National Agricultural Library Assessment Report
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Appendix C
 
Milestones 1982-2000
 
 
Legislative and Administrative 2
Collection Building 5
Agricultural Information Access 8
Bibliographic Services 15
Collection Development 17
Information Technology 10
Abraham Lincoln Building 22

 
National Agricultural Library
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
 
 
March 1, 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Legislative and Administrative Milestones, 1982-2000
National Agricultural Library
 
Aug. 1982
Interagency Panel for the Assessment of NAL (Blue Ribbon Panel 1982) report, Assessment of the National Agricultural Library-Final Report to the Secretary, is presented to Secretary of Agriculture John Block.
June 1983 Joseph H. Howard named NAL Director, June 14, 1983 by USDA Assistant Secretary Orville G. Bentley.
1983-1984 NAL reorganizes based on changes proposed or endorsed by the Blue-Ribbon Panel 1982.
June 1986 NAL establishes a Visiting Scholar Program with Dr. Tony P. Mazzaccaro, a specialist in aquaculture and marine sciences, as the first participant.
Sep. 1986 NAL awards a contract to Virginia Tech Library Systems, Inc. to install an integrated library system incorporating the latest computer technology and software in the Library over a 2-year period. The award follows two years of assessing needs, evaluating proposals, and testing potential systems, and carries out Blue Ribbon Panel 1982 recommendations to acquire a turnkey system.
July 1987 NAL joins APHIS and ARS in signing an Interagency Agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to cooperate in sharing information of mutual interest.
July 1988 NAL and the land-grant libraries establish the United States Agriculture Information Network (USAIN), a network of libraries and information centers in agriculture and related subjects, and elects officers at the first meeting.
Sep. 1988 NAL and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) renew their commitments to cooperate to advance the ways in which agricultural libraries can improve services to researchers, educators, students, farmers, and ranchers.
1990 NAL Director Joseph H. Howard elected President of the International Association of Agricultural Librarians and Documentalists ( IAALD) at its meeting in Budapest, Hungary.
Nov. 1990
NAL is officially established by Public Law 101-624-NOV. 28, 1990, the "Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990" as "the National Agricultural Library to serve as the primary agricultural information resource of the United States"-the wording for the NAL Mission as recommended by Blue Ribbon Panel 1982.
March 1991 NAL and ARS sign a letter of understanding March 20, in which NAL agrees to "oversee development of a coordinated network of information services, programs and products for ARS researchers."
Nov. 1991
NAL sponsors and hosts the 1st U.S./Central European Agricultural Library Roundtable (The 8th Roundtable is scheduled for May 2001.) at NAL, under the theme Information Transfer in a Global Economy: Forging New Connections, in cooperation with USDA's Office of International Cooperation and Development (OICD) and the NAL Associates. Libraries with national agricultural responsibilities of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia participated. Participants created and signed a 5-year program of cooperation.
Nov. 1992
NAL cosponsors Plant Genome I, an international conference, November 9-11, at San Diego, CA. Other cosponsors include ARS, Japan's National Institute of Agrobiological Resources, the U.K.'s John Innes Centre, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the publication Agro-Food Industry hi-tech.
Feb. 1993 NAL initiates a strategic planning process and holds a half-day orientation meeting on strategic planning for all staff under the technical guidance of the Office of Management Studies of the Association of Research Libraries.
1993 NAL takes responsibility for an interagency pilot project to implement options for improving the Global Change Master Directory for the agencies participating in the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).
1993 NAL hosts its first Cochran Fellows.
Jan. 1994
NAL and the Inter-American Development Bank, in cooperation with IAALD, the Associates NAL, USAIN, and USDA's Office of International Cooperation and Development, host representatives of agricultural organizations in Latin American and Caribbean countries, January 24-28, for an intensive Inter-American Planning Workshop for [Agricultural] Information Transfer and Networking.
Sep. 1994
NAL publishes its Mission, Values, Vision statements as part of the Library's strategic planning process.
Nov. 1994 Pamela Q. J. André becomes Director of NAL, effective November 14.
Dec. 1994 As part of a department-wide USDA reorganization which reduced from 43 to 28 the number of USDA agencies, NAL is merged with the Agricultural Research Service, which in turn is part of the USDA Research, Education, and Economics Mission Area.
Jan. 1995 NAL Director Pamela Q. J. André elected to the IAALD Board of Directors.
July 1995 NAL meets with library directors from 8 land-grant universities to plan actions to revitalize the relationship between NAL and the land-grant libraries. Participants discuss collections, services, preservation, international programs, electronic information initiative, and other interests.
Aug. 1995 NAL's customer service team reports on the customer surveys distributed in the Spring; NAL is rated favorably by its customers.
Oct. 1995 NAL achieves its 100th Anniversary as a government documents Federal Depository Library and is honored with a commemorative plaque by the Government Printing Office.
1996
NAL publishes 3 Key Result Areas and 11 Goals developed in the second phase of its strategic planning process. The third phase will be the development of operational plans within the library's divisions.
Sep. 1996 NAL Director Pamela Q.J. André, participates in the opening of the Egyptian National Agricultural Library in Cairo, Egypt, September 6, after a decade of NAL assistance and cooperation.
April 2000
NAL holds a symposium, Who Will Pay for On-Farm Environmental Improvements in the 21st Century?; a luncheon honoring Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Richard Rominger; and a public ceremony and reception officially dedicating the newly renovated 1st Floor.
Aug. 2000
USDA establishes an Interagency Panel for Assessment of the National Agricultural Library ("A Blue Ribbon Panel 2000") to study the NAL and its services and make recommendations for the future.

