Magazine article American Libraries

EPA Library Closings Continue despite Protests

Magazine article American Libraries

EPA Library Closings Continue despite Protests

Article excerpt

Touting it as part of a plan to put more information online, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been closing its regional libraries in spite of protests by federal employees. The Chicago library shut its doors August 28, and the Dallas and Kansas City, Missouri, libraries are set to close by the end of September. On September 13, employees of the EPA Headquarters Library in Washington received notice that their physical space would close to walk-ins beginning October 1. The closures are part of President Bush's dramatic cost-cutting plan that includes a proposed reduction of $100 million for FY2007 and further cuts for FY2008.

In June, the presidents of 17 locals of the American Federation of Federal Employees, representing 10,000 EPA scientists, signed a letter protesting a $2 million cut in EPA operations and administration (AL, Aug., p. 9). On August 16, the American Federation of Government Employees filed a formal grievance on behalf of EPA scientists, demanding that further action be delayed until affected scientists can negotiate.

On August 21, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) disseminated an August 15 document titled "EPA FY2007 Library Plan" that indicated the EPA would act immediately upon the administration's proposed cuts without waiting on action from Congress. In addition to shutting down three libraries, the plan would gradually reduce the hours and services of the seven other regional libraries.

In an August 22 letter to the California-Nevada community website YubaNet. …

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