Bradford grad wins Oberly Award


BRADFORD – A Bradford graduate, along with two of his family members, recently was awarded the American Library Association’s Oberly Award.

James B. Beard, Harriet J. Beard and James C. Beard have been selected as the 2015 recipients of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Science and Technology Section (STS) Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural or Natural Sciences for “Turfgrass History and Literature: Lawns, Sports and Golf.”

The award was presented during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, California. Clifford Haka, director of libraries at Michigan State University, accepted the award on behalf of the team.

“Turfgrass History and Literature” contains an extensive history of turfgrass research and the development of turfgrass as an important agricultural product. In addition, the book contains an extensive annotated bibliography of the literature of turfgrass, including many international publications. The bibliography entries are arranged by author, and there is a brief biography of each author.

“The book is an extremely rich resource, in that it is not only a bibliography of resources related to turfgrass but also a valuable history of the field as well,” said award Chairwoman Nancy J. Butkovich, of Pennsylvania STate University. “It is illustrated with many historical photographs, which add to the overall impact of the book. The bibliography shows a great breadth and depth in the coverage of the literature of the discipline, and it includes many historical and international publications. The committee was also very impressed to see that it included brief biographies for the authors of many of the resources included in the bibliography. This adds still more value to the depth of the content as well as bibliographical information that can sometimes be difficult to find.”

Published in 2014 by the Michigan State University Press, the History is a 650+ page overview of teh evolution of both turfgrasses and the science and art of turfgrass culture.

Introductory chapters review turfgrass origins; lawn, sports and golf turfgrass development; turf innovations; the history of turfgrass research, education, seed production and sod production; and the organization of turf scientists in the U.S. and internationally.

The bulk of the book follows details of books published about turf around the world between 1892 and 2010, along with Beard’s comments on the significance of the work within the literature as a whole. Additional sections list turfgrass technical and research reports, conference proceedings and periodicals of all kinds.

James B. Beard is the president and chief scientist of the International Sports Turf Institute and a professor emeritus of Turfgrass Science at Texas A&M University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from the Ohio State University, Master of Science in Crop Ecology and a doctorate in Turfgrass Physiology from Purdue University and has authored 358 peer-reviewed papers, 564 technical papers and nine books, including a previous Oberly Award winner.

Beard has served as president of both the Crop Science Society of America and the International Turfgrass Society. His wife, Harriet J. Beard, and son James C. Beard, helped co-author “Turfgrass History and Literature.”

The Oberly Award was established in 1923 in memory of Eunice3 Rockwood Oberly, librarian of the Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture from 1908 to 1921. She was the Bureau of Plant Industry’s representative to the Congressional Joint Commission on Reclassification of Government Employees and was instrumental in gaining fairer recognition of library activities.

This biennial award is given in odd-numbered years for the best English-language bibliography in the field of agriculture or a related science.

James B. Beard B. Beard

Staff report

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