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  • 15 Apr 2019 11:17 AM | Kristen Mastel (Administrator)

    I am excited for the future of USAIN by the number of members that were interested in running for a position on the Executive Council. The USAIN Election results have been tallied and our new officers will be:

    President-Elect (2019-2022), Jessica Page has been elected

    Treasurer (2019-2021), Valrie Minson has been elected

    Director(2019-2021), Megan Kocher has been elected  

    Director(2019-2021), Stephanie Ritchie has been elected 

    Director(2019-2021), Suzanne Stapleton has been elected  

    I want to thank them for their commitment to service and to the other USAIN members who stood for election. Thank you also to the USAIN Nominations and Elections Committee (Noel Kopriva, Melody Royster, Leslie Delserone), as it takes a lot of time and energy to ensure that we have a slate for elections. Please join me in congratulating our new officers.

    In addition, we will soon be appointing committee and interest group membership and leadership. If you have any interest in serving please contact Kristen Mastel (meye0539 AT umn DOT edu). 

  • 25 Mar 2019 5:10 PM | Kristen Mastel (Administrator)

    The President's proposed FY 2020 budget eliminates funding for libraries by eliminating the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and millions of dollars dedicated to America’s libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Funding through IMLS and LSTA make our communities stronger through programs and services.  We encourage all USAIN members to send a letter to their representative to preserve federal funding for libraries. One opportunity is through the ALA form. One letter asks members of the House Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the other asks the Committee to fully fund the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. 

    Please contact me with any questions or concerns.


    Kristen Mastel

    USAIN President 

  • 1 Mar 2019 4:11 PM | Kristen Cooper (Administrator)

    Hello everyone!

    Planning has begun in earnest for the 2020 USAIN conference  to take place at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Please save the date April 25th – 30th, 2020 with Theme: Smart Agriculture in the era of Climate Change. In order to continue the planning of the conference, we are looking for volunteers to be part of any of the following committees below:-

    Sponsors & Exhibits Committee (Chair Kristel Mastel )

    The primary responsibility of this committee is to identify sponsors and exhibitors to financially support the 2020 USAIN Conference (raise a minimum of $15,000). Secondarily, this committee will work with members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC)[Grant Gerlich is LOC liaison and member of the committee] to secure conference materials, local sponsorship, and door prizes.

    Contributed Papers & Poster Selection Committee ( Chair Scott Marsalis)

    The primary responsibility of this committee is to plan and organize the contributed papers and posters session for the 2020 USAIN Conference. Secondarily, the committee will work with Interest Group Conveners to organize their sessions. It will be important to have a member of the LOC in this committee.

    Preconference Committee (Chair Britt Forster)

    The primary responsibility of this committee is to plan and organize the pre-conference session(s) for the 2020 USAIN Conference. The Conference Planners would like to offer a variety of programming types, to provide member speaking opportunities as well as unique sessions.

    Invited Speakers Committee ( Co Chairs Jack Becker and Peter Fernandez)

    The primary responsibility of this committee is to plan and organize the keynote and plenary speakers invited to present at the 2020 USAIN Conference.

    USAIN depends on us volunteering for when we do, we have opportunities to learn, serve, share, grow, and  lead.  I encourage members to sign up and volunteer to be part of any of the committees. It is a really fun experience. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact conference co-chairs Innocent Awasom Afuh ( and Jack Becker ( with either specific interests or a general willingness to serve where needed. We will try to accommodate everyone’s preferences  and have committee roasters set by March15th, 2019. Thereafter the various committee chairs/co-chairs would set the ball rolling in their committees.

    Thank you all for stepping up to help in the planning towards and putting into place  a fantastic USAIN 2020 conference.


    Innocent Awasom (  and Jack Becker (jack.becker@ttu.eduUSAIN 2020 Co-chairs

  • 28 Feb 2019 6:24 PM | Leslie Delserone (Administrator)

    The Nominations and Elections Committee (Noel Kopriva, Melody Royster, Leslie Delserone) presents the slate of candidates for the positions of President-Elect, Treasurer, and Directors, USAIN Executive Council.


  • 18 Feb 2019 4:01 PM | Anonymous

    The results of the 2018 USAIN Member Survey are now available.  The document includes the response charts provided by SurveyMonkey and summaries of the individual responses to make the document more readable and to help de-identify the responses.

    USAIN Membership Survey 2018 FINAL.pdf

  • 18 Feb 2019 3:54 PM | Kristen Mastel (Administrator)
    • Since it is about mid-point in my term as president, I would like to take the time to provide a brief overview of what the Executive Council has been up to the past seven months. We have continued the practice of monthly conference calls, during which we have:

    • Finalized the appointments of USAIN committee chairs and interest group conveners, at a time of great turnover since many committee chairs and members had reached their limit of 4 consecutive years on one committee.
    • Hosted a USAIN virtual meeting of Interest Group conveners and Committee chairs to review our Action Plan and encourage activity during non-conference years

    • Followed-up on issues and questions that have been raised as EC liaisons reach out to their committees and interest groups on a quarterly basis

    •  Transitioned business management service providers

    • Monitored USAIN’s finances every month and approved the 2019 budget

    •  In the process of transitioning our banking service in order to allow for better transparency and investment options for USAIN  

    • Organized the USAIN Membership Survey 2018

    • Reviewed the 16th Biennial Conference Report from the Washington State University

    • Created a USAIN conference timeline document

    • The USAIN Professional Development Committee posted a call for this year’s USAIN Research Fellow Award applications (Apply Today)!

    Hopefully, this gives you a sense of what the USAIN EC has been working on over the past 6 months.  If you have any questions about or suggestions for the EC, feel free to contact me or any other EC member.


