ALA President responds to proposed closings of EPA libraries

Contact: Bernadette Murphy
ALA Washington Office

For Immediate Release
February 23, 2006

ALA President responds to proposed closings of EPA libraries

(Washington, DC) The following statement is from ALA President Michael Gorman in response to the proposed closing of the EPA’s libraries.

“The American Library Association is deeply concerned about the very negative impact on public access to environmental information that will result if the
proposed 80 % cuts to funding for the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) libraries are made.

“ALA has a long-standing commitment to promoting free public access to government information and we are troubled by what seems to be an accelerating trend in increased restrictions on access to government information. Individuals and communities need to be able to find high quality, accurate information about issues that concern them, such as the health and safety of their families and communities. EPA has, since its creation in the early 1970s, been a key source of such information. We fear that the drastic budget cuts proposed in the FY 2007 EPA budget will have severely deleterious effects on the ability of the EPA libraries to continue their essential role in ensuring public access to critical health and safety information.

“We encourage members of Congress to maintain the funding necessary to support key government information programs such as the EPA libraries and to ensure adequate future funding for this purpose.”