Greetings! It is a wonderful and exciting time to be a
part of USAIN and I am honored to have been elected to serve as President for
this fantastic organization.
For those who are new to working as an agricultural information professional, whether through librarianship, extension, publishing, or other work, we provide pages with helpful resources on our website, such as this one to get you started with where to find information related to agricultural topics. Our membership is comprised of an outstanding network of librarians and information professionals ranging from those just getting started with agricultural topics to those with a lot of knowledge to pass on. We are an organization dedicated to bringing together those who have a passion for learning and sharing what they have learned.
As the information landscape continues to grow, change, and evolve, our Interest Groups and Professional Development Committee have been very active in creating and promoting opportunities to further develop skills in specialized areas of agriculture, as well as information services, such as evidence synthesis, data management, open education, and scholarly communication. We also provide funding through our Research Fellow Award to support research activities that further explore, develop, or connect the intersection of agriculture and information professionals.
We are living in a world that has many “wicked problems” related to agriculture, including climate change, food insecurity, obesity, social justice, sustainable energy, and water rights, just to name a few. As we move forward, as much of our work entails navigating an environment of ever-expanding information, disinformation, and emerging technologies such as Chat GPT, perhaps one of the most important reasons to be an active member of USAIN is the opportunity to contribute to a network where information professionals can come together to address, discuss, explore, and respond to each of these issues. Stemming from conversations started last year, we are also looking at creating and developing new partnerships with other entities who will benefit from our expertise as information professionals to address some of these topics, an area where USAIN members truly shine!
One additional note regarding our networking and professional development opportunities. Many of us are looking forward to being able to get together for our biennial conference to be held May 6-9, 2024 at Michigan State University. Not only is this the first time we’ll have the ability to attend in person as well as virtually, but we are also holding a joint conference with the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. This is just one more example of how members of USAIN actively create intersections to make valuable connections.
As you can see, there are many exciting opportunities for us to explore, initiate, and develop, particularly as we finalize our move to be a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. A huge, heartfelt thank you to our members who have stepped up to work on committees, lead interest groups, take on special projects, and address other needs within this organization. To adapt a cliché, it takes a village to make USAIN the great organization that it is.
I look forward to serving as your president for the upcoming year. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, ideas, or concerns you have about USAIN and the work we do. I hope to see you in person or virtually throughout the year via meetings, Interest Groups, professional development activities, and of course our conference in May!