Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Budget Cut Would Shutter EPA Libraries

Proposed budget cuts could cripple a nationwide system of Environmental Protection Agency libraries that government researchers and others depend on for hard-to-find technical information, library advocates say.

The $2 million cut sought by the White House would reduce the 35-year-old EPA Library Network's budget by 80 percent and force many of its 10 regional libraries to close, according to the advocates and internal agency documents.

That, in turn, would dramatically reduce access to certain EPA reports, guidance and technical documents that are used by the agency's scientific and enforcement staff as well as private businesses and citizens, they say.

"They are moving ahead very quickly on very substantive cuts to their library program," said Patrice McDermott, deputy director of the American Library Association's Office of Government Relations. "They really don't have a good plan for continuing to provide access for the public, and even their own researchers and scientists, to the information."

March 26 post on EPA library closings


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