The Library of Kees Bus

Published on
March 21, 2006

Since 1975, 56-year-old Kees Bus has been a scientific researcher at Applied Plant Research. He works in Lelystad. Kees is a regular user of the library. He tells us that he weekly visits the library of PPO-AGV and that approx. every two weeks he opens the Wageningen Desktop Library. Kees visits the physical library to stay informed as an applied researcher of the professional agricultural journals. American Potato Journal is not available in electronic form, but for his research it is essential to follow closely the developments in the growth of (seed) potatoes.

Kees does not have any suggestions for new acquisitions on hand. He says: "I do miss browsing the scientific journals, as they are no longer available in print. Until several years ago, I could still do so. When browsing I sometimes came across information that is interesting for our potato group, but does not have the word "potato" in the title. But I realise that this is less efficient. I realise that now I can access and print articles that until a few years ago we could only find with great difficulty. We ask Kees: what are his criteria for a good library?
"That is a difficult question because you may easily forget something when answering it". After some thinking he comes up with the following list:

  • scientific literature should be easy to find and easy to print out, and for this good support is essential
  • at an institute of applied research, availability of professional journals
    is essential. This may be in digital form, but physical presence of these journals is more convenient
  • grey literature does not belong in a good library, but for me this
    information is certainly of great importance. Problem is accessibility. I am thinking of year books and annual reports from experimental farms, conference proceedings and such. Also less recent research done at experimental farms and nurseries can be found there, and is certainly not of less importance. Many research questions crop up again after some time
  • Handbooks should be available. To what extent is the question. The most important ones, if not made accessible on the Internet, should be there:
    certainly books on diseases and physiology books, and, for the function I have, books that are specific for certain crops. Often they are somewhat older, 10, 20, 30 years old, but not therefore less valuable.

(Newsletter 2-2006)