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: 'Netflix for pirates' shut down by courts

Related Stories

'Netflix for pirates' shut down by courts

November 4, 2015

Hollywood's film trade group is hailing the shutdown of two online services used to circulate pirated copies of hit movies, including one that became known as "Netflix for pirates."

One simple question, many unexpected applications

September 15, 2015

Even the simplest research questions can lead to far-reaching public benefits. Consider Chris Small and Joel Cohen's study of global population by altitude, being honored this week at the Library of Congress.

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 ...

Google wants authors group out of NY library case

May 3, 2012

(AP) -- Google Inc. urged a judge Thursday to toss The Authors Guild and an organization representing photographers out of 6-year-old litigation over the future of the world's largest digital library, a move that would force ...

Recommended for you

Four pre-Inca tombs found in Peru's Lima

November 27, 2015

Archaeologists in Peru have found four tombs that are more than 1,000 years old in a pyramid-shaped cemetery that now sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Lima, experts said.


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.