The Library of Wim van Densen

Published on
May 23, 2006

57-year old Wim van Densen works as a fishery management operative for IMARES, the Institute for Nature and Environment Research of all aquatic systems, which was established recently as the result of the merger between RIVO, Alterra-Texel and TNO-Den Helder. It is Wim’s job especially to improve communications between policy, research and fisheries regarding management of North Sea fisheries.” The fishery business is going through a difficult period at the moment. To find a permanent way out it is necessary that all parties clearly understand each other and scientific information and considerations for management from the government should be transparent. This is not only a matter of good information, but also of communication’. He considers it a challenge after years of research and teaching in fisheries biology and management.

Wim needs only to cross the street to enter the Jan-Kopshuis, where he can be found a couple of times a week. He is a “large quantity” user: He visits the library for newspapers, journals, new acquisitions, but also to make copies, or to search databases. His interests are large: “Especially management of natural resources, but in general everything where people are trying to explain things to each other by means of images. Architecture is hobby of mine and I therefore appreciate the fact that the few architectural journals still available in Wageningen are to found in the Jan-Kopshuis.” Wim praises the library staff’s readiness to help and has praise also for the database of electronic journals: “It is both a source of information as well as a quickly accessible supply of material for lectures and for discussions; quite a relief for somebody who used to drag around boxes of slides and overhead sheets.” Can he give a purchase recommendation? The Italian journal “Space & Society”.

A university library, according to Van Densen, should be an inspiring place where people come together. He gives UB Delft and the Centre Ceramique, the city library of Maastricht as examples: “There you see that you should provide good espresso and cappuccino coffees, salads, an exhibition room for a larger public (not only on ancient books),  where you can read various newspapers, with an open area where people can chat and have discussions, where packed notice boards show you the activities programs; in short, a library as the unique university place to meet, where things happen and where you are happy to sit down to study and to write.

Finally, about the new Forum, he remarks: “On the Website I see mainly how you can study virtuously, but not how joyful, creative and cosmopolitan everything is going to be there”.

(Newsletter 3-2006)