June 19, 2008

SLA Lauds Government Report On Closures of EPA Libraries

By Anonymous

SLA has applauded the U.S. Government Accountability Office's recent report on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's library closures. The report was requested by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last year following an outcry by the public and the library community over the destruction of sensitive documents and restriction of access to public health information contained in the EPA libraries. "SLA was the first library association to denounce the closures in February 2006, and we have continued to work diligently to ensure that the concerns of our members and the public's best interest are considered and appropriately addressed in the EPA's strategy and operations plans going forward," said SLA CEO Janice R. Lachance.

"This report echoes what we have been saying all along, and brings to light the inherent flaws in the EPA's information strategy. We believe that this is another step along the right path, and we look forward to continuing our open dialog with EPA on recommended next steps as they move in a better direction to improve, rather than hinder, the ability of scientists and the public to gain access to vital environmental information and data."

At the request of the GAO, SLA staff participated in the investigation to voice the concerns of the specialized librarian community. The GAO report says that the EPA did not adequately consult agency staff, outside experts or stakeholders before undertaking the reorganization.

Copyright Special Libraries Association Apr 2008

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