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Peter R. Young Named National Agricultural Library Director

By Len Carey
June 3, 2002

WASHINGTON, June 3--Under Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Jen has named Peter R. Young as director of the National Agricultural Library.

Young has been chief of the cataloging distribution service at the Library of Congress (LC) since 1997, where he directed distribution of LC bibliographic and authority products, services and technical publications for the United States. Since November 2001 he has served also as acting chief of the Asian Division at the Library of Congress, where he managed staff, services and programs related to LC's 2-million-item Asian vernacular language collections.

“We are extremely pleased to have Peter at the helm of the National Agricultural Library,” said Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics Joseph Jen. “His wealth of experience in the international library and information arenas will be an asset in serving the needs of USDA’s global agricultural research and education communities.”

As director of the National Agricultural Library (NAL), Young will provide leadership and direction for the library's broad programs and technical information services. NAL is one of four national libraries and the principal source in the United States for information about food, agriculture and natural resources. The NAL's expert staff, large and accessible collections and leadership role in information services and technology applications make it the world's foremost agricultural library.

Young has held professional positions in college, university, research and public libraries and also has government and industry experience. From 1990 to 1997, he served as executive director of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, an independent federal agency established in 1970 to advise the president and the Congress regarding library and information services and policies. He has been an academic library administrator at Rice University, Franklin and Marshall College, and American University and served as assistant director of the Grand Rapids (Mich.) public library. He served in the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division in 1969 and was awarded three bronze star medals for meritorious achievement directing a Special Services Library in Cu Chi, Vietnam.

Young earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio, and a master's degree in library science from Columbia University's School of Library Service.

NAL is part of the Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency. The NAL web site is its electronic gateway to a wealth of agricultural information resources.

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