USAIN 2014 Conference Proceedings

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The United States Agricultural Information Network is an organization for information professionals that provides a forum for discussion of agricultural issues, takes a leadership role in the formation of a national information policy as related to agriculture, makes recommendations to the National Agricultural Library on agricultural information matters, and promotes cooperation and communication among its members. The USAIN Conferences focus on information resources for agriculture and life sciences research and practice. The conferences are sponsored by the United States Agricultural Information Network in order to offer librarians a forum for sharing professional information. The conferences are hosted every other year. This collection contains proceedings to past conferences. For more information about past and future conferences please visit


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
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    Subject Matrices: An Innovative, Collaborative Approach to Serving the Agricultural Sciences
    Olsen, Livia; Oleen, Jenny; Coleman, Jason (2014-05-07)
    Our library reorganized, moving from traditional subject-specific departments to Undergraduate & Community Services (UCS) and Faculty & Graduate Services (FGS) departments, based around how patrons use information. This model emphasizes collaboration through internal teams called “subject matrices”. Our library’s Agriculture & Biological Sciences Matrix includes individuals from UCS, FGS, Archives, and Technical Services as well as individuals with expertise in instructional design, copyright, and data management. This matrix has emerged as a community interested in agriculture and the sciences by bringing people together from many departments. We have learned from each other through presentations and “field trips” to various locations around campus. The matrix has become a conduit for sharing information interdepartmentally through discussions about collection development and collaboration opportunities in instruction and research. One collaboration lead to the creation of a unique newsletter that promotes information resources to library users. The matrix plans to pursue a user needs assessment of faculty in agriculture and the sciences. This holistic approach increases opportunities for the matrix and the library, such as bringing in other agricultural informationists from across campus. Opening matrix membership beyond the library enables more effective communication with patrons to better serve their needs. This increases collaboration opportunities between the library and teaching or research faculty and recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of current research. Libraries wishing to maintain a traditional subject-liaison model can adapt key principles underlying our matrix. Subject liaisons can go beyond siloed perspectives by soliciting advice from individuals, such as librarians from technical services, non-library faculty and staff, undergraduates, or community members. Another approach is to disturb established structures and introduce selective pressure to inspire the creation of innovative methods of serving communities. Administration can introduce expectations for collaboration into position descriptions and evaluation criteria or require faculty to provide evidence of meeting student learning and faculty research needs.
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    A Monolithic Endeavor: Creating a Digital Collection of Soil Profiles at the University of Idaho
    Monks, Kathleen (2014-05-07)
    For over 60 years the Soil Science department at the University of Idaho (UI) has been preserving soil monoliths, which are 2 to 6 ft. vertical profiles of soil, from various locations around the United States. This collection of over 230 preserved soil monoliths is one of the largest in the world. Presently, these valuable and fragile structures hang virtually unprotected in the hallways of the Agricultural Science building. In 2012, the University of Idaho Library began collaborating with key soil science faculty to digitize photographs of this collection, with the dual purpose of preservation and creation of an educational resource. This paper will discuss the process of constructing the UI digital soil monolith collection, including: the planning stages, design considerations, and complexities encountered throughout. Also discussed will be the requirements for the collected metadata, so as to best represent the structure of soil taxonomy, while simultaneously creating an approachable site design for general audiences
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    Charles C. Miller Memorial Apicultural Collection: How It Came to Bee
    Hamel, Barbara; Wettleson, Lisa (2014-05-07)
    The Charles C. Miller Apicultural Collection has an interesting history both in terms of its inspirational namesake and in how it came to be located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Born in Pennsylvania in 1831, Charles C. Miller was a doctor, teacher, beekeeper, author, organizer of beekeeping associations and beloved adviser to generations of beekeepers. So devoted were his admirers that following his death in 1920 they literally pooled their honey money to build what would become one of the largest collections of beekeeping literature in the world. Many applications for the honor of housing the collection were made by university libraries throughout the country. In 1922 the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded the gift of $1,957.53” to be used for the maintenance of a beekeeping library as a memorial to Dr. Miller.” A small endowment continues to fund additions to the collection which has grown to approximately 6,000 volumes. Originally housed in Steenbock Memorial Library, the university’s agricultural library, most of the collection has been transferred to the Department of Special Collections. Some of the monographs have been digitized through Google/Hathitrust and a recent CRL/USAIN award is providing seed money to fund the digitization of some of the rare periodicals. The Charles C. Miller Collection remains critical for research in the history of apiculture, the technology of honey production, and the heritage of beekeeping. Recognition of the importance of bees in pollination and the recent devastating phenomenon of colony collapse disorder have spurred a resurgence of interest in honeybees and beekeeping. Careful stewardship will ensure the Miller collection will be available for generations to come.
