Libraries team wins NIFA Partnership Award

September 23, 2011

Penn State University Libraries employees were part of a team that was recognized nationally for its work on two key resources -- a national 4-H database and an Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) database. Librarian Amy Paster, Programmer Analyst Wayne Ellenberger and Database Specialist Sherry Lonsdale collaborated with Jan Scholl, associate professor and 4-H specialist, on the project. Librarian Helen Smith and Melanie Gardner of the National Agriculture Library were also part of the team. They won an award from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for their "effective and efficient use of resources." The award will be presented in October, in Washington D.C.

"The purpose of the award is to annually recognize exemplary work from a team or individual at a land-grant university or other cooperating institution or organization supported by NIFA. This program will allow recognition of outstanding contributions in support of the NIFA mission that provides an outcome that positively impacts agriculture, the environment, communities or people," said Paster.

Paster, who co-authors the sites with Scholl, serves as library liaison and coordinator for the project. She has worked with Scholl on the 4-H database for 10 years and on the EFNEP database for the past year.

Lonsdale and Ellenberger worked on the technical aspects of the project, implementing the site on the library server, conducting tests and ensuring that the site was functional.

"It's great to have been part of this project. To have been selected for the NIFA Partnership Award validates our efforts. It's always rewarding to know someone can benefit from using our web applications," said Lonsdale.

"It's nice to get national recognition for the work we're doing here at the Libraries," added Ellenberger.

The 4-H database documents the extensive research that has been conducted through the decades on this important national youth organization, and can be accessed online here:

The EFNEP website, meanwhile, provides a database of research conducted on the 40-year-old program that was established to educate low-income families on nutrition, food preparation and food management. It can be accessed here:

For more information on these resources, contact Jan Scholl ( / 814-863-7444) or Amy Paster ( / 814-865-3708).

Last Updated September 26, 2011