Cooperation And Joint Projects

Collaborating With Other Libraries


NAL Aids Ag Libraries in Central and Eastern Europe

Throughout the year, NAL continued its 3-year effort to forge lasting ties with agricultural libraries in newly reorganized Central and Eastern European countries. NAL helped these agricultural libraries with gifts of books and journals, internships at NAL for their librarians, assistance in writing grant proposals and expertise in setting up electronic information management systems.

NAL began cultivating relationships with Central and Eastern European countries in 1991 when the library arranged and sponsored a conference in Beltsville, MD. Representatives from six countries attended. Assisting NAL in this activity was the Associates of the National Agricultural Library, Inc. (a non-profit, "friends of the library" group). A second conference was held in Budapest, Hungary, in the fall of 1992 and a third in Radzikow, Poland, a year later.

The number of countries participating in the conferences and exchanging agricultural information with NAL has expanded and now includes: Albania, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Through 1993, NAL shipped about 300 boxes of surplus agricultural books and journals to Central and Eastern European agricultural libraries. Assisting NAL in this effort were USDA's Agricultural Research Service and International Cooperation and Development section, and the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization.

NAL is working to develop similar relationships with Latin American countries.


Participants in the second U.S./Central European Agricultural Library Roundtable in Budapest gathered together for the signing of documents committing their institutions to cooperation.

Photo K. Russell

(L-R) Jana Bradac, Slovenia
Ilona Dobelniece, Latvia
Renata Niauriené, Lithuania
Aine Kriegerberg, Estonia
Ivo Hoch, Czech republic
Laura Demetrovici, Romania
Jerzy Rasinski, Poland
Erika Pápay Gulácsiné, Hungary
Letitia Gola, Romania
Joseph Howard, United States
Andrejka Svorenová, Slovak Republic
Heroina Deliu, Albania

NAL Participates in National Cataloging Program

NAL was selected as a participant in the National Coordinated Cataloging Program (NCCP), a cooperative cataloging program of the Library of Congress (LC) in which selected libraries produce full, high-quality cataloging for the LC database and bibliographic utility (OCLC). NAL began full participation in July 1993 and contributed 65 records to the program through the end of the fiscal year.

Unified Agricultural Thesaurus Progresses

NAL continues to be a key player in the international effort to produce a Unified Agricultural Thesaurus (UAT). This project will improve worldwide access to agricultural information through an improved thesaurus system. NAL, CAB International (CABI), and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations are working to develop classified versions of both the thesaurus used by FAO (AGROVOC) and the CAB Thesaurus used by CABI and NAL. This is the first step in unifying the thesauri.

NAL, CABI and FAO agreed on a thesaurus classification structure as the basis of this classification effort. An outline was presented at a July policy meeting of the project partners in Bonn, Germany, and will be a component in AGRIRES, the agricultural expert system developed at the Zentralstelle fÜr Agrardokumentation und -information (ZADI).

Also, thesaurus management software to support the project will be developed in conjunction with the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Representatives of NAL, FAO, CABI, and IDRC met in Rome to discuss the management software, and specifications were reviewed, amended and accepted by NAL and CABI. Development of the software began in the fall.

(L-R) Pamela André, Stella Dextre Clarke,
and Abe Lebowitz sign the agreement on
classification scheme for the UAT.


NAL/Land-Grants Cooperate To Add State Pubs to Database

From 1984 through 1992, over 44,500 citations for state-produced agricultural publications were added to NAL's AGRICOLA database. This was a result of cooperation between land-grant universities and NAL under the NAL/Land-Grant University State Agricultural Publications Program.

The program has seen significant growth in recent years. In 1990, the program's scope was expanded to include citations for agricultural theses and dissertations. In 1991, Colorado State University, Louisiana State University, and the universities of Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and New Hampshire joined the University of Florida, the University of Nebraska, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in contributing citations of current research materials.

In 1992, the University of Arkansas and the University of Kentucky became participants. In 1993, Ohio State and Texas A&M Universities renewed their participation in the Cooperative Cataloging Program and the University of Nevada and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University began contributing records.

NAL Continues Aid to Egyptian Library

A project begun in 1990 to assist the government of Egypt in establishing an Egyptian National Agricultural Library (ENAL) saw further development in 1993 when four Egyptians visited NAL for training in selecting and ordering monographs and serials for the core collection of the new Cairo library. NAL sorted, stored and edited information into reports for the Egyptians using database management systems.

NAL has also assisted ENAL in procuring a number of electronic library systems including micro-computer workstations, a CD-ROM development system and an integrated library system.