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    Users’ Perceptions of Research Guides: Feedback from a Student Focus Group
    Carrillo, Erin (2014-05-07)
    Are research guides useful to our users? Are they worth the time and effort we invest in creating and maintaining them? Usage statistics may serve as a helpful indicator of usefulness, but only tell part of the story. To better understand users’ perceptions of research guides, the LibGuides Team at University of Wisconsin-Madison, collaborating with a subject specialist librarian, conducted a user study of research guides. The purpose of the study was to gain feedback on two research guides in particular, as well as research guides in general, concerning their usefulness, content, usability, discoverability, and marketing. The study consisted of an online questionnaire and a focus group. Key findings: None of the participants were familiar with research guides as a resource. Participants viewed the guides as especially useful for beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates. They especially liked search boxes for books and articles, electronic resources, reading lists, and reference works. To make the guides more relevant to advanced graduate students, they suggested adding academic career information such as dissertation writing and job hunting. They also suggested expansion of subject coverage. They expect to find research guides on the library and departmental homepages. They suggested marketing the research guides to faculty for inclusion in syllabi and course sites, introducing them in new graduate student orientations and library instruction sessions, and other marketing resources such as posters and social media. Details about the study’s methods, findings, conclusions, recommendations, and unintended outcomes will be discussed. The presentation will describe how feedback obtained from the study was used to make changes to improve the specific guides and inform general practices for creating, providing access to, and marketing of research guides. Attendees will hear ideas for conducting similar assessment projects in their libraries, as well as suggestions for designing effective research guides.
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    Community and Collaboration: Embedding the Agriculture Librarian in a First-Year Residential College
    Caminita, Cristina (2014-05-07)
    In 2012, the agriculture librarian worked with the residential college to embed information literacy instruction and programming within the learning community’s academic goals and objectives. The agriculture residential college is a living-learning community for first-year students with declared majors within the agricultural disciplines. A one-credit-hour course delivered by university librarians was adapted to address the information-seeking needs of students with agriculture-focused majors and delivered to the residential college students in the spring 2013 semester. The librarian became active as a faculty friend to the residential college and participated in social and supplemental instruction events such as visits to research experiment stations and other units within the research and cooperative extension offices, and held office hours in the learning community’s residential hall. The 2013-2014 agriculture residential college cohort is enrolled in the one-credit-hour course for the spring 2014 semester. The course has been significantly redesigned based on the teaching experiences of the agriculture librarian and student evaluation data. The redesign incorporates both flipped-classroom and project-based learning strategies. The collaboration between the agriculture librarian and the agriculture residential college has aligned the critical thinking goals and objectives of the residential college’s required courses and those of the instruction mission of the university’s libraries. As the university embarks upon a new program focusing on undergraduate research, the collaboration will prepare students to work with their professors on future research projects. The collaboration will also serve as a model to university librarian subject specialists who identify other residential colleges and learning communities that would benefit from embedded information literacy instruction.
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    Recipes and Research: Who Uses a Cookbook Collection?
    Kocher, Megan (2014-05-07)
    As a new librarian overseeing a historical collection of over 3500 non-circulating, cookbooks, I am seeking to determine what impact this collection has had on research and publications. This poster will detail my preliminary qualitative investigation seeking out authors, researchers, and food professionals who have used this cookbook collection for their work and asking them to complete a short interview. My goals in this study are threefold: (1) To better understand how this particular collection has been used in the past to inform selection and maintenance criteria; (2) to use the information gathered to help focus promotion and marketing to other potential users; and (3) to offer suggestions to others with similar collections on how to increase use.
