2015 ACRL STS Oberly Award goes to Beard, Beard and Beard

For Immediate Release
Thu, 07/16/2015


Chase Ollis

Program Coordinator



CHICAGO – 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. 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 Chair 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 included brief bibliographies 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.”

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 an M.S. in Crop Ecology and Ph.D. 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 Eunice 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 a 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.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at www.acrl.org/, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.