The National Agricultural Library (NAL) has launched its redesigned Web site (http://www.nal.usda.gov) as a gateway connecting users swiftly with the services of NAL and with the billions of pages of agricultural information within NAL collections and information resources.

NAL is part of the Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

Designed with customer preferences in mind, the new NAL site brings a fresh look and faster access to the rich array of agriculture-related information available through NAL.

Quick answers

Visitors to the front page of the newly designed site can browse information on popular agricultural topics — from Animals and Livestock to Rural Community Development — supported by the NAL site's new navigational taxonomy. Each follow-on Web page leads quickly to more carefully selected information, designed to answer questions frequently asked by visitors to the site and to NAL.

The site offers several Web pages with information focused on the needs of specific audiences, including kids and teens, librarians and USDA employees.

Visitors can use other areas of the redesigned site to access NAL's most popular library services, see where NAL representatives are exhibiting or appearing, or get information about some of the most current concerns in agriculture.

Well used

NAL's Web site currently receives an average of 4.3 million “hits” each month from people seeking agricultural information. This usage is expected to increase in response to the site's user-friendly design, enhanced searching capabilities scheduled for early 2006, and the redesign of subsidiary sites during the next few months.

Through April 2006, NAL will introduce redesigned Web sites on food safety, water quality, invasive species, human nutrition, alternative farming systems, animal welfare and technology transfer. New searching capabilities will mean that NAL databases can be searched at the same time as NAL Web pages.

The redesign of NAL's Web sites implements USDA Web standards and meets U.S. Office of Management and Budget guidelines for focusing on customer needs.