Critics fault closure of federal libraries

December 8, 2006

The closing of six federal libraries has created alarm among the public and U.S. scientists, who say vital data will no longer be accessible.

Critics of the downsizing -- which federal officials said was a cost-savings measure -- say scientists and ordinary citizens would lose access to research materials crucial to scientific investigation and regulatory enforcement, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Government officials respond that the cutbacks in hours, staffing and facilities were driven by tight budgets, lower facility patronage and higher online services demands. Leaner and more efficient operations would allow essential functions to be maintained.

While hundreds of federal libraries remain open, opponents said the reductions, especially at the Environmental Protection Agency, will hamper work of regulators and scientists dependent on librarians and reference materials not online, the Times said.

"Crucial information generated with taxpayer dollars is now not available to the public and the scientists who need it," said Emily Sheketoff of the American Library Association's Washington office. "This is the beginning of the elimination of all these government libraries. I think you have an administration that does not have a commitment to access to information."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New interactive website presents unexamined data on federal programs that aid local governments in the American West

Related Stories

Libraries eye stimulus money for their Web access

May 5, 2009

(AP) -- The libraries in Delaware County, Pa., are trying to shift into warp speed. The county is hooking eight branches to a fiber-optic network to help meet library patrons' ever-rising demand for high-bandwidth tasks like ...

Recommended for you

Fish fossils reveal how tails evolved

December 5, 2016

Despite their obvious physical differences, elephants, lizards and trout all have something in common. They possess elongated, flexible structures at the rear of their bodies that we call tails. But a new study by a University ...

Evaluation of scientific rigor in animal research

December 2, 2016

The "reproducibility crisis" in biomedical research has led to questions about the scientific rigor in animal research, and thus the ethical justification of animal experiments. In research publishing in the Open Access journals ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.