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President's Annual Report 2012-2013

President's Report


31 May 2012


Dear USAIN Members,


The USAIN Executive Council and Committees have been quite busy and productive this past year. Supported by the National Agricultural Library’s conference system, the Executive Council met monthly by conference call. We experimented with using Google+ Hangouts, but encountered enough technical difficulties with our large group that we went back to meeting by conference call. At the end of the USAIN year, on 13 May, we had our annual face-to-face meeting at the National Agricultural Library.

It has been a privilege serving as President of USAIN and I look forward to continuing as Past-President under the leadership of our new President, Connie Britton.  I expect it will be a momentous 25th anniversary year and I hope to see you all at the 2014 Conference at the University of Vermont!

Respectfully submitted,
Eileen Herring



USAIN Highlights of 2012-2013

Key Initiatives
  • The Web Implementation Task Force was created in September 2012 to review and evaluate the recommendations made by the USAIN Website Review Team in August 2012 and provide an assessment to the Executive Council. The Task Force consists of Connie Britton, Chair; Megan Kocher (Chair, Communications Committee); Kristen Mastel, and Cindy Straus. It also includes two ex-officio members, Sarah Williams, Executive Council Liaison to the Communications Committee, and the USAIN Webmaster (originally Heather Moberly, currently Suzanne Reinman). In November 2012, the Executive Council accepted the Task Force’s assessment and recommendations.

  • The second part of the Web Implementation Task Force’s charge was to develop an action plan for implementing the recommendations. In April 2013, the Web Implementation Task Force distributed an RFP for development of a new Website for USAIN. Nineteen proposals were received and reviewed by the Task Force. The Executive Council authorized the Task Force to interview the top candidates and report their recommendations back to the Council. The Membership and Communications Committees will also be involved in the rest of this project.
  • President-Elect Connie Britton took the lead on planning for USAIN’s 25th Anniversary. Megan Kocher, Chair of the Communications Committee, designed the anniversary pins that will be sent to every current member in early July. This logo will also be used by the 2014 Conference.
  • The Preservation and Digital Library Committee, formerly the national Preservation Special Project Committee, became an official USAIN standing committee. During this past year, a major project of the Committee was working with AgNIC and CRL on a program to support small projects that preserve agricultural print materials. Proposals were solicited and evaluated. Sixteen contracts were awarded.
  • The Executive Council put together a Task Force to identify best practices for reviewing contributed papers and posters for our conferences. Philip Herold chaired this task force; Mary Ochs and Jessica Page comprised the rest of the committee. The Task Force made a presentation to the Executive Council outlining its recommendations. The recommendations were accepted by the Council and will be added to the updated Procedures and Rules in section XVI. Conference Planning Committee.

    Organizational Business

  • The Secretary/Treasurer Anita Ezzo researched various options for obtaining an external review of USAIN’s finances. The Executive Council approved an additional expenditure for our current CPA firm to perform a financial compilation and to prepare a document outlining best practices for the organization to check its own financials in the future.

  • The Communications Committee has reviewed USAINís various social media accounts and will be developing a strategy to use them more effectively. They are also working on a Wikipedia entry for USAIN.
  • The Membership Committee and the Council worked with the organizationís management company, Long & Associates, to keep our membership records up to date. Peggy Sanders of Long & Associates reported that this year we have 116 members including 7 new members. As President, Eileen Herring contacted the CEO of Long & Associates to review problems encountered during the year and develop strategies for improved service.
  • In November 2012, the Membership Committee, under the leadership of the Chair, Julie Kelly, designed and implemented the annual member survey using Survey Monkey. The conference planners and other committee leaders were consulted regarding the content of the survey. The survey included questions regarding improvements that members would like to see in the USAIN Website. I provided a summary of the survey to the membership by email to the listserv.
  • The Nominations Committee, chaired by Mary Ochs, developed a slate of very qualified candidates for this yearís election. This was the third year of electronic voting and the voting went smoothly.
  • Philip Herold provided the Executive Council with a final report regarding the 2012 Minnesota Conference. The report was shared with the conference planners for the 2014 Vermont conference. The Council appreciated the accuracy and thoroughness of his report.
  • USAIN received an inquiry from the Agricultural Economics Reference Organization (AERO) asking about the possibilities of combining organizational activities. Since the majority of AERO members are already USAIN members, the EC proposed that all of AEROís members join USAIN and that they create a new Interest Group. AERO accepted that proposal and is in the process of going through the procedures to create a new Interest Group.
  • As part of an effort to foster closer ties between our two organizations, USAIN sponsored a Plenary Session at the 2013 IAALD World Congress being held in July at Cornell.
  • The Executive Council authorized a gift to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, Safra Family Lodge, in memory of Eleanor Frierson. The Executive Council isdiscussing options for an appropriate memorial for Norma Kobzina.
  • Mary Ochs prepared updates to the Procedures and Rules documents for the Executive Councilís review. The revisions were approved and will soon be available on the USAIN Website.

Executive Council 2012-2013
President: Eileen Herring
Past President: Mary Ochs
President-Elect: Connie Britton
Secretary/Treasurer: Anita Ezzo
Directors: Marianne Stowell Bracke, Madeleine Charney, Philip Herold, Hope Jansen, Claudine Jenda, Sarah C. Williams
NAL Representative: Chris Cole
Ex-Officio Members: Amy Paster, Archivist; Heather Moberly, Webmaster through December 2012; Suzanne Reinman, current Webmaster

Outgoing Executive Council Members for 2013-2014: Marianne Stowell Bracke, Anita Ezzo, Mary Ochs
Incoming Executive Council Members for 2013-2014: Peter Fernandez, Val Minson, Jenny Oleen


Committee Chairs 2012-2013

  • Awards and Honors: Connie Britton
  • Budget: Anita Ezzo
  • Bylaws: Mary Ochs
  • Communications: Megan Kocher
  • Conference Planning 2014: Elizabeth Berman
  • Legislative and Government Relations: Suzanne Reinman
  • Membership: Julie Kelly
  • Nominations and Elections: Mary Ochs
  • Preservation and Digital Library: Amy Paster
  • Professional Development (Special Project Committee): Noel Kopriva

Interest Group Conveners 2012-2013

  • AgNIC: Florian Diekmann and Rob McGeachin
  • Animal Health Information: Sheila Bryant and Jessica Page
  • Collection Management: Jodee Kuden and Natalie Waters
  • International Agriculture: Marty Kesselman and Jim Morris-Knower
  • Social Issues/Rural Information: Deva E. Reddy and Margaret Merrill
  • Technology Trends: Peter Fernandez