The Agricultural Document Library (ADLib) and its applications
In April 2004 the Agricultural Document Library (ADLib) was launched (www.adlib.ac.uk). It has been developed jointly by the Agriculture and Environment Research Unit (AERU) at the University of Hertfordshire and TLR Everysite Ltd, as a primary electronic resource for the industry. This online system is not just a library of documents, it is a knowledge base that is being used to support numerous applications and web sites. The content of ADLib covers England, Scotland and Wales and works across the industry for farmers, advisors, retailers, educators, policy and planning organisations. Examples of how ADLib is being utilised are described within this paper. These include libraries for Environmental Management for Agriculture (EMA), the Fertiliser Advisers Certification and Training Scheme (FACTS), the Horticultural Development Council (HDC) and the British Potato Council (BPC). Additionally, ADLib is being used by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to support its Whole Farm Approach (WFA), via the Appraisal, and Assured Produce utilise ADLib to support its online self-assessment audit. The principal objective is to make the vast quantity of agricultural information that is available more easily accessible to farmers and growers and to ensure that information is consistent, up to date, timely, relevant and targeted. In an information age with rapidly changing societal demands, agricultural businesses need the tools and information to be able to respond. ADLib aims to provide the agricultural and horticultural industries with the information they need to push forward the sustainability of the industry, in line with evolving public desires and legal demands.