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: Sniffing out a partner at a London pheromone party

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

BlackBerry announces new messaging security

Jun 16, 2014

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry announced Monday the release of new "enhanced security" for its popular BBM messaging, aiming to win back corporate users with high security needs such as banks.

Google EU data case raises censorship fears

May 14, 2014

A European Court of Justice decision ordering Google to delete some personal data on request has raised concerns about online censorship and how Internet search works in various countries.

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 ...

Recommended for you

How to win a Tour de France sprint

Jul 22, 2014

The final dash to the line in a Tour de France sprint finish may appear to the bystander to be a mess of bodies trying to cram into the width of a road, but there is a high degree of strategy involved. It ...

User comments : 0