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: Nimoy inspired generations of sci-fi fans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Man convicted of operating underground website Silk Road

Feb 04, 2015

A San Francisco man was swiftly convicted Wednesday of creating and operating an underground website that prosecutors said enabled drug dealers around the world to reach customers they would never find on the street.

High-speed Internet on its way to more schools

Dec 11, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission agreed Thursday to dramatically boost spending to bring high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in poor or rural areas, a move that would likely increase Americans' phone ...

Cities, states face off on municipal broadband

Aug 19, 2014

Wilson, N.C., determined nearly a decade ago that high-speed Internet access would be essential to the community's social and economic health in the 21st century, just as electricity, water and sewers were in the previous ...

Recommended for you

Bribery 'hits 1.6 billion people a year'

Feb 27, 2015

A total of 1.6 billion people worldwide – nearly a quarter of the global population – are forced to pay bribes to gain access to everyday public services, according to a new book by academics at the Universities of Birmingham ...

How music listening programmes can be easily fooled

Feb 26, 2015

For well over two decades, researchers have sought to build music listening software that can address the deluge of music growing faster than our Spotify-spoilt appetites. From software that can tell you ...

User comments : 0

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.