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    Extension's Information Use and Need: Surveying, Analyzing and Planning Outreach to Extension Staff
    Mastel, Kristen (2014-05-07)
    This study describes how University of Minnesota Extension staff locate and use information to accomplish daily activities. The major findings were: a) seeking for information is a daily or weekly need, b), staff use predominately online resources, from a variety of sources: peer-reviewed journals, technical or research reports, and government information, and use search engines most frequently to locate them, and c) Extension staff are aware of the majority of library resources and services. Extension staff welcome advanced information seeking tools and technique professional development. Since the preeminent information-seeking tool is a search engine, libraries must position themselves to inform extension staff how to setup Google Scholar to link to library licensed materials. In addition, additional tools to make the library presence seamless into extension’s workflow are needed. Librarians must integrate themselves into all areas of extension work, in order to disseminate and integrate library resources and services into extension’s daily activities.
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    Sustainable Agricultural Research: Data Information Literacy throughout the Scientist's 'Lifecycle'
    Bracke, Marianne Stowell; Delserone, Leslie; Wright, Sarah (2014-05-07)
    Data information literacy is a developing instructional emphasis for agricultural scientists and academic librarians. The motivation to articulate competencies and develop curricula stems from requirements of external funders, and from the awareness by some researchers of the uniqueness of their research data collection and/or a desire to eliminate redundant research efforts. Broad areas of competency in data information literacy include data organization and security, management, preservation, and re-use. Faculty see value in these competencies for their undergraduate and graduate students, but do not necessarily believe that they need or want to teach this themselves. These areas, like other information literacies, should be taught within a disciplinary or functional context, and may need to be presented in multiple instances for data users to develop fluency. Additionally, the presentation of this material will vary depending on the audience level, the time available, and delivery methods. We present examples and suggestions for educational outreach to undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, research and extension faculty, the editorial boards of scientific publications, and agricultural information professionals. We shall discuss a variety of delivery methods, including online, in-person, one-shot, embedded, and cohort approaches. In addition, we will discuss the need and value for librarians to be part of the data information literacy process. Librarians may underestimate their abilities to participate in this kind of instruction. However, data information literacy involves a combination of disciplinary understanding, awareness of relevant technology, and best practices of organization, curation, and scholarly communication. These skill sets, fundamental to data management, are core to library and information science, and can be easily overlooked without librarians input. When combined with subject expertise, this provides students with a fully rounded educational experience.
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    RC Cola and a Moon Pie: Food Justice/Food Security as an AgNIC Site Topic
    Parker-Gibson, Necia (2014-05-07)
    The famous (or infamous) combination of a bottle of RC Cola and a Moon Pie snack cake used to be referred to in Southern states as a working man's lunch-- the combination was available, cheap, wouldn't spoil in the heat, and was filling if not nutritious. Many places in the United States and elsewhere around the world have populations with reduced or nonexistent access to reliable, durable sources of nutritious food at prices that they can afford. There are agricultural, social, sociological,historical, political and geographical sources of information on the causes and ramifications of food security/insecurity which could be explored. Food justice and food security could be developed as an AgNIC site topic if the information isn't felt to be already subsumed by the National Agricultural Library's pages that relate to the topic.
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    Data Sharing Practices of Agricultural Researchers and Their Implications for the Land-Grant University Mission
    Eaker, Christopher; Fernandez, Peter; Davis, Miriam; Swauger, Shea (2014-05-07)
    Since passage of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 and the subsequent Hatch Act of 1887 and Smith-Lever Act of 1914, land-grant universities have conducted basic and applied research in agricultural sciences and disseminated the results of that research to citizens of their respective states. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 clearly states the purpose of the cooperative agricultural extension component of the land-grant university as “...the development of practical applications of research knowledge and giving of instruction and practical demonstrations of existing or improved practices or technologies in agriculture...” Thus, as a significant goal of the land-grant university, this dissemination of new knowledge, applications, and technologies hinges on the effective management of data and subsequent sharing of that data. This project will explore the data management practices and data sharing attitudes among agricultural researchers at two public land-grant institutions, one in the southeastern United States and one in the mountain region of the United States. The researchers intend to determine how these practices and attitudes serve the mission of the land-grant university as stated within the Morrill Act of 1862. This poster will share the initial results of the research project by explaining research methodology, defining study population, sharing preliminary findings, and presenting possible future directions.
Mann Library is offering broad public access to benefit education, research and scholarship. The materials in these collections may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) (see Additionally, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of copyright or licensing agreements. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.