 

 
Collection Building Milestones, 1982-2000
National Agricultural Library
 
March 1984
NAL works with the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries to develop a comprehensive list of nursery and seed companies, nurserymen, historical societies, museums and libraries to locate both old and current collections of nursery and seed catalogs.
April 1984
NAL completes processing of two special extension collections donated by the Extension Service--dissertations, theses, and Federal and State extension publications-and the State Cooperative Extension Services of the Northeast Region-State extension publications from the Rutgers collection. With help of extension personnel and a contract with Zimmerman Associates of Falls Church, VA, nearly 5,900 titles were cataloged and input to OCLC between 1981 and 1983 of which 85% were new to the NAL collection. An additional 3,500 minimum level cataloging records were processed into OCLC of which 82% were original.
1984
NAL acquires entire microfiche collection of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) as part of a cooperative indexing agreement between NAL and VIMS. The bibliographic database, AQUACULTURE, has been online with DIALOG since 1980.
1984
NAL cooperates with the Forest Service through an interagency agreement in the development of FS INFO, an online network of field libraries and a bibliographic database supporting forestry.
Jan. 1985
An agreement between NAL and the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Information System (ASFIS) on the coverage of aquaculture in AGRICOLA and ASFIS and products including the ASFA Aquaculture Abstracts becomes effective.
June 1985
The Feed Composition Data Bank (FCDB) of the International Feedstuffs Institute (IFI) transfers from Utah State University to NAL. Transfer of the data bank is completed in September 1985.
Sep. 1985
NAL offers access to the National Pesticide Information Retrieval System (NPIRS) which includes data on about 50,000 products registered by the EPA. NPIRS was developed at Purdue University through a cooperative agreement with the USDA.
Sep. 1985
NAL and the Forest Service sign an interagency agreement September 30 transferring the Forest Service's historic photo collection to the National Agricultural Library. The head of the Forest Service photo library transferred to NAL with the collection. The agreement provides for a 3- year pilot study in which NAL will develop procedures and systems for handling and researching collections of visual materials.
Dec. 1985
NAL receives a significant and comprehensive collection of materials on Agent Orange, the herbicide from the Veteran's Administration Library. About 2/3 of the collection relates to the effects of Agent Orange on plants and animals. It complements NAL's extensive holdings on herbicide research and includes monographs, newspaper and journal articles and reprints, technical reports, hearings testimony, audiovisuals, and a manual indexing system. NAL is seeking funds to catalog and index the materials for input into AGRICOLA.
Jan. 1986
Feed Composition Data Bank is operational at NAL.
April 1987
NAL accepts the transfer of the Pomological Watercolors Collection from the U.S. National Arboretum at its dedication of the Special Collections Reading Room on April 16.
1988-1989
NAL accepts transfer from the U.S. National Arboretum of the documentary photograph collection of more than 100,000 images from the Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction Service. The collection contains photographs from all over the world by renowned plant explorers and collectors, including David Fairchild, Frank N. Meyer, P. Howard Dorsett, Albert Spear Hitchcock.
May 1989
NAL and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) agree to procedures to include appropriate MIT dissertations in AGRICOLA.
April 1991
NAL accepts a bronze bust of Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the U.S. Forest Service; the life-size bust was sculpted by Rudolph Wendelin, and presented by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation. Dr. William Klein, President of the Pinchot Institute, made the presentation.
1991
NAL accepts the archives of the American Agricultural Economics Association.
Aug. 1993
NAL discovers 11 agriculturally-related letters to and from Thomas Jefferson, including 3 original Jefferson letters, in a file being examined by ERS historian Anne Effland, and creates a nationwide flurry of interest with the announcement.
1993
NAL adds to its collection the 17-disc Compact International Agricultural Research Library: Basic Retrospective Set 1962-1986 (CIARL BRS), produced by CGIAR and the World Bank with NAL participation; it contains 1,350 titles (more than 190,000 pages) and over 50,000 graphic images.
1997
NAL receives the USDA History Collection from the former Agricultural and Rural History Section of USDA's Economic Research Service; NAL assigned a full-time archivist and several part-time graduate students to process and organize the collection and establish a USDA History Collection Web site.
1998
NAL signs an agreement with the Biblioteca Central Magna (BCM) of the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL), Mexico, to cooperate in enhancing access to agricultural and related information; both have been exchanging information and working together to improve services on an informal basis since 1996.

