I am honored to be serving as USAIN President, and I am excited to be working closely with a great group on the Executive Council.
In April 2016, the 15th Biennial USAIN Conference was held at the University of Florida. The program was excellent, with outstanding contributed papers and posters and invited speakers. During the Awards Banquet, we recognized our conference scholarship recipients and celebrated the contributions of USAIN members and non-members with the Service to the Profession Award, Special Achievement Award, and Honorary Memberships. Congratulations again to our scholarship and award recipients! We also received a great response on the committee volunteer sign-up sheets (Thank you!), so I am interested to see what initiatives our committees pursue. Hang on to that spirit of volunteerism for when conference planning committees are formed for the 2018 USAIN Conference, which will be held at Washington State University.
In the coming year, we will move forward on significant projects for the organization. The Executive Council and website project leaders are intent on bringing the USAIN website redesign project to a closure, so that members and potential members can benefit from the new functionality. The USAIN Action Plan will also be revised to take effect June 1, 2017. USAIN members will have opportunities to provide input and feedback on the Action Plan as it is revised, so I encourage you to participate in the revision process.
I would also like to highlight USAIN’s involvement in valuable projects and partnerships. USAIN is a sponsor of the Ithaka S+R Agriculture Research Support Services project and has a representative on the project advisory board. The project involves librarians at 19 U.S. research libraries interviewing local agricultural scholars about their research practices. We hope all agricultural librarians and scholars, not just those participating, will benefit in some way from the project outputs, including institutional reports, the aggregated report, and publications and conference presentations. USAIN continues to partner with AgNIC and the Center for Research Libraries on Project Ceres, which provides funding for small projects to preserve and digitize essential print materials related to the history and economics of agriculture. Project Ceres funded 5 proposals for 2016-2017. USAIN is also well positioned to collaborate with the National Agricultural Library on initiatives, such as those related to the OSTP memo “Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research.”
USAIN’s success as a professional organization is the direct result of members’ contributions over the years. If you are already a USAIN member, I encourage you to be actively involved in projects that interest you. If you are not yet a member but you are excited by the organization’s activities, please consider joining.
Feel free to contact me with your questions about USAIN.
Sarah C. Williams
USAIN President, 2016-2017