EPA Is Hastily Disposing of Its Library Collection
This is a story I read about on the Business Librarians' listserv. It was confirmed by a friend at the EPA, who notes:
"We will lose a great number of reports that are only available as paper copies, and I have no idea what they plan to do with the books. Supposedly we have electronic access to journals (which is great when it works), but many of the ones I have needed aren't the ones to which we subscribe. Sigh."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is frantically dispersing its library collections to preempt Congressional intervention, according to internal emails released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to promises by EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock that all of the former library materials will be made available electronically, vast troves of unique technical reports and analyses will remain indefinitely inaccessible.
Meanwhile, many materials formerly held by the Office of Prevention, Pollution and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) Library, in EPA’s Washington D.C. Headquarters, were directed to be thrown into trash bins, according to reports received by PEER. This month, EPA closed the OPPTS Library, its only specialized library for research on health effects and properties of toxic chemicals and pesticides, without notice to either the public or affected scientists.
See the order to destroy (“recycle”) OPPTS library materials (PDF)
Read the letter posted by an anonymous employee rebutting EPA claims (PDF)
View the email about inaccessibility of EPA contractor documents (PDF)
Look at the email from the manager of the OPTTS Library (PDF)
Peruse email outlining concerns about how library restoration may be “futile” (PDF)
Examine the appropriations sign-on letter from Senators Boxer and Lautenberg (PDF)
Trace the unfolding developments in EPA’s drive to shutter its libraries
Source: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Oh, in case you were wondering, Marcus Peacock comes to EPA from OMB.
"PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch [noted] EPA studies show the cuts will actually lose money due to additional professional staff time that will have to be spent tracking down research materials now assembled by the libraries... In a mass letter of protest signed this June by representatives for 10,000 EPA scientists and researchers, more than half the total agency workforce, employees contend that the library plan is designed to "suppress information on environmental and public health-related topics."
"What is going on inside EPA is positively Orwellian," concluded Ruch.
Some so-called "Christian right" group is calling for a boycott of Wal-Mart today and tomorrow, because the retailer offers gay couples health benefits. Since I boycott Wal-Mart ALL of the time, I'm conflicted, because while I opppose the rationale for the boycott, I would applaud its result.
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