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Executive Council Bios


Connie Britton is the librarian for the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the agricultural research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University, a position she has held since 1981. She has a BA from Kalamazoo College, an MLS from Western Michigan University and an MS (Education) from Central Michigan University.

She has been a member of USAIN since 1988 and previously served as a Director from 1999 to 2001 and 2008 to 2012.  She co-chaired the conference planning committee and chaired the local arrangements committee for the 2008 USAIN conference that was held in Wooster Ohio.  She also chaired the Sponsors and Exhibitors Committee for the 2012 USAIN conference in Minnesota. She was the co-PI on the Ohio portion of the USAIN agricultural literature preservation project, phases 4 and 5.  She is also involved in AgNIC, representing Ohio State University on the Coordinating Council, serving as a member of the Executive Board, 1999-2002 and as Chair, 2005/06.  She manages the Bees and Pollination site for AgNIC. Honors include the AgNIC Distinguished Service Award in 2011 and the OARDC Outstanding Staff Award in 2005.



Eileen Herring is reference librarian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is responsible for collection development, instruction and reference for all areas of agriculture as well as biological sciences and ecology. Eileen has been at UH Manoa Library since 1993. Prior to that she was a reference librarian at Hawaii Medical Library. Eileen has a BA from the University of California, San Diego and received both her MLIS and MS in Horticulture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Eileen has been a member of USAIN since 1995. She served as Secretary/Treasurer from 2002 to 2006 and has served on a variety of USAIN committees and task forces. She has been the UH Manoa institutional representative to AgNIC since 2003 and is responsible for the institution’s AgNIC Web site, Traditional Pacific Island Crops. Eileen was a team member of the USDA grant supported project Agricultural Development in the American Pacific from 1995 through 2012. She currently provides library services to extension agents and land grant researchers at Pacific land grant institutions in American Samoa and Guam. In 2004 to 2005, Eileen developed and coordinated the library enhancement activities of a USAID funded project in Iraq. Additionally, she is a Review Editor for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Information. and AGORA , programs which provide free or reduced-price access to scientific agricultural journals for developing world libraries.



Valrie Minson is Outreach Librarian for Agricultural Sciences for the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries. She provides research support to the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ plant and animal science departments, as well as to off-campus Research & Education Centers. She has held this position since 2005.  She has a BA from University of South Florida and an MLS from Florida State University.

Valrie has been a member of USAIN since 2005 and served as a Director from 2010 to 2012.  She is currently co-chairing the conference planning committee for the 2014 USAIN conference to be held in Burlington Vermont.  She chaired the invited speakers committee for the 2012 conference and the pre-conference committee for the 2010 conference.  She was an Investigator on the NIH funded VIVO grant, 2009-2011. VIVO is a Semantic Web application recently implemented by ARS for USDA researchers. Valrie has been active in the Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition (FAN) Division of the Special Libraries Association, serving as Chair-Elect/Chair/Past-Chair (2009-2011). Additionally, she is the Book and Internet Review Editor for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Information.



Claudene Jenda is the librarian for the College of Agriculture at Auburn.  She also serves as the Assistant Head of Reference & Instruction Services, Auburn University Libraries.  Claudine has worked at Auburn since 1989 where she has held a variety of positions in public services such as:  Department Head of Science and Technology; Reference Librarian, Government Publications; and Information Specialist, InfoQuest Fee-Based Services.  She completed a two-year Fellowship Librarian position in 2001, as a patent fellow, at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program in Washington, D.C.  Claudine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Malawi; and the Master of Science degree in Information Science from The City University, London.

Claudine has been a member of USAIN since 1993.  She has served on membership committees, conference planning committees, and as a co-convener on the Technology Trends Interest Group.



Christopher ColeChristopher Cole is the Manager, Business Development at the National Agricultural Library. In addition, he serves as the Associate Director for Technical Services overseeing the Cataloging, Acquisitions, and AGRICOLA Indexing operations. Before joining NAL in February 2005, he was a Digital Project Coordinator at the Library of Congress from 2002-2005. Prior to entering the Federal Service, Chris was a Cybrarian at the Intel Corporation and worked at Maricopa County (Arizona) Library District (1990-2000) as the County Librarian and Associate Director. He received a BA from Kalamazoo College and an MLS from the University of Illinois – Urbana.

