The Library of Roel Lemmens

Published on
July 14, 2008

The Wageningen UR Library has three locations in Wageningen: the Forum Library, the Leeuwenborch Library and the Library of the chair group Biosystematics (acronym PLATAX). Because of its specialized collection, the PLATAX Library is only visited by employees and students who are looking for specialist literature in their field. One of these visitors is Roel Lemmens, who has been the editor-in-chief of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) programme since 1999. "This library is specialized in the botany of the African tropics. My colleagues and I are thankful to have this library for our editorial work for the PROTA database".
Roel also frequently consults the digital library, but often the much older publications are not electronic. "We quite regularly use different databases, for example, CABI Forestry Compendium and Crop Protection Compendium and MEDLINE. We also consult the digital library for journal articles and to find out where a certain publication can be found and read or to order a publication for our work." The 53-year-old Lemmens, who studied biology in Wageningen, thinks that as many electronically available publications as possible should be accessible through one's own PC. In general, he can find just fine what he's searching for at the library, but adds that the library system is not always up-to-date with regard to electronic subscriptions, which are sometimes terminated without notice. He would also like the existing databases for foreign doctoral dissertations (e.g. DATAD for Africa) to be better accessible.

"When non-electronic literature is regularly consulted—as in our case—then the library has to be close by and has to have good services. It's really nice when you can physically search in a reference collection according to subject." He thinks that the concentration in the Forum Library is fine, but says that the Biosystematics Library is a special case. This should stay attached to the Herbarium. The combination is also very important for the PROTA project.

(newsletter 1-2008)