Contact: Andy Bridges
ALA Washington Office
For Immediate Release
December 21, 2007
EPA ordered to re-open libraries
WASHINGTON —This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was ordered by Congress to re-open many of its libraries that had been closed over the course of the past year, as written into the fiscal year 2008 omnibus appropriations bill sent to President Bush this week.
EPA must “restore the network of EPA libraries recently closed or consolidated by the Administration...” and report on its plans to “restore publicly available libraries to provide environmental information and data to each EPA region...”
EPA administrators have repeatedly alleged that these closings do not affect access to the important environmental and scientific collections and data sets since online functions meet the needs of the EPA staff, researchers, and the public. However, many scientists, EPA staff and librarians continue to dispute this contention.
"The EPA libraries are a vital resource for the health of our country," said Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the ALA Washington Office, "and we appreciate the work of Congress, and in particular the Senate, to correct this massive failure on the part of the Executive Branch."
"ALA thanks the thousands of librarians and scientists all over who worked so hard to make sure their voices were heard in Congress."
The appropriations bill is set to hit the President's desk this week and he is expected to sign it.