(L-R)Ms. Magda Nagui, Ms. Dalia Metawea, Ms. Hend El-Kashif, and Ms. Wafaa Thabit of the Egyptian national Agricultural Library spent two months at NAL in Beltsville to receive training the acquisition and processing of library materials.

photo: Joe Swab

National Arboretum Aided by NAL

Throughout the year, NAL staff managed the library at the National Arboretum. Staff provided reference services, improved the library collection through acquisition, assisted in document delivery, managed the library's volunteer program and assisted in the accessing of various bibliographic databases.

NAL Improves Service to USDA Researchers

NAL and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) continued cooperating in 1993 to improve information services to USDA researchers.

During the year, NAL and the University of California at Davis (Shields Library) completed a remote-user evaluation study. Entitled "Assessment of Information Services for USDA Agricultural Research Service Scientists," the resultant report focuses on USDA researchers' use of NAL, USDA field libraries and cooperating land-grant university libraries. It includes strategies to improve delivery of information services to USDA scientists. The report will soon be available from NAL, USDA field libraries and land-grant university libraries.

Gary McCone (right) leads a discussion group during a workshop regarding ARS field libraries. Participants (L-R) included: Suhad Wojkowski, John Bernardin, Shirley Edwards, Ellen Pletsch, Stuart Nelson, and Joseph Howard.

photo: Joe Swab

NAL Strengthens Ties to Black Colleges/Universities

In an effort to improve cooperation and strengthen partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), NAL provided internships in the Public Services Division for two individuals from 1890 institutions. A member of the staff of John B. Watson Memorial Library, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, trained for 6 weeks at NAL. A student majoring in agribusiness at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, trained for the summer. The interns received extensive orientation to NAL programs, services and technology, and practical experience in public service operations.

Also, in related activities, members of the 1890 Land-Grant and Tuskegee University Library Directors' Association met with the NAL director and key library staff during the association's spring meeting. NAL staff provided technology demonstrations and program updates.

1890 Library Directors meet at NAL: (L-R) Mrs. Karen McDaniel, Kentucky State University; Dr. Barbara W. Jenkins, South Carolina State University; Mrs. Jessie Arnold, Alcorn State University, Mississippi; Mrs. Yildiz B. Binkley, Tennessee State University: Dr. Alberta Mayberry, Langston University, Oklahoma; Ms. Vallie Pursley, (staff) Tennessee State University; Mrs. Alene Young, North Carolina A&T State; Dr. Nicholas gaymon, Florida A&M University; Mrs. Elizabeth B. Wilson, Lincoln University, Missouri; Dr. Dudley V. Yates, Pairie View A&M university, Texas; and Mrs. Jessie C. Smith, University of Maryland Eastern Shore. photo: Joe Swab

While attending a national conference of the United States Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) at Auburn University, NAL staff participated in a a USAIN site visit to Tuskegee University. At the National Sweetpotato Information Center (NSPIC) the NAL and Tuskegee University/NSPIC staff gathered for a joint photo. (L-R) Robert Anderson, Shirley Souder, Gabriel Hegyes, Robyn Frank, Joseph Swab, and Maria Pisa of NAL; Annie King, Walter Hill, Edna Williams, and Sybil Caldwell of Tuskegee; and Janice Kemp, Jane Gates, and Peggy Beavers of NAL. photo: Marie Loreton, NSPIC

NAL Serves as USDA Grants Cooperator for Another Year

In 1993, NAL again served as a USDA "agency cooperator" for several grants awarded under USDA's 1890 Institutions Capacity Building Grants Program for 1991. The program advances the teaching and research capacity of 1890 land-grant universities and Tuskegee University. Projects covered by the grants and assisted by NAL during the year were:

"Building Human Capital in Foods and Nutrition," Tennessee State University.

"Strengthening Enrollment Using Shared Resources and Distance Delivery," North Carolina A&T State University,

"Enhancing Library Services in Support of the Degreed Program in Regulatory Science," University of Arkansas.

During fiscal year 1993, $10.25 million was appropriated for the competitive grants program, supporting 49 grants. The program is administered by USDA's Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS) and requires cooperation with one or more USDA agencies in developing and implementing projects. The "agency cooperator" role further strengthens USDA ties to 1890 institutions.

NAL Offers Internships

During the year, visitors from Germany, China, the West Indies, Nigeria, Egypt, the Slovak Republic, and the Czech Republic spent several weeks at NAL observing and participating in the library's daily activities. NAL's Educational Programs Unit arranged for the extended stays of these visitors, assisting in everything from locating housing to giving orientations on NAL and the Washington, D.C., area. Particular areas of interest of these visitors were automation, food and nutrition, and cataloging.