Importance of botanical and horticultural information
by Kathy Fescemyer *
*The following is an excerpt (pp. 73-74) of : Fescemyer, Kathy, “The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries”, Journal of Agricultural & Food Information, 11 (2, 2010): 73-80. [Reprinted with permission of the author]
Understanding plants is fundamental to the prosperity and balance of the earth and all its varied ecosystems. Plants are the basis of all forms of life and affect every person every day. Horticultural products such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts nourish all throughout the world. Ingredients from plants are the foundation for many important medicines. Botanical gardens, arboretums, floral arrangements, home landscaping, and floristic artwork provide beauty in our lives. Plant materials are important components of clothing and industrial products. All ecosystems depend on a foundation of plants to balance the mechanisms of air quality. Plants support the stability of topsoil by controlling erosion. Knowledge of the plant world allows for many scientific discoveries that improve our existence in many ways.
Researchers in botany and horticulture rely on libraries to supply the information resources necessary to conduct experimental studies and to disseminate the results of these studies. Libraries collect monographs, journals, and other resources in botany and horticulture. As with all sciences, the most important method of communication in these areas is the scholarly research journal, but monographs also play a large role in botanical and horticultural research. Current resources are obviously vital for today’s researchers, but historical materials are equally important because they document the foundations of these disciplines. […]
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