    Kristen Mastel

  • 1 Feb 2019 12:47 PM | Anonymous

    Attention USAIN Members:

    The USAIN Professional Development Committee is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2019 USAIN Research Fellows Award. We look forward to hearing from you!

    A total of $2,000 in funding will be available to one or more USAIN members for financial support for conducting research on agricultural information. Examples of costs that could be covered by the award include (but are not limited to): transcription, travel to an institution for research, student worker support, etc. The funding is not to be used for professional development activities.

    To apply, please complete the attached form to:

    • outline your proposed research or project 
    • describe what support is needed 
    • provide a research support justification demonstrating how this award will benefit your research objectives (and possibly USAIN and the profession)
    • give preliminary ideas of where you plan to disseminate the outcome or results of your project

    Applications will be judged on the applicability of research to the USAIN mission, and adherence to application guidelines.

    Deadline is Friday, March 15, 2019.

    Award recipients will be notified by May 1, 2019.

    Questions can be directed to

    Send the completed application via email to:

    Thank you for your interest in the USAIN Research Fellows Award!


  • 1 Aug 2018 2:09 PM | Kristen Mastel (Administrator)

    This year the Executive Committee sponsored the 1st USAIN Research Fellows Award. The review committee received a number of great proposals, and at this time we are happy to announce that Jeanne Pfander is the award recipient for her project to provide georeferenced and enhanced indexing for Rangelands West/Global Rangelands databases. Congratulations and best wishes on your project!

  • 6 Jun 2018 4:32 PM | Kristen Mastel (Administrator)
    Service to the Profession: Debbie Currie
    Debbie is currently the Collections & Research Librarian for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the NCSU Libraries.  She arrived at NC State in 1997, after leaving her first professional position as the Agriculture Reference Librarian at Louisiana State University.  An undergraduate degree in agriculture along with with over ten years of experience as an equine genealogist in the renowned Kentucky Thoroughbred horse industry left her well placed to pursue a career in agricultural librarianship. For the past 25 years, Debbie has dedicated herself to advancing the field of agricultural information through active participation in three key agricultural information organizations: USAIN, the Agriculture Network Information Collaborative (AgNIC), and the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD).  She served three terms on the USAIN Executive Council and co-chaired the 2001 USAIN Biennial Conference, was IAALD Officer and Editor for 10 years, and served three terms on the AgNIC Executive Board.  She led or contributed to many activities and initiatives associated with one or more of these organizations, including: chairing the 2018 USAIN Conference Contributed Papers & Posters Committee; Project Ceres, a collaboration among USAIN, AgNIC, and the Center for Research Libraries to support the retention and preservation of at risk print historical agricultural serials; and joint USAIN/IAALD conferences in 1997 and 2005.
    While many colleagues wrote testimonies of support, a few stand out. Amy Paster stated, “Debbie Currie has been a member of USAIN since 1995 when she was awarded a Conference Scholarship for Members New to USAIN or Agricultural Information. Currently she is an active member of the Preservation and Digital Library Committee... Debbie is also the Chair of the USAIN 2018 Contributed Papers and Posters Committee... Debbie prefers to work behind the scenes and quietly get things done.” Hilary Davis, Head of Collections at NCSU, wrote about the innovative and important work Debbie is doing around citizen science and data management: “These are both significant emerging areas for libraries to engage and make impact in the research community and Debbie has been at the forefront of both.” Kris Alpi, the director of the Veterinary Medicine Library at NCSU says, “Debbie has made tremendous efforts to have libraries seen as a key partner with other science outreach and extension efforts in helping practitioners and the public access current and historical agricultural information.”
    Student conference scholarship: Janis Joyce Shearer
    Janis ShearerJanis is currently enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota and plans to graduate in Spring 2019. Janis has a Master of Agriculture in Horticulture degree, and has been volunteering at the Andersen Horticultural Library, University of Minnesota.  She hopes to apply this horticultural information knowledge, research and interest in social justice to work in an agricultural governmental or academic library setting.
    New to the profession conference scholarship: Kendra Spahr

    Kendra SpahrKendra began her position as an Academic Services Librarian at Kansas State University in 2016, where she currently serves as liaison to the Department of Agricultural Economics in the College of Agriculture. Previously she was the business and economics librarian at the University of Northern Colorado. Though experienced in the area of business librarianship, Kendra is new to both the area of agricultural information and to USAIN. She currently is working on a proposal with her department for a literature review for the Pet Food Sustainability Working Group.
    New to the profession conference scholarship: Renae Watson
    Renae WatsonRenae began her position as Science Liaison Librarian at Colorado State University in August 2017. She serves as the liaison to the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, and Soil and Crop Sciences departments. Her interest in agricultural librarianship was piqued when she worked as a graduate assistant at University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Information Center. Not only did it familiarize her with agricultural resources, she also had the opportunity to engage in train-the-trainer information literacy programs for first-year Biology and Agriculture courses. In addition to her MLIS, Renae holds MAs in English Composition and in Education.
    Thank you to the Awards and Honors Committee for their work! (Kristen Mastel, chair; Patricia Hartman, Emily MacKenzie, and Lisa Vallen)
  • 8 May 2018 12:48 PM | Kristen Mastel (Administrator)

    Are you new to agricultural librarianship? Or maybe you've been around the proverbial block a time or two, but want to brush up on a couple of things and are looking for a place to get started.  Either way, you're in luck!  The Professional Development Committee released a new webpage on the USAIN site, "Ten Tips for New Agriculture Librarians" to help you out.  So take a look and you're sure to find some useful nuggets to add to your "how to be a phenomenal agricultural librarian" toolbox! 

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