Chris served as a member of the OCLC Record Use Policy Council that drafted a new policy on WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative. He also served as a member of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control that issued their report – On the Record in January 2007.  He co-chaired the US RDA Implementation Committee that completed extensive testing process involving 26 institutions of the new cataloging code RDA: Resource Description and Access.  The result was that once certain pre-conditions are met, the national libraries will adopt RDA in 2013.


DIRECTORS 2011-2013


Madeleine Charney is a Research Services Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and serves as liaison to the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and Sustainable Studies. Her online library research guides cover topics such as Food Systems, Renewable Energy, Ecovillages, Permaculture, and Climate Change. She is the founder and moderator of SustainableUMass, a campus-wide listserv, and also helped launch SustainRT, a new ALA Round Table, in 2013. She has been at the UMass Libraries since 2004.

Previously, she was solo librarian at the New England Small Farm Institute which houses the premier agriculture library in the Northeast. Madeleine has a BA in English from Binghamton University, an MLS from the University of Rhode Island and an MA in Sustainable Landscape Design and Planning from the Conway School of Landscape Design. With a passion for growing food, she is certified in Permaculture Design and completed the training program offered by the Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association.

Madeleine has been a member of USAIN since 2005 and she serves as Chairperson for the Legislative and Governmental Relations Committee. She is on the Steering Committee of PVGrows, a fast-growing network devoted to strengthening the viability of healthy food systems in Western Massachusetts and is also Chairperson for PVGrows Higher Education Working Group. Additionally, she is the Book and Internet Review Editor for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Information.


Hope Jansen is a North American Field Sales Manager at CABI Publishing whose territory includes Canada and 25 states. She has been with CABI since 2007 and has a BA in English from University of Vermont and MLS from University of Brighton in the UK. She has been a member of USAIN since 2007 and is also a member of SLA’s Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Division, currently serving as Secretary and Public Relations Chair. Previous to working at CABI Hope was Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer for Allerdale Borough Council and a public librarian with Cumbria County Libraries, both in the UK.


Peter Fernandez is the Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources librarian at the University of Tennessee. He is responsible for research assistance, instruction, collection development, and outreach for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He has a BA from New College of Florida and an MS from the University of South Florida.

He has been a member of USAIN since 2008. He has served as the convener for the Technology Trends Interest Group, as well as participating in the Professional Development Task Force and the Website Review Task Force.  He is also active with IAALD and AgNIC. His research interests include the intersection of emerging technologies and library values.


DIRECTORS 2012-2014

Philip Herold is Director for Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Sciences for the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Libraries (2007-present).  He was the Forestry Librarian at the University of Minnesota, editing and compiling four online Forestry index databases, from 2003-2007.  From 2005-2011 Philip also worked as founding Co-Director of the University of Minnesota's institutional repository, the University Digital Conservancy.

Before coming the the University of Minnesota, he was Project Manager for MnLINK, a statewide library technology project operating from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor.  Philip began his professional library career at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where he was a Public Services Librarian (1995-1997) and Head of Information Services (1997-2001).  In these positions he was active in the GIS / libraries community and helped develop the Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (CUGIR).  Philip has a BA in English from Saint John's University in Collegeville, MN, and an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Philip has been active in USAIN since 2004.  He has served on conference committees, the USAIN nominations committee, and served as conference chair for the 2012 USAIN conference in Minneapolis, MN.


Jenny Oleen is the Scholarly Communications librarian at Kansas State University, where she was previously a Science Librarian. She has a BS in Agronomy from Kansas State University, a MS in Environmental Science from University of Arizona, and a MLS from Indiana University-Bloomington. She completed the Copyright Management and Leadership Level 1 Certification through the Center for Intellectual Property at University of Maryland University College. Jenny has been a member of USAIN since 2008, serving on the membership committee and conference committees.


Sarah C. Williams is the Life Sciences Data Services Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she has been since 2011.  Previously, Sarah was at Illinois State University as a Science and Technology Librarian from 2001-2009 and as Head of Library Systems from 2009-2011.  She has a BS in Soil and Crop Science from Purdue University, a MLS from Indiana University, and a MS in Information Systems from Illinois State University.

Sarah has been a member of USAIN since 2001.  She served as a Director from 2007-2009.  She is chair of the Pre-Conference Committee, and has served on conference committees, the Communications Committee, the Website Review Team and the Awards and Honors Committee.