Michigan State University

Turfgrass Collection Development Statement

Anticipated future trends

Turfgrass science is likely to continue as a research and teaching focus within the University, as well as a perceived area of excellence within the MSU Libraries. Within the state, national, and world economies, the turfgrass industry is a major economic activity as a component of landscape management, sports management, public lands, and public discretionary spending. Turfgrass is the largest irrigated ‘crop’ in the United States, and is estimated to cover a total land area the size of the state of Pennsylvania. As both a professional and public issue, turf science will increasingly be a focus of public policy debate, and will be heavily impacted by future social change, economics, technology, biotechnology, and local politics. Focal points will likely include GMO turfgrasses, water use, nutrient & pesticide use, carbon issues, maintenance intensity, user expectations, land use decisions, land reclamation, right-of-way management, and community values regarding both public and private open space.

An aggressive digitization program of print turfgrass materials aims to make as much of the Collections’ content available as can be processed with appropriate permissions. Therefore, digital content archiving, in addition to the archiving of born-digital content, will be of ever-increasing importance within the whole of the MSU Libraries’ turf-related efforts.

In addition, adding research data is a logical step forward, and compliments the well-established archive function of the Center in established research initiatives, such as the United States Golf Association’s Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program. Original research data, at present, are primarily published through summaries of research presented via the refereed, report, processional, and proceedings literature. Very little data is currently available online within the discipline as a whole, beyond that of personal exchange via colleagues, with the notable exception of the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP), which compiles species and cultivar trial data.

Overlap/Relationship with Other Resources and Collecting Areas

Agriculture: Plant sciences, plant disease and pest management, landscape design, irrigation, pastures and forages, ornamental grasses.

Biological Science/Natural History: Applied areas of plant science related to plant communities, which a turfgrass community is.

Botany: Applied areas of plant science related to plant communities, especially ‘the grasses,’ and well as grass taxonomy and breeding.

Business: Leisure and tourism services, club and hospitality management.

Engineering: Agricultural and biosystems engineering, water, irrigation.

Environmental Studies: Natural resources management, sustainability programs, pesticide use and pollution, water use, land use, wildlife habitat.

Geology: Soil sciences.

International Development: Land use, environmental issues, tourism.

Landscape Architecture: Site design and specification, golf course architecture.

Parks and Recreation: Site and facility planning, operations and landscape management, tourism.

Public Policy: Public administration, governmental services, regulatory aspects.

Sports: Especially those utilizing and dependent on turf surfaces, such as golf, football, soccer, baseball, cricket, etc.

Urban Planning: Open space, recreational facilities, and brownfields.