This article from Kelpie Wilson hit a particular note with me because until 2 years ago my wife worked as a reference librarian at the NYC EPA Region 2 library on Broadway. She watched for 3 years as a staff of three librarians, one media specialist and one tech services paraprofessional were relocated, outsourced or just plain let go. There may be one librarian there now–there were two the last time I checked, about a year ago. Here’s an excerpt–the rest of the story is here.
First, Re-Open the Libraries
By Kelpie Wilson
t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Wednesday 15 November 2006
never got down to actual book-burning, but the Republican choke-hold on
government would clearly have taken us there. In August, under the
guise of fiscal responsibility, the Bush Environmental Protection
Agency began closing most of its research libraries, both to the public
and to its own staff.
EPA’s professional staff objected strongly, insisting that closing the
libraries would hamstring them in their jobs. In a letter to Congress
protesting the closures, public employees said, "We believe that this
budget cut is just one of many Bush administration initiatives to
reduce the effectiveness of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and
to continue to demoralize its employees."
EPA’s precipitous move to close the libraries was based on a $2 million
cut in Bush’s proposed $8 billion EPA budget for 2007. EPA bureaucrats
did not wait to see if Congress might restore the funds or shift budget
priorities in order to save the libraries; it acted immediately to box
up documents for deep storage, and shut the doors.
the official EPA line is that all of the documents will be eventually
be digitized and made available online, this will cost money that the
agency does not have, so for practical purposes, all of the thousands
of reports and maps that now exist only on paper or microfiche will be
lost to the public and to agency scientists. They might as well just