Big ugly news in the Government/Special libraries sector. The proposed US Budget includes slashing the EPA library budget by 80% which means no more library and no more electronic catalog.
The size of the cuts will force the Headquarters library and most of the regional libraries to shut their doors and cease operations. Each year, the EPA libraries
- Handle more than 134,000 research requests from its own scientific and enforcement staff
- House and catalog an estimated 50,000 “unique” documents that are available nowhere else
- Operate public reading rooms and provide the public with access to EPA databases.
“Access to information is one of the best tools we have for protecting the environment,” added Ruch, calling the cuts the “epitome of penny wise and pound foolish.” “By contrast, closing the Environmental Protection Agency libraries actually threatens to subtract from the sum total of human knowledge.”
Add to this the proposed elimination of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science by rolling it into the Institute of Museum and Library Services and you have to wonder what sort of price we’re paying for the deep budgetary hole the country has been falling in to.