 
 
Agricultural Information Access Milestones, 1982-2000
National Agricultural Library
 
July 1983
NAL creates a new regional document delivery systems region covering Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, with the Mann Library at Cornell serving as coordinator.
1984
NAL contracts with Bibliographic Retrieval Service (BRS) in Latham, NY, to develop a pilot prototype full-text database containing the entire content of the Pork Industry Handbook, the first full-text database produced by NAL. The final products, an online computer version searchable through BRS or a laser videodisc for use on a microcomputer, are available in summer 1985. Purdue University coordinates evaluation of the disc and database.
Dec. 1984
Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block signs an agreement under which NAL will receive funds from the American Florists Endowment (AFE) to be used to disseminate information on floriculture to growers, wholesalers, and retailers in the floriculture industry; NAL receives an initial sum of $30,000; in addition AFE presents $10,000 to the Associates of NAL, Inc., to enhance access to floriculture literature.
1986-1987
NAL inaugurates its National Agricultural Text Digitizing Project (NATDP). NAL assembles a panel of land-grant library directors to evaluate the system, September 12, 1986. Subsequent cooperative agreements determine the operation of the project. By spring 1987, NAL and 41 land-grant libraries are participants in the project.
1987
NAL and University of Maryland Center for Instructional Development and Education, under a cooperative agreement, begin production and filming for an interactive laser videodisc training course for searching the AGRICOLA database; the course is to be known as AGRICOLearn.
Oct. 1987
NAL officially unveils its Forest Service Photographs Videodisc with a ceremony and demonstration at USDA's Williamsburg Room on October 20. At the same event a project to create a laser videodisc containing historical and archival photos from USDA agencies is proposed. The official USDA photographs collection maintained by the Office of Information are to be included.
1987
NAL and CAB International cooperate in the preparation of a World List of Agricultural Serials.
April 1988
NAL begins participation in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) preservation planning program, a self-study consulting program assessing the Library's preservation practices and needs. The preservation study was completed in 1989.
1988
NAL introduces ALF: Agricultural Library Forum, its micro-computer-based, dial-in, electronic bulletin board system for exchanging and disseminating agricultural information.
Sep. 1988
NAL provides self-service searching of CD-ROM products at both the Library's main location in Beltsville and the Library's DC Reference Center.
Sep. 1988
NAL expands its interlibrary loan services, previously expanded in September 1987, to include receipt of requests via TWX/TELEX, telefacsimile (i.e., fax.). NAL also receives requests forwarded from NLM via DOCLINE.
March 1989
NAL distributes Aquaculture I, the first National Agricultural Text Digitizing Project (NATDP) CD-ROM, which contains the text and page images of 62 aquaculture reference publications, to the 44 land-grant libraries participating in the project.
Fall 1989
NAL and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) release Food, Agriculture, and Science, the first multi-lingual, agricultural research CD-ROM in a series that will include 6,000 titles.
Jan. 1990
NAL announces at ALA Mid-Winter in Chicago that the NATDP CGIAR CD-ROM is being evaluated, the Acid Rain 3-disc CD-ROM has been mastered and will be distributed in March, and the Agent Orange CD-ROM will be distributed for evaluation in April.
March 1990
NAL and the Extension Service announce completion of their joint National CD-ROM Sampler: An Extension Reference Library; it contains more than 12,000 documents (over 50,000 pages), 1,500 graphics, 50 computer programs, and 14 minutes of audio.
April 1990
NAL executes a cooperative agreement with Mann Library at Cornell University to participate in the Core Agricultural Literature Project and contributes $15,000 for work on the Agricultural Engineering volume.
1990
NAL issues REGIS II, the second generation of a computerized information project on African aquaculture.
Oct. 1990
NAL and USDA's Office of Governmental and Public Affairs complete and issue the Photographic Collection of the United States Department of Agriculture laser videodisc.
Oct. 1990
NAL distributes the Agent Orange CD-ROM to land-grant libraries participating in the NATDP, October 19.
Jan. 1991
NAL announces that the third phase of the NATDP, transmitting digital images over the INTERNET, has produced images "markedly superior to facsimile transmissions."
April 1991
NAL announces the National CD-ROM Sampler: An Extension Reference Library, completed in March 1990, is available for sale from Virginia Tech, one of the partners in the project.
June 1991
NAL completes mastering of the Food Irradiation CD-ROM as part of the NATDP.
Aug. 1991
NAL publishes a Global Change Information Packet, containing reprints of articles supporting and rejecting the global change concern, bibliographies, a guide to information sources, a directory of global climate change organizations, and other materials.
Aug. 1991
NAL cooperates with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Extension Service to develop a comprehensive bibliography for use in pesticide applicator training (PAT); the program produces 2 products: PEST (Pesticide Education, Safety, and Training), a hypermedia database, and Pesticide Applicator Training Materials: A Bibliography.
Sep. 1991
NAL demonstrates Plant It! CD: A Multimedia CD-ROM on Ornamental Horticulture at the IAALD Symposium at NAL.
Sep. 1991
NAL publishes A Preservation Plan for the National Agricultural Library, an outgrowth and report of the NAL preservation study begun in 1989.
Oct. 1991
NAL and the NATDP announce the availability of the Food Irradiation CD-ROM.
1992
NAL in cooperation with the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service releases the Plant It! CD, covering nearly 1,000 plants.
1992
NAL and the NATDP release the CD-ROM containing the Agronomy Journal, Volumes 1-16, 1907-1924, produced with the assistance of the American Society of Agronomy.
Nov. 1992
NAL and NATDP issue the final report of the NATDP pilot-project produced by Iowa State University to a limited audience.
Dec. 1992
NAL launches an electronic information initiative to research, plan, and implement a systematic program of managing data in electronic form.
Jan. 1993
NAL establishes RDDS-L, a listserv for the Regional Document Delivery System, maintained at Mann Library, Cornell University.
1993
NAL and NATDP have created a multi-media database containing full text, images, and sound which resides on a NeXT workstation. Using InfoStation software developed by VTLS, the database is linked to ISIS to provide users access to full text, images, and sound enhancements of publications for which the bibliographic information is in ISIS.
1993
NAL and NATDP complete and distribute the George Washington Carver Papers CD-ROM containing microfilm reels 1, 2, and 48 of a 67-reel set on Dr. Carver from Tuskegee University, along with the full text of the Guide to the Microfilm Edition.
1993
NAL and NATDP complete and distribute the revised version of the Food Irradiation 1 CD-ROM with page images in a standard format, enhanced bibliographic records, 94 non-copyrighted publications (over 51,000 pages) as the first part of a large collection donated to NAL that will be placed on CD-ROM over the next 2 years.
Fall 1993
NAL and NATDP announce the availability of the final report of the NATDP pilot project issued with limited distribution in November 1992.
Nov. 1993
NAL's Electronic Initiative Steering Committee completes its report Phase I Final Report, The Electronic Information Initiative: A Key Success Factor in the NAL Strategic Plan; Phase I consisted of an examination of the issues associated with the library's ability to manage electronically created and stored information; subcommittees were charged with providing recommendations for changing policies and procedures related to the acquisition, processing, access, dissemination, collection maintenance, and preservation of electronic journals, media, databases, and others.
1993
NAL and NATDP announce and distribute the Aquaculture II CD-ROM, also called "Aqua2."
Feb. 1994
NAL announces that beginning January 1, 1995, electronic information becomes the preferred medium for library materials and services, a goal set in the Library's just-completed Electronic Information Initiative, Phase I, part of its strategic planning.
1994
NAL makes the Plant Genome Database of USDA available over the Internet; it contains data for important crop species including maize, soybean, small grains (wheat, barley, oats), rice, and tomato, and for Arabidopsis, an organism that has served as a model for plant genetic research; gopher and FTP forms of the database are also accessible.
1994
NAL and the NATDP in cooperation with the American Society of Agronomy publish the 2nd CD-ROM in the series: Agronomy Journal, Volumes 17-22 (1925-1930).
1994
NAL makes available a sample database of global change information over the Internet; it is a pilot project of the Global Change Data and Information System by the USGCRP.
Dec. 1995
NAL in collaboration with several land-grant universities and USDA/REE agencies establishes a pilot AgNIC Home Page on the Internet.
1996
NAL and NATDP make available Food Irradiation 2, a CD-ROM containing 11,000 pages of government research from the 1950s and 60s.
1996
NAL joins with 30 other ARL libraries in the Latin Americanist Research Resources Pilot Project and is participating in the serials portion of the pilot project by agreeing to maintain subscription responsibility for selected serials, providing contents information for the serials to the University of Texas Latin American Network Information Center (UT-LANIC) database, and expediting document delivery for this material at no cost to project participants.
1996
NAL and 9 land-grant libraries join in the first phase of the USAIN National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature; the first phase, funded by an $850,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will identify and preserve historical literature about agricultural development and rural life covering 1820 to 1945.
1996
NAL announces that AgNIC now includes a directory entitled: Directories of Experts in Agriculture which includes hypertext links to 21 directories.
Sep. 1996
NAL discontinues its electronic bulletin board system, ALF, on September 30, as it was overtaken by events.
1996
NAL puts the Data Base of the Occurrence and Distribution of Pesticides in Chesapeake Bay on the AgNIC web site. It joins the following 5 components of the web site: AgDB; AGRICOLA Subject Category Codes; Agricultural Conferences, Meetings, Seminars Calendar; Directories of Experts in Agriculture; and the Online Reference Service Pilot Project.
1997
NAL's Animal Welfare Information Center and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services produce the Compendium of Animal REsources (CARE) CD-ROM, containing more than 160 documents related to animal care and use. The CD-ROM is prepared through and for sale by the Government Printing Office.
1997
NAL develops its Electronic Media Center (EMC) from prior software and technology demonstration centers, expanding the number of resources and databases available to users in the Library in Beltsville, the DC Reference Center, and to ARS staff on their desktop computers.
1997
NAL and NATDP release the 3rd CD-ROM in a series: Agronomy Journal Volumes 23-28 (1931-1936); and the 1st CD-ROM in a series: American Journal of Agricultural Economics.
1998
NAL expands electronic document delivery, partly by providing Ariel software and technical support to over 20 USDA regional offices and the libraries of the 1890 Land-Grant Universities and Tuskegee University.
July 1998
NAL begins to move its collection of microform masters, including those of the land-grant cooperative microfilming projects for which NAL is the depository, to the Iron Mountain-National Underground Storage site in Boyers, Pennsylvania, where the storage environment and services meet national preservation standards.
1998
NAL completes a draft Preservation Plan.
Jan. 1999
NAL and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launch the International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS), Internet site and database, containing over 350,000 citations to scientific literature from 1986 to the present derived from AGRICOLA, AGRIS International, and MEDLINE, on January 6.
1999
NAL expands the USDA History Collection web page, in the 3rd year of the project to organize the collection and make it accessible; NAL also began to preserve some of the brittle and deteriorating documents.
1999
NAL begins the 2nd phase of its project to establish a national microfilm archive for significant national, state, and local agricultural literature at the Iron Mountain-National Underground Storage site in Boyers, Pennsylvania.
1999
NAL's CALS begins to use Current Contents® and to offer to ARS web-based access to Current Contents Connect® in response to recommendations of the ARS-wide Research Information Needs Action Team.
2000
NAL completes preservation digitization of the Journal of Agricultural Research.
Aug. 2000
NAL and the AgNIC Alliance release new system architecture with new searching and thesaurus features.
2000
NAL puts into place a new and increased fee structure for document delivery. NAL and NTIS complete a fee-based billing service agreement under which NTIS will process NAL's patron billing.
Nov. 2000
NAL is selected to participate in the Preservation Environment Monitor Field Trial of the Image Permanence Institute; the program will provide systematic monitoring of environmental conditions in the Library to guide preservation and collection management.
 
 
Bibliographic Services Milestones, 1982-2000
National Agricultural Library
 
Jan. 1984
NAL begins cooperative indexing program with the Arid Lands Information Center at the University of Arizona, beginning with 90 journal titles (expanded to 180 titles by September 1986).
1984
After dropping out of the Cooperative Online Serials (CONSER) project for several years because of lack of funds, NAL resumes its national role in serials processing, rejoining CONSER and joining the Name Authority Cooperation (NACO). Thereby, becoming the Nation's authority for establishing and verifying the names of agricultural organizations appearing in library catalogs, and taking national responsibility for the coordination and quality control of information about current agricultural serials.
1984
NAL selects CAB Thesaurus as a controlled vocabulary for agriculture. The CAB Thesaurus terms were included in AGRICOLA indexing records beginning with the January 1985 sale tape.
1984
NAL initiates the NAL/Land-Grant University State agricultural publications program through which the land-grant libraries acquire State Agricultural Experiment Station and Extension Service publications, process them, provide copies to NAL, provide full-level cataloging records to NAL, and provide document delivery services from their copies.
Sep. 1985
NAL links directly with the LC database MUMS (Multiple Use MARC System), NACO (Name Authority Cooperative Project), and CONSER (Conversion of Serials Project) by three Comterm terminals installed in the Cataloging Branch, speeding up and improving accuracy of processing.
March 1986
NAL's journal evaluation committee, formed in 1985, completes its review of journals indexed by NAL and cooperators, to recommend journals for coverage in AGRICOLA. NAL decides to focus on U.S. publications and publications not indexed elsewhere, and to avoid overlap with AGRIS and other indexing services.
Sep. 1986
NAL awards a contract to Virginia Tech Library Systems, Inc. to install an integrated library system incorporating the latest computer technology and software in the Library over a 2-year period. The award follows two years of assessing needs, evaluating proposals, and testing potential systems, and carries out Blue Ribbon Panel 1982 recommendations to acquire a turnkey system.
Jan. 1987
NAL's AGRICOLA database is offered on compact disc by SilverPlatter Information Services in a non-exclusive agreement with the Library; it is first demonstrated at the ALA Midwinter conference in Chicago.
May 1989
NAL, CAB International (CABI), and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) representatives meet at NAL to discuss and propose the establishment of a Universal Agricultural Thesaurus, merging the best features of AGROVOC and the CAB Thesaurus and others.
1992
NAL releases the World List of Agricultural Serials (WLAS) computer database on CD-ROM by SilverPlatter International, Inc.; it contain records for over 56,000 titles and annotations indicating where each title is indexed and other information.
1993
NAL is selected to participate in the Library of Congress's national coordinated cataloging program.
July 1993
NAL celebrates its 3,000,000th AGRICOLA Record on July 12 with a program and reception for NAL staff, USDA and other guests. Associates NAL presented a plaque commemorating the occasion to the Library.
July 1993
NAL, CABI, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the German Centre for Documentation and Information in Agriculture (ZADI), and other international organization representatives met in Bonn, Germany, July 15-16, to sign the classification scheme for the Unified Agricultural Thesaurus (UAT).
Oct. 1994
NAL participates in the InterCat Project of OCLC, a national effort to enhance access to Internet resources by improving bibliographic control of this material.
Fall 1994
NAL contracts with Library Systems & Services, Inc. (LSSI) for a 5-year retrospective conversion project in which more than 198,000 paper-based catalog records will be converted into machine-readable form.
1998
NAL completes the 5-year project of retrospective conversion of paper-based catalog records for monographs; NAL will retain the pre-1965 card catalog, which is moved to the stacks in preparation for renovation of the 1st Floor in October.
2000
NAL creates a journal evaluation panel to review journals to be indexed in accordance with revised criteria; it will meet 3 to 4 times per year.
June 1999
NAL receives the Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural Sciences "for continuous and improved publication of AGRICOLA, the leading bibliographic source for agriculture."
 
 
Collection Development Milestones, 1982-2000
National Agricultural Library
 
1984
NAL initiates the NAL/Land-Grant University State Agricultural Publications Program through which the land-grant libraries acquire state agricultural, experiment station, and extension service publications, process them, provide copies to NAL, provide full-level cataloging records to NAL, and provide document delivery services from their copies. (AGRICOLA)
1984-1985
NAL and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) agree on veterinary science collection responsibilities of the two libraries.
Feb. 1986
NAL revises its collection development policy to incorporate the acquisition of machine-readable data files and microcomputer software for agriculturally-related subjects, including general purpose software with agricultural applications. This new policy is based on a year of experience in which FNIC gained recognition as a national center for food and nutrition microcomputer software.
1987
NAL and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) publish a cooperative collection development agreement in the area of human nutrition and related subjects, including collection levels for each institution in 26 subcategories.
1988
NAL begins a systematic multi-year effort to verify the status of all exchange arrangements which had increased to over 8,000 during the previous decade. NAL has always depended upon a very active program of gifts and exchanges to augment the collection and ensure that difficult-to-acquire publications from international sources were secured for the national collection.
Sep. 1988
NAL publishes a complete revision of its collection development policy which defined the scope and coverage of agricultural subjects in the national collection in terms of the Library of Congress (LC) subject classification. The policy has been updated through issuance of addenda with new guidelines for collecting CD-ROMs, computer software, and Internet resources.
Dec. 1988
NAL and NLM meet to develop cooperation in the area of biotechnology.
Oct. 1989
NAL, NLM, and LC issue their Biotechnology: Joint Collection Development Policy Statement.
1996
NAL, NLM, and LC complete an update of the joint collection development policy for coverage of veterinary science and related subjects; NAL publishes the complete statement and related collection development materials on its Web site.
1998
NAL publishes a complete revision of its collection development policy defining the scope and coverage of agricultural subjects in the national collection. The policy has been updated through issuance of addenda with new guidelines for collecting CD-ROMS, computer software, and Internet resources.
 
 
Information Technology Milestones, 1982-2000
National Agricultural Library
 
June 1986
NAL completes a 5-month investigation of the use of telefacsimile equipment for document delivery. The evaluation study was funded by USDA, with contributions in kind by the 13 participating libraries that included 5 ARS regional research center libraries, 7 Land-grant University libraries, and NAL. As a result NAL will accept requests by telefacsimile, but mail requested materials unless the requestor requests telefacsimile as a rush response.
Sep. 1986
NAL awards a contract to Virginia Tech Library Systems, Inc. to install an integrated library system incorporating the latest computer technology and software in the Library over a 2-year period. The award follows two years of assessing needs, evaluating proposals, and testing potential systems, and carries out Blue Ribbon Panel 1982 recommendations to acquire a turnkey system. It includes modules to perform online reference and catalog retrieval, online cataloging and catalog maintenance, serials control, online acquisitions processing, online lending control, and preservation control. NAL has contracted for the development of a module to support its indexing responsibility.
Nov. 1986
NAL demonstrates its prototype "expert system" on aquaculture at NAL Day II.
Nov. 1988
NAL holds a 2-day conference on The Application of Scanning Methodologies in Libraries as a forum for disseminating information on state-of-the-art scanning technology and its uses in the library and information field. Conference features more than a dozen speakers from institutions around the U.S.
May 1989
NAL and North Carolina State University Libraries enter a cooperative agreement to test the technical feasibility and administrative structures necessary to capture, transmit, and receive machine-readable text at remote sites through the national electronic network.
Nov. 1990
NAL discontinues activities related to the Feed Composition Data Bank.
Nov. 1990
NAL participates in the inaugural USAIN National Conference, The Future of Agricultural Information, November 7-9, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; speakers at the 3-day meeting, including several from NAL, covered a variety of topics related to agricultural information and technology applications.
Jan. 1991
NAL completes the OCR study begun in March 1986, Optical Character Recognition by Hand-held Device, in Lieu of Keyboarding Data for Indexing and Cataloging Records, and publishes the findings.
1992
NAL announces that Windows Personal Librarian, developed by Personal Library Software, Inc., of Rockville, MD, has been chosen as the retrieval software for the National Agricultural Text Digitizing Project (NATDP); NAL, 45 land-grant libraries, and the Cargill Information Center participated in the pilot text-digitizing program that began in 1987; the NATDP became fully operational in 1991.
May 1994
NAL receives AGRICOLA Across the Internet-User Needs, the report of the study of user considerations for NAL in planning to provide AGRICOLA access over the Internet, by Beth A. Sandore, Assistant Automated Services Librarian at the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign, who was a Visiting Scholar at NAL.
1994
NAL installs a satellite downlink system and a satellite dish; a primary expected use will be for mandated Federal personnel training.
1994
NAL's electronic bulletin board, ALF, is now accessible from the Internet; NAL begins to include Agricultural Calendar listings on ALF.
Fall 1994
NAL inaugurates its "Gopher" which now gives access to NAL resources and services through the Internet.
Dec. 1994
NAL meets with representatives of land-grant libraries and USDA agencies to further development of AgNIC, the Agricultural Network Information Center.
April 1995
NAL's World Wide Web server is officially online April 19, making the NAL Home Page available to the world via the Internet; most of the Library's branches and information centers create establish their own Web pages at the NAL site.
June 1995
NAL's WWW Home Page Prototype Committee issues its Final Report on June 9, containing recommendations for maintaining and improving NAL's Web site.
March 1996
NAL's makes ISIS (the online public access catalog and journal article citation database) available on its Web site.
Sep. 1996
NAL and participating libraries provide online reference services through AgNIC on the Internet in a pilot project through May 1997; subjects included are: animal and plant sciences; food and nutrition; rangeland management; rural information; and USDA agricultural economic research and statistics.
March 1997
NAL, USDA agencies, and invited experts from government and academic institutions hold a 2-day meeting, USDA Digital Publications: Creating a Preservation Action Plan, March 3-4.
1997
NAL establishes initial procedures and standards for digital conversion of USDA embrittled-paper publications, and digitized 19 volumes of the Journal of Agricultural Research among others; NAL is placing these materials on the WWW.
Dec. 1997
NAL discontinues its Gopher, December 19.
 
 
Abraham Lincoln Building Milestones, 1982-2000
National Agricultural Library
 
Oct. 1985
NAL begins shifting about 87% of its 1.8 million-volume collection in the library stacks in anticipation of integration of the 250,000-volume D.C. Branch collection of economics and social sciences materials related to agriculture. The rare book cage, oversized materials, and other non-book and non-periodical collections are moved to the 13th Floor and consolidated areas on other floors.
June 1986
NAL moves the D.C. Branch stack materials to space made for them in the Beltsville stacks, including the area of compact shelving, June-September. The last box is unpacked and materials shelved Nov. 25.
1991
Space and Facility Condition Studies completed--Identified space usage, building and functional deficiencies totaling $16 million.
1995-1999
Various infrastructure projects and 14th floor renovation completed.
1998
NAL establishes a core group to plan and implement 1st Floor renovation.
1999
1st Floor renovation completed.
April 2000
Grand re-opening and dedication of 1st floor--Ceremony held with Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, Deputy Secretary Richard Rominger, ARS Administrator Floyd Horn, and others attending.
June 2000
NAL's energy savings performance contract begins with the lighting upgrade in the stacks, replacing lights, timers, and other switches, June to July; work to convert the boilers to dual-fuel takes place June to August; work on the chillers and multi-zone air handlers to make them more efficient, June to October.
June 2000
NAL building named the Abraham Lincoln Building, with Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, Deputy Secretary Richard Rominger, ARS Administrator Floyd Horn, and Astronaut Kent Rominger as speakers at the ceremony and reception.
Sep. 2000
NAL awards a design contract for renovation of the 5th Floor to convert it from offices to a special collections stack area.
2001
Design of 5th floor renovation completed.
 
 
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Last Updated August 13, 2002