Bringing Agricultural Research Library to the Third World

Cornell Univesity



Redesign of updateable CD-ROM-based – and later on – LAN-based agricultural library


User Research
UX/UI Design
Front-End Development


Stakeholder Interviews
User Flows
Front-End Coding

The Essential Electronic Agriculture Library (TEEAL) is a project of Cornell University’s Albert R. Mann Library in cooperation with over 60 major scientific publishers in creating an electronic collection of full-text articles, abstracts and graphics from 140 agriculture science journals for third world countries without a broadband connection to the internet.

For two decades, The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library has been a vital component of research in agriculture and related sciences for institutions with limited Internet access and academic resources.

Map of institutions using TEEAL

Researchers in developing countries find it frustrating trying to keep abreast of the latest agricultural research because hard currency shortages prevent the purchase of hugely expensive scientific journals.

in 1999, Cornell’s Mann Library has received a $900,000 grant to create a library-in-a-box. It took them years to clear all hurdles, including about five years of negotiations to gain the cooperation of the world’s leading scholarly journals on agricultural and life sciences and assemble the collection. Library-in-a-box sales are restricted to those developing countries where publishers normally would not find a market for their journals.

In 2005, TEEAL moved from CD-ROM technology to the local area networks (LANs) of subscribing institutions and delivered on a small-footprint computer that can be plugged into either a LAN or a stand-alone computer. LanTEEAL offered access to over 400 journals with more than 500,000 articles.

For this edition,  I assisted in redesigning TEEAL’s experience to be operated in a Web browser environment, and to incorporate more advanced search and navigation technology, to make searching and browsing faster, easier and more intuitive.

In 2017, the TEEAL library has seen its last and final update.