Critics fault closure of federal libraries

Dec 08, 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: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple says Samsung knew iPhone would be big seller

Apr 01, 2014

Samsung knew Apple's iPhone would be a big seller when it first went on the market, but the South Korean company didn't have a product that could compete so it stole Apple's technology, an attorney for Apple ...

Locked cellphones are no longer a lock

Nov 29, 2013

Uncle Sam wants to hand you the keys to your cellphone. A federal agency is pressing wireless phone companies to start "unlocking" customers' phones, possibly by the time you exchange gifts for the holidays.

Poll finds voter discontent with washington

Nov 05, 2013

The American public's attitude towards its elected leaders and the policies they pursue has turned sharply negative, according to a new George Washington University Battleground Poll. Over 70 percent of likely voters say ...

The Internet in kentucky: Life in the slow lane for many

Oct 03, 2013

The Internet has become an important source of information for employment, health, news, entertainment, and shopping. And while many of these activities can be easily performed with a basic level of broadband speed, an increasing ...

Recommended for you

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

3 hours ago

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.