Kelly, EC Liaison
  • Communications: Helen Smith, chair; Julie Kelly, EC Liaison
  • Legislative and Government Relations: Madeleine Charney, chair; Connie Britton, EC Liaison
  • Membership: Jorie Porter, chair (June-December); Nan Hyland, EC Liaison
  • Nominations/Elections: Sheila Merrigan, chair & EC Liaison
  • Preservation Committee: Amy Paster, chair; Mary Ochs, EC Liaison

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