National Agricultural Library Assessment Report
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Appendix Q
NAL Strategic Plan FY 1996 - 2001
Annual Operating Plan FY 2001
KRA #1: Information Access and Management
Definition: The goals, activities and measures under this key result area address how the NAL staff will provide global leadership in the identification and implementation of new methods, techniques and technologies to improve access to, and management of, agricultural information.

General Goal 1:Information Services
Create conditions by which NAL s diverse customers can efficiently and cost effectively identify, locate and obtain desired information on agricultural topics.
Develop new techniques and improve existing systems for public services:
  • Implement first phase of plan to deliver electronic information resources to the desktop of USDA employees.
  • Test and implement new front-end system for generating electronic "requests for materials" from the ISIS library system.
  • Test and implement the Relais system to expand user options for obtaining materials electronically form NAL.
  • Conduct a survey of D.C. Reference Center users to better identify their information needs.
  • Restructure services at the D.C. Reference Center to expand connectivity to electronic resources and better align user needs with NAL resources.
  • Develop charge-back plans for USDA users in order to recover costs of document delivery and ensure the future provision of the service.
  • Conduct a review of all costs associated with information programs funded through interagency agreements to assure appropriate cost recovery.
  • Complete a requirements statement for identifying a reference database and tracking system.
Enhance automated data creation and dissemination:
  • Evaluate, select and procure a new electronic library management system.
  • Implement an improved online front-end data entry system for the current VTLS Indexing subsystem.
  • Re-engineer the automated process for distributing AGRICOLA database updates; use this process to distribute retrospective conversion records.
  • Migrate NAL's current library system to latest release (VTLS 2001, HP OS version 6.0, etc) and streamline VTLS transaction logging process.
  • Lead effort to populate the central AgNIC database with metadata through internal and external collaborations.
  • Develop a database structure and mechanism for collaborative updating and maintenance of the calendar portion of AgNIC.
Improve timeliness and coverage of AGRICOLA database:
  • Complete the loading of pre-1979 retrospective indexing records to the master AGRICOLA database at NAL.
  • Develop a more streamlined mechanism for loading both MARC and non-MARC records into ISIS.
  • Develop cooperative arrangements with other agencies and sources to obtain machine- readable bibliographic records for loading to AGRICOLA.
  • Develop or purchase software to convert publisher-supplied citations and abstract data in digital form for indexed journals to preliminary AGRICOLA citation records.
  • Streamline handling of indexed journals and establish special check-in unit to expedite handling of issues to be indexed.

General Goal 2:Electronic access
Enhance access by contributing to the content, organization, access to, and retrieval of, electronic materials.
  • Continue to develop hierarchically arranged subject classification for organizing electronic resources in agriculture and related subjects; modify and augment for use in the AgNIC gateway and the Research Management Information System of ARS.
  • Identify and implement a new Web search engine to improve access to information on NAL's Website, including ADA requirements.
  • Expand web-based access to NAL-provided abstracting and indexing databases for staff in the Beltsville area.
  • Expand collection of electronic journals available in NAL and provide desk-top access to the collection for USDA staff in the Beltsville area.
  • Continue to build content on the USDA History Collection Web Site through completion of the screwworm eradication collection CD-ROM and Web Site.
  • Expand AgNIC subject coverage and partnerships to include international, multilingual collaborators. Begin research and efforts to supply automatic translation tools on AgNIC site.

General Goal 3:Information products
Create products that support information needs in a changing cultural environment, and make them widely available through electronic publishing, Internet access, and state-of-the-art storage and retrieval methods.
  • Continue populating the Invasive Species Web site in cooperation with other government agencies.
  • Continue information research activities for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Laboratory Consortium and other groups, to expand access to agricultural and agriculturally related information.
  • Begin developing requirements for a food safety research database in conjunction with stakeholders.
  • Develop/update publications in key areas and build content on Web Sites in support of AgNIC.

General Goal 4:Outreach
Promote the availability and use of NAL's resources and information products.

  • Attend and participate in conferences, exhibits, interagency meetings, etc.
  • Publish at least three new AGRICOLA technical notes.

General Goal 5:Training
Develop and implement programs that enable customers and staff to take full advantage of current and emerging technologies and information systems.

  • Continue to provide Oracle, Unix, SQL, and other relevant software training opportunities to staff in preparation for the migration to a new Electronic Library Management System.
  • Continue cross training of system administrators in Unix and Windows NT.
  • Develop and provide training to Washington-based USDA patrons which focuses on accessing library services remotely.
  • Create a customized gateway Web page to facilitate navigation for Washington-based patrons and enhanced access to electronic resources form Beltsville.

KRA #2: Collection Enhancement and Preservation
Definition: The goals, activities and measures under this key result area address how the NAL staff will ensure that agricultural information essential to the Nation is identified, acquired and preserved at the local, national and international levels.

General Goal 6:Resources
Identify information resources relevant to new developments that facilitate the progress of agriculture.

  • Analyze user survey data and borrowing data from FY 2000 to integrate customer data into decisions on collection purchases.
  • Review serials subscriptions for additional cancellations to bring costs in line with diminished materials budget resources.
  • Complete the review of serials published on newsprint quality paper.
  • Complete the acquisition and selection of all appropriate resources identified in the AgEcon project with the University of Minnesota.
  • Provide access via the online catalog to all electronic journals in the Electronic Media Center.

General Goal 7:Preservation
Preserve landmark works in agriculture and the fields related to agriculture to ensure the legacy of NAL s collection as a national treasure.

  • Continue digital preservation of the Yearbook of Agriculture.
  • Begin scanning and processing the Alvin L. Young Collection on Herbicide Agent Orange with funding from the U.S. Air Force.
  • Support the work of the USDA Digital Publications Preservation Steering Committee.
  • Develop staffing plan for the preservation program and supporting Web development using existing resources.
  • Create policies and procedures related to the archiving of and long-term access to digital information.

General Goal 8:Cooperation
Promote cooperative programs at the local, national and international levels to provide coordinated collection development, access and preservation.

  • Produce an outreach plan to expand partnerships and collaborative funding of project initiatives that responds to the Panel review of Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.
  • Work closely with the Joint Institute of Food Safety Research to identify stakeholder needs for creation of the Food Safety Research Website and database.
  • In collaboration with stakeholders, develop a proposal for expanding access to animal welfare information.
  • In cooperation with the University of Maryland Department of Nutrition, sponsor and train six American Dietetic Association interns in information management techniques.
  • Explore the possibilities and options for cooperative research and internships with the University of Maryland School of Library Science.

KRA #3: Human Resources Development and Utilization
Definition: The goals, activities and measures under this key result area address how the NAL staff will create an organizational climate that produces a high performance work force by encouraging staff innovation, communication and teamwork, and by implementing an integrated training and development program that focuses on the continuous improvement of technical, professional, and interpersonal skills.

General Goal 9:Organizational climate
Use quality management principles to create a flexible and team-oriented environment that is customer-driven and action oriented.

  • Enhance opportunities for team-supported initiatives as part of the discipline-based reorganization of the Information Research Services Branch.
  • Address top priority concerns identified in the Talico Climate Survey.

General Goal 10:Staff quality
Attract, develop and maintain a skilled, versatile, competent, and diverse work force for the future.
  • Analyze staff participation in recent training and meeting opportunities for trends.
  • Conduct a national search for a coordinator to lead the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center program.
  • Ensure staff participation in Congressional Workshops.
  • Support existing staff involvement and encourage future participation of staff in Mid-Level
  • Leadership training program.
General Goal 11:Facilities
Provide a physical environment that is safe, well-equipped, and conducive to productivity.
  • Complete reoccupation of renovated first floor staff areas.
  • Relocate fifth floor Public Services staff to third and fourth floors as part of the next phase of renovation.
  • Produce a preliminary plan, with associated costs, for conducting a major collection shift in the stacks.
  • Begin renovation of the fifth floor to house items that require the highest level of environmental control and security.
  • Continue the renovation of the NAL Data Center.
  • Install, configure, and bring on-line new or replacement servers received at NAL.
  • Transfer ARS HQ Web server files to NT platform at the George Washington Carver Center.
  • Install new back-up and recovery software for Web servers and systems.
  • Improve security measures, including the reliability and redundancy of all NAL servers.
  • Install additional T1 line and backup to support NAL's Internet connection and implement a backup circuit for NAL's existing Internet T1 connection.
  • Develop a proposal for centralized procurement of hardware and software for NAL.
  • Upgrade NAL's existing dial-up access solution.

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Last Updated August 13, 2002