USAIN Home Page

Contact USAIN




Planning Group for the Leadership Council

Meeting Report

18-19 November 2004
Columbus, Mississippi


The Call from Dr. Rodney Brown: Develop a roadmap of where we, the two complementary cultures of libraries and extension, want to go and how to get there.


Presentations by Eleanor Frierson, Associate Director of NAL, included examples of current partnerships that work (Preservation Program for Agriculture Literature, Western Rangelands Partnership (AgNIC), and and guidelines for successful collaborations.


Presentation by Dr. Brown on trends in agriculture, land-grants, and information technologies – how to meet needs of customers in age of Google? “Need one sentence of what we want to accomplish” and, perhaps, each state should create a ½ library and ½ extension position similar to the new GIS Extension Specialists


Selected Questions Raised During Discussions:

  1. What is problem trying to solve? What is the vision?
  2. How to direct customers to where they can get authoritative information?
  3. How to be catalyst and conduit for information and learning?
  4. How to certify the information provided?
  5. How to move forward the recommendations of the NAL Blue Ribbon Panel?
  6. What are models for a campus relationship between libraries and extension?
  7. Is a Leadership Council needed or another type of coordinating group?
  8. How to create a comprehensive source of broad-based ag and life issues-related information similar to NIH’s Medline Plus and PubMed web portal?
  9. Are all groups equally represented at the meeting? Should others, particularly the Agricultural Experiment Stations, be more fully included?

Call to Action by Peter Young, Director of NAL: Need to develop vision, strategy, and tactics (possibly through a white paper)


Agreed Upon Plan of Action: Establish task forces first to pull together background material, then build interest, a broader vision, and formulate a plan

  1. Steering Committee: will bring those not in attendance up-to-speed, assess governance options, and determine when to hold next meeting
  2. Best Practices for Extension and Library Collaboration: finish survey already started by the University of Arizona, compile a report for distribution, make recommendations
  3. Assessment of Content/Existing Resources
  4. Assessment of Technical Standards

Charge for Task Forces:

  1. Identification of key questions and issues
  2. Consider additional members
  3. Recommendations for action
  4. What advocacy is needed?

Due Date for Task Force Reports: April 1, 2005


Next Meeting Possibilities:USAIN/IAALD Conference – May 12–19, 2005; NETC/ACE Conference – May 30–June 4, 2005


Preliminary Task Force Membership (asterisks denote chairs)

  1. Steering Committee:
    • Rodney Brown, USDA Deputy Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics
    • Ron Brown, Assn of Southern Region Extension Directors
    • Cliff Haka, Michigan State University Libraries
    • Tom Fretz, Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
    • *Olivia Madison, Iowa State University Libraries
    • NAL Representative
  2. Identify Best Practices Between Extension and Libraries:
    • Francis Coleman, Mississippi State University Libraries
    • Randy Heatley, Michigan State University Cooperative Extension
    • Mike Harrington, Western Assoc. of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
    • *Lyla Houglum, Oregon State University Cooperative Extension
    • *Barbara Hutchinson (for Dean Eugene Sander), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona
    • Amy Paster, Pennsylvania State University Life Sciences Library
  3. Assessment of Content/Existing Resources
    • Carla Craycraft, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension and e-Extension
    • Trudy Dunham, CYFERnet, University of Minnesota Extension Service
    • *Janet McCue, Cornell University, Mann Library
    • Rob McGeachin, Texas A & M University Medical Sciences Library/current AgNIC Chair
    • NAL Representative
    • Pat Wilson, University of Kentucky Libraries/current USAIN President
    • Eric Young, North Carolina State University
  4. Assessment of Technical Standards
    • AgNIC Technician (to be hired)
    • Nancy Eaton, Pennsylvania State University Libraries
    • Kevin Gamble, ADEC. North Carolina State University
    • *Melanie Gardner, AgNIC Coordinator, NAL
    • Tim Lynch, Systems, Cornell University
    • Carl O’Connor (Public TV rep), University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension