Horizontal Line Summary and Analysis of Public Comments: Report on the National Agricultural Library - 2001
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Executive Summary

One hundred and nine customers and stakeholders reviewed and commented on the "Report on the National Agricultural Library - 2001" and services of the National Agricultural Library (NAL). The responders were a well-balanced representation of NAL's diverse customers. They were diverse in geographic location, by job function, scientific discipline, and organizational affiliation, and represented diverse points of view. Their responses indicated that NAL is functioning reasonably well as a library for the Department of Agriculture, but is struggling to meet its legislated mission to serve as a national library. The difficulties NAL has in meeting its national role were felt by most groups to be the result of inadequate administrative and financial support. All groups who responded valued NAL as a resource, one that improved their efficiency and effectiveness, and were in favor of enhancing electronic access to information. Electronic services were shown to be essential for those located in remote areas with limited access to research libraries. The responders voiced deep concern for the future direction of the AGRICOLA database and offered several options for its enhancement. The comments indicate the database remains a valuable albeit eroding resource. Finally, the proposed national digital library, the organizing principle in the Report for the future direction of NAL, received overwhelming support from those who commented.
 
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Last Updated February